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Police: Video Shows Gang Punishing One of Their Own

Police: Video Shows Gang Punishing One of Their Own

Video Capture

Chicago Tribune via Yellowbrix

March 15, 2011

CHICAGO – The beating officially started with a quick crack to the back of the gang member’s head. And then about 15 others descended, punching and kicking him for two minutes.

The rapid-fire punches landed from all directions on his body, sounding strangely like corn popping. Then the victim fell to the floor and the group continued to pummel him with punches and kicks.

The gang member at the bottom of the heap, a Latin King in the Cicero section, was there for his “violation,” punishment in gang parlance. He had allegedly failed to follow through on an order from one of the four ranking Latin King members now on trial in federal court in Chicago.

The beatdown, planned ahead of time and carried out by his own fellow gang members, is not unusual on the street. But in the darkened federal courtroom as a secretly recorded videotape of the beating was aired to the jury, it was a disturbing reflection of the violence that drives and unites gangs.

The four alleged Latin Kings — Augustin Zambrano, Vicente Garcia, Alphonso Chavez and Jose Guzman — are accused of racketeering, drug conspiracy and weapons offenses while running the 26th Street section of the Latin Kings. The gang’s influence reached into the suburbs, the reason prosecutors featured the west suburban beating in the trial.

It is an example, prosecutors said, of the violence that was orchestrated on behalf of the gang. Garcia, accused of being a “regional officer” for the gang, allegedly had ordered the punishment in an attempt to mediate a dispute between two Latin King members.

Gang literature, entered into evidence earlier at the trial, demands loyalty to a gang hierarchy. It references violations and protecting neighborhoods with guns.

Over two days of testimony, Nedal Issa, who headed the Cicero Latin Kings and oversaw the videotaped violation, explained to the jury how the beating unfolded.

Issa, who joined the gang at 13 and was promoted to “Inca” by 2006, had to mediate a dispute between one of his members — identified only as “Chongo” in the trial — and a Latin King from a different section.

“I was the Inca,” said Issa, who cooperated with authorities after he was caught up in the same federal conspiracy probe as the defendants. “So it was my responsibility to make sure none of the guys was involved in anything like that.”

But no solution was found, so the problem wound up in Garcia’s hands, Issa testified.

“Since we couldn’t resolve it, that’s when the Latin King nation got involved,” he said.

Garcia ultimately decided that Chongo would be “violated” for the dispute and as a further punishment should shoot at a rival gang member within 72 hours, Issa testified he was told.

When Chongo failed to carry out the shooting, Issa was ordered to a meeting by Garcia. There Issa was violated, suffering fractured ribs and bruises in the attack, he testified.

Issa then followed through on the order to have Chongo violated. The March 2006 beating was captured by a video camera hidden by agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in a gang hangout with the help of an informant within the Latin Kings.

The lights in the courtroom in the Dirksen U.S. Courthouse were turned off Thursday as the black-and-white footage played.

As the punches accelerated — with some of the gang members landing blows with both arms — the victim can be heard grunting and groaning. At one point as the beating stopped, Issa called out, “Don’t stop, don’t stop,” he acknowledged in court.

Under cross-examination, attorneys for the four reputed gang leaders repeatedly asked Issa about his extensive criminal history and his hopes of receiving a break in his sentence for his cooperation. He also admitted that when he went to the hospital for medical care after his violation, he lied about his legal name to avoid paying the bill.

Nishay Sanan, one of the lawyers, pointed out that Issa lied for a “benefit” at the hospital and then asked him: “You’re also asking the government to give you a benefit here, right?”

Continue to Video >>

  • Csi_squirrle_max600_1__max50


    over 3 years ago


    Did anyone else notice. They started this event by sucker punching him. They can't even beat down one of their own like men. What a bunch of cowards.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago

    No feelings of sorrow for any of them gang banger punks even the one who was beat.

  • Img00074_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Nothing new here plus this video is a few years old. Actually that violation is really soft compared to others I've seen.

  • Imag0190_max50


    over 3 years ago


    I like where your head is at alexy.

  • Joefriday_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Next time hang a claymore instead of a camera and save us all some work.

  • Picture_008_max50


    over 3 years ago


    That looked like a initiation to me if they were punishing him they would have done worse....

  • Ralphie_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Let them kill each other...... no tears here....

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago


    Have you notice that criminal realize that law enforcement has very limited authority, to the point they often feel like they can't do anythng to me. Even with this Homeland Security I realize police officers have very little authority. Unfortunatley criminal appear to have very little respect for their position. Criminal would just as well beat down a cop just as they would a citizen. In many cases the criminal would only receive a minor sentence if he or she received that. Playing devil advocate now is a good time to be a criminal. I remember witnessessing a situation were a person was being assaulted, the police did detained the who assaulted but told the assaultee if he want to press charges he must drive to the magastrate office. If you are a youth commiting crimes, trust me when I say law enforcement really can't do a dam thing to them. Just try it, the the victim advocate squads will jump in so fast that officer would have to watch the even in slow motion to see where it started and ended. It a system that work like lawyers suing. The officers is professional and has a record of credibility but it appear that the system is trying to find a way to convict him to prove he was wrong. This happen in law enforcement, human service, social service. Do you wonder sometimes why people don't want to help others, why less people have a desire to go in the help people field. With the American financial system in dissary, unless the they can get some money out of the criminal he would may walk free. Look at california. A person using drugs and the officer say let it go because it would only be thrown out of court and the criminal know this. Society is willing to over look a lot and even make them illlegal thing legal especially is their is money to gained from it. I praise you people in law enforcement and various element of human and social service.

  • Img_3413_sq90_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Remember what's not new to LE, the everyday citizen has NO clue about this and when they hear about it refuse to believe it unless they see it for themselves. Sad thing is there may be some jurors who still wil refuse to believe what they see. Hopefully this jury will do the right thing and lock them up.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago

    Nothing new here. Even with doing the beating where they did.

  • Big_bad_pig_max50


    over 3 years ago


    I agree with Young, this has been documented for years. Interesting how they went through a "pat down" first though.

  • Academyrun_014_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Pretty disgusting. At least it was one of their own this time and not some innocent victim on the street.

  • John_groh_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Bunch of stinking cowards. Wonder how they would do one on one. It is amazing that that guy didn't die from that beating. I can't believe that he got up and walked away just to get beaten more.

  • 012_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Im glad they were able to get this caught on film but I fail to see how this is anything new. They are all a bunch of violent animals that need to be locked up

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