There is a number of major criminal incidents that have taken place in California over the years. The gathering of great wealth in such a concentrated area means that there are a number of criminal organizations that are looking to take advantage of the easy money that is available.
The State has also been home to huge numbers of migrants that have arrived into the big cities. Both these legal, and illegal, immigrants have initially headed to the poorer parts of the city, and have joined with people who have arrived from the same areas that they have come from.
This has resulted in young people forming their own affiliations and gangs in the inner city areas. The activities of these gangs has meant that certain neighborhoods in California are extremely dangerous for outsiders to visit, and this is reflected in the State’s crime statistics.
In 2014 there were 1700 murders in California, of which an estimated 30% were gang-related. There are around 120,000 gang members in the state belonging to 1,350 different gangs. The gangs tend to contain either black or Hispanic members with the leaders depending on those young people who are raised in poverty.
The most infamous gangs are the Cripps and the Bloods, which are full of African American members, and the Latino dominated 18th Street Gang. While the gangs maybe somewhat different in some areas, they are similar in of their activities and their attitudes.
They rule their neighborhoods by fear, with families often supply different generations of members to the gangs. They control the drugs supply and many of their members will be addicts, making their willingness to perform criminal acts more likely. These gangs own huge arsenals of weapons and are prepared to fight to the death to protect their areas.
Often conflicts between the gangs can often stem from petty squabbles and this was certainly the case with the high profile murders of the celebrity Tupac and the notorious Mr B.I.G. No one has ever been charged with either murder despite a number of costly investigations. The murder was definitely as a result of tension between the bloods and the Crips and they were intensified by rumors aired in public and on the radio.
The battle to uncover the truth has been thwarted by the complete lack of desire of anybody to co-operate with the police. The fear that spreads through the gang areas has resulted in no one being brave enough to come forward and tell the truth.
There have been a number of celebrities who have got themselves into trouble with the police and there was no bigger case than the OJ Simpson affair. Police found the bodies of Simpson’s ex-wife Nicole Brown and her friend Ron Goldman outside her home stabbed to death in 1994.
Immediately Simpson came under suspicion but did not hand himself in. A low speed car chase occurred through the streets of Los Angeles that was televised to 95 million viewers. At his subsequent trial in 1995, his star-spangled defense team got him acquitted as a result of the mistakes that the police made in collecting evidence.
In 1997 a civil law suit found him responsible for both deaths and he was ordered to pay 33.5 million US dollars in punitive damages to both families. Other celebrities like Boy George, George Michael and Charlie Sheen have also found themselves on the wrong side of the law and the state is often at the center of headlines that it doesn’t really seek.