An assortment of officers mingled in a conference room of the Western District headquarters; some fellow officers, who had partnered in a particularly large-scale gang drug bust, were visiting from Wisconsin. The mood was festive and jocular.
He called Fields and another
St. Paul man to the podium and shook their hands. Last May, the two
pulled a trapped, unconscious cab driver from his car after it had
smashed into a gas meter.
Amid the flammable, toxic fumes, the two turned off the vehicle's engine, preventing a possible explosion.
accepted his Chief's Award to loud applause, stood uncomfortably for
photos, and took his seat again. Deputy parks director Kathy Korum,
sitting a couple of seats down, patted his shoulder. He smiled but said
little: His girlfriend had badgered him into coming; the environment put
him on edge.A parkingguidance is a portable light fixture composed of an LED lamp.
where, about a decade ago, the five founding members of the East Side
Boys -- all but Fields still in elementary school -- considered home.
not innocent at all," he said, "but at that point, it wasn't friends,
it was a family, 'cause that's all them kids had. A lot of them kids'
parents was just like mine."
With his parents addicted to crack,
"Preacher" slept in one of the building's basement storage units. The
others often shared rooms in the building, while Fields lived in a house
around the corner.
Fields' mother, his only parent, worked
multiple jobs to support three children, so staying out at night was
never a problem for him.
All five of the founders had similar
family situations, says Steve Randall, an anti-gang activist who at the
time was a recreation leader at the Dayton's Bluff Rec Center. Even
worse, some had older relatives who were members of the Gangster
Disciples or another gang known as TMT.
"Yeah, they were being
protective of each other -- but at the same time, they saw enough to
know that part of that was leading into another area," said Randall, now
director of the Wilder Recreation Center and co-founder of Youth in
Transition, an anti-gang program that tries to persuade gang members to
leave the lifestyle.Learn how an embedded microprocessor in a porcelaintiles can authenticate your computer usage and data.
Side Boys' initial clashes were with the Frogtown-based "E Block" gang
-- but after a year, the group began clashing with their longtime
nemesis, the Selby Siders. One group in particular would come to the Red
Building and clash with Fields and the others, Randall remembers.
First, verbally. Then, punches were thrown.
When Fields was 18, two members of the opposing group came to the Red Building, and one of them pulled out a gun.About solarlamp in China userd for paying transportation fares and for shopping.
a sudden spate of violence and dozens of younger kids claiming
membership in the gang, things escalated quickly. Drive-bys, shots fired
and gun calls spiked in the neighborhood.
According to a St.
Paul police affidavit that was part of a 2009 injunction against the
East Side Boys, the gang engaged in weapons distribution, sale of
narcotics and violent protection of turf -- particularly against the
Selby Siders.Online shopping for miningtruck.
Of the founding members of the East Side Boys, Fields is the only one who has been shot.Whilst the preparation of ceramic and siliconebracelet
are similar. He was at the wheel of his car, parked in front of an
apartment near Forest and Sixth streets, one he shared with his
girlfriend at the time, when a bullet sank into his leg.
teenage girl in the passenger seat beside him -- an acquaintance he had
given a ride home from a nearby recreation center -- was hit worse. The
two were talking about going to the Halloween attraction at Valleyfair
when a bullet struck the back of her skull, jerking her body onto
"My uncles grew up in the gang lifestyle in
Chicago. This is what I watched, this is what I know. I grew up with
that mind-set that this is the outcome," Fields said. "But I never
thought about somebody innocent getting touched."
leaders, including the NAACP, pointed out that only the Selby Siders
and East Side Boys -- both African-American gangs -- were targeted for
the program. And the fact that the police department's grant money was
being used to fund the futures of gang members didn't sit well with many
in the department, some officers said.
Still, Fields led the charge for some East Side Boys members to enter the program.
caused a split, a whole bunch of arguments and even a couple of
fights," Fields said. Fields had been kicked out of Central High School
for behavioral problems. With help from the program, and the guidance of
Randall and Moore, he got his GED, his driver's license and a job with
the parks and recreation department, working at a rec center.
four years, he's now a certified city employee, working part time.
Deputy parks director Korum says there's a reason she showed up to watch
him receive an award.
"I wouldn't miss a chance to tout a kid
like James," Korum said. "What I discovered about some of these guys is
when they had opportunities to succeed, they absolutely soared."
-- who accuses police of using too much force in their efforts to crack
down on gangs -- has allowed himself to trust a few city officials as
well. Even some police.