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StreetCreds is a look inside the world of street gangs and the cops that work them.
I worked the street for many years before I entered the Gang Task Force, joining it with the idea that I could rise to the level of violence of any banger I encountered - a really stupid idea.
I wanted to "earn back" the respect of the citizens for the police; I grew up in this city, and I worked its streets the best way I knew how, feeling that I had a firsthand understanding of what the citizens were experiencing.
The increasing frustration at gang crimes, drive bys, robberies, never feeling safe with your kids in your own neighborhood - I wanted to do what I could to make that fear go away.
Once I was inside the task force, though, the reality was a rude awakening for me. The task force was poorly managed and staffed by detectives mostly out for themselves, and the internal politics made success incredibly difficult and almost impossible - almost, but not quite.
Witnessing bad cops, brutal crimes, and realizing the department had been compromised, the cost was much higher for me personally than I anticipated.
I left the unit two years later, severely broken, edgy, and dangerously damaged.
StreetCreds is the story of how all that came to be. Hold on for a reality check
~ Zach Hold on for a reality check
elite St. Pauls Golf and Country Club. We in the gang unit and patrol laughed hard about this: the rich country club members were actually eating food prepared by Wallace and served by Travis “Sandman” Vick, both from SPVG. The humor in this was way more than we could stand. We often joked about our arrogant Chief sitting in the dining room of the country club with his family, eating and talking his usual shit about “his guys” and “his department,” bragging about how he was personally making a
I’d collected in the CVL13 set. Side-by-side, the faxes and the police reports detailed cases we had on record of the two shootings and the searching of Oso’s house. I explained the nicknames of the people listed in the faxes and who they related to, as well as the fact that there was one person I didn’t have identified, named “Cisco.” It was a very complicated case, and it took a lot of explaining, and then re-explaining. Eventually, once the attorney understood the cases, I told him that I
nothing. The house was silent; no one moved, and no one said a word. I said quietly, “Who the fuck is gonna step up and face me one-on-one?” No one moved; they just stared at each other, then started talking to each other in Spanish. One guy said I was fucking crazy and that he wanted no part of this. Another one said that they should all rush me at once. When I heard that, I said in English, “I agree, you should fuckin’ rush me – who’s gonna die first?” I then yelled, “Come on,
information for money and drugs. Girls who worked the streets constantly told me stories of cops who had traded them being arrested for sexual favors, and in some cases cocaine for painkillers. I was getting really jaded. I didn’t trust anyone that I worked with, and no one in the system seemed legit. I trusted my own informants more than any cop I worked with; at the very least, I knew that I could prove they were honest, and I felt I knew what their agenda was about. Chapter 34 * *
sound of the street disappeared, and everything became quiet, like the way it sounds in the middle of a forest when the snow is falling: not just quiet, but sounds seemed to disappear. I looked at who I thought was Adam Medina, and his face morphed in front of me: he was not Adam Medina; he looked nothing like Adam. I had pulled some kid out of his car, gun to his head, and held him by the throat and scared the shit out of him - ready to kill his ass for nothing. He had a cell phone and was