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Latin gangs in the Chicago metropolitan area have reportedly been patrolling and protecting their own communities to keep looters, rioters and other dregs of society away.
The video below shows alleged members of the Latin Kings gang standing outside in groups, warning outsiders to stay out of their community.
Watch (*Graphic content warning):
“If nobody got s–t to do, don’t come out here. Stay home. We ain’t letting nobody in this b—h,” the alleged gang member holding the camera says around the 1:25 mark.
Shortly afterward, a shootout breaks out, though it’s unclear who was involved. Was it looters and rioting shooting at them, or vice versa? It’s hard to tell.
Below is an apparent compilation of footage showing Latin gang members in various parts of Chicago defending their respective communities.
These gang members’ attempts at self-defense and self-preservation haven’t rubbed off well on everybody, including Shapearl Wells, a black woman.
While en route to the Chicago suburb of Cicero to visit her sister on Monday, Wells was approached by “about 20 to 25 Latin Kings,” she told the Chicago Sun-Times the next day.
“I rolled down my window and they told me I would only be OK if I go in the house and stayed inside,” she said.
She later complained to the authorities about the gang members once she arrived at her cousin’s place, but they reportedly did nothing.
She also claims the gang members called her sister a “n—-r b—h.”
During a press conference held Tuesday by Cicero Police Supt. Jerry Chlada Jr., Wells joined other locals to again kvetch about the gangs’ activities.
“During a night of unrest in Cicero that left two people dead, some residents say police officers allowed Latino gangs to patrol the community with bats and crowbars to fend off looters,” the Sun-Times reported.
“There also were reports on TV and social media of business owners on rooftops with assault rifles and other guns ready to prevent destruction of their businesses. And some residents accuse Latino gang members of targeting African Americans driving on Cermak Road.”
Confronted by these reports Tuesday, Chlada denied claims that he’d purposefully been letting Latin gangs roam free throughout Cicero, but Wells wasn’t convinced.
“I called you guys and told you what was going on. You all knew this was happening and you know it. You have to stop this now,” she reportedly told him.
It’s not clear why she and other locals are angrier at these Latin gangs for trying to protect their communities than they are with the people looting and rioting.
Below is another video compilation from the Chicago area:
The gangs have been accused of harassing innocent black people, but in a statement to the entertainment news website Your Content, lifetime Latin Kings member Joshua Atfair disputed the allegation.
“Look, I’m a Latin King from Little Village. We didn’t target no one. We only attacked looters because Latin Kings own the businesses on 26th Street. As far as the rest of Chicago, I don’t know,” he said.
“I was out there and no Latin Kings targeted any black people. We only beat up looters. I speak for all the Kings when I say #BlackLivesMatter. But keep that looting shit out that way.”
While the Kings’ efforts don’t appear to be receiving much fanfare from some people, others seem to be highly appreciative of them.
Latin Kings & Two Six Thank You For Protecting The Hood . . Lil Village Is Full Of Small Businesses Own By Hard Working Immigrants!
— La Fina 🥀 (@MichoacanaFina) May 31, 2020
— mariana ♡ (@hexbags) May 31, 2020
Written by Hersh Mosqueda
Thank you to the CPD 10th district, the Latin Kings, & the Two Six for standing up to looters and protecting Little Village small businesses, most which are owned by hard working immigrants! #NotInOurNeighborhood #LittleVillage #LaVillita #GodBlessUs
— Mán Cub (@mancubvillage) May 31, 2020
I never thought I would appreciate a gang existing. I wish all the gangs in every city would stand up and protect like Latin Kings.
— Devon (@devondassaw) June 1, 2020
The Latin Kings and The Two Six are protecting their Community (Little Village). You can protest all you want but they will not allow looting!!!
— Armando Martinez (@ArmandMartin16) June 2, 2020
The Latin Kings are trying to protect Little Village. A community with small businesses and a large Hispanic/Latino population. People are out here looting and we won’t have that shit happen. Don’t spin the narrative.
— NopalFleur (@LupeLozano20) June 1, 2020
Chlada has for his part said he doesn’t want the gangs to intervene.
“We are asking every Cicero resident to not to be involved with taking law into their own hands. Allow us to handle any criminal activity and to remain in their homes,” he reportedly said at Tuesday’s briefing.
It remains to be seen whether the gangs will stop intervening. They might be more inclined to if the police would just do their jobs …
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