Wednesday, December 19, 2007

2007 Santa Ana Shootings

Red Marker: Homicide | Yellow Marker: Shooting | Blue Marker: Shots Fired

Click Here to View Larger Map with Incident Details

This time of year, people like to write Christmas cards and make plans for New Year's Eve. I like to make interactive maps of tragic events that take place in this gang-infested town.

I'm still missing data from January through April, as well as the month of June, but I wanted to give you all an early Christmas present.

Creating this map was a very interesting learning experience. Here are a few things that I concluded about gang activity in Santa Ana while working on this project:

  1. Even if you claim "nothing", you'll probably still get shot.

  2. Bangers use all means of transportation to get their job done (Cars, bicycles, own two feet, although, I'd be really surprised to hear about a banger on roller skates).

  3. Black SUV's tailgating you usually means bad news.

  4. No one ever knows exactly how many gunshots were fired when asked by police.

  5. Descriptions of suspects are always too vague.

  6. You are more likely to be shot between the hours of 3PM-2AM in Santa Ana.

So yeah, Santa Ana is in dire need of a renaissance, but hope needs to begin with the people. And for these folks, hope maybe what they need to stop shooting at each other.


Black Santa said...

Well done Ben!

It's really a shame we can't get SAPD to do something like this for us, the taxpayers. We spend a ton of money in this city on data services and collection and I have yet to figure out what happens to it.

When asked about crime and recent activities they (city employees) never seem to have an articulate or accurate answers. It seems like they are simply flushing $ into some civil service black hole.

You have just proved that it isn't really about money, it's all about desire and a litlle bit of knowledge.

While you and your neighbors may not be happy residents right now, some of us oldtimers are thankful for you being here and for taking a stand!

Nightlife said...

Nice work Ben! It really helps to be able to see it laid out like this.
Not so very long ago there would have been a lot more action on the West end of the city.
Even though some of those areas are dense, I think the gang injunction had a lot to do with quahing some of the gang violence. A citywide injunction, or a series of targeted ones for the city's most gang infested areas might help.
Maybe SAPD should have a look at this map and figure out where to target an injunction next.

Anonymous said...

How about a restraining order on gang members from even being allowed to be in Santa Ana?

If somebody is considered a danger to people at a particular address, a judge could rule that they are not allowed to be within so many feet of that particular address.

Kev said...

As a person concerned for the safety of the public, I have to recommend closed-circuit survelliance setup around troubled areas and areas of high density. I spent many weeks in London and was amazed that at any given moment, you're in sight of two cameras. While their population generally has a greater value on social etiquette and people are more akin to helping each other out, crime and especially violent crimes are suppressed. CC cameras would not only work as a general deterrence, but would aid as a primary tool in investigations. However, the drawbacks I see are three-fold:
1) expense of setup and monitoring (higher taxes or budget cuts to other needed services)
2) we love our Constitution and our sense of freedom (even though our freedoms are actually limited).
3) we have good reason (history) to distrust out government and fear they may abuse such a power.

While this may seem like a good idea, this does not address the root of the problem; being why do people commit crimes in the first place? Gang intervention, social cohesion, community unity, morale, education, and raising the quality of living are all necessary elements to help people stay away from crime.

The idea to ignore the root of the problem just leads to more social strain, frustration, crime, and more authoritarian law enforcement...which sucks the city dry of non-recirculating expense (jails, prisons, and overbooked court hearings DO NOT generate revenue [although it's $$$ for the security industry]).

I've had a pretty extensive education in sociology (emphasis on social control and deviance) and have adopted a moderate-liberal view. I know there is no "cure-all" solution and it may seem a little idealistic, but I can guarantee it's better than the alternative of doing nothing about it or continuing the current route (is there really a difference?).

The Mad Macedonian said...


What a powerful message this sends.

Thanks for all the effort you put into it.

I lived in Pomona, in the 70's, 80's, and 90's, when the Gangs were really, really bad, and of 2 races.

Too bad Google Maps was still a dream back then.

Pomona survived the worse the gangs had to offer it, thanks to the vision, and tenacity of politicians, AND concerned citizens, hispanic, black, and white, who did what they could to improve the city.

As hard as it might be to envision, Santa Ana can do the same.