California gang database rife with errors

August 15, 2016

CalGangLaw enforcement agencies entered the names of 42 people in a state gang database when the alleged gangsters were under 2 years old, according to findings of a recent audit. The audit revealed that the CalGang database contained numerous errors, including alleged violations of privacy rights. [LA Times]

Approximately 150,000 names of suspected gang members are currently entered in the CalGang database, a state-funded project. Of the individuals entered, 64.9 percent are Latino, 20.5 percent are black and 93.1 percent are male.

Officers have used the database for decades to to examine suspected gang ties and affiliations. CalGang is overseen by an executive board and advisory committee consisting of local law enforcement officials. The audit conducted by State Auditor Elaine Howle noted there is almost no transparency or scrutiny of the management of the database.

Of the 42 alleged gang members whose names were entered in the database when they were under 2 years old, 28 were described as “admitting to being gang members,” according to the audit.

Auditors also found more than 600 individuals in the database who should have been purged because their files had not been updated within five years. Many of those individuals were not scheduled to be purged for more than 100 years.

A sample of data from the Los Angeles and Santa Ana police departments, as well as the Santa Clara and Sonoma County sheriff’s departments, revealed the law enforcement agencies could not substantiate the CalGang entries they made. That demonstrated weakness in the process for entering, evaluating and auditing data in CalGang, the audit states.

LAPD and Santa Ana police failed to fully implement a 2014 law requiring agencies to notify juveniles and their parents before entering the juveniles’ names in the gang database, according to the audit. In 70 percent of the cases, Los Angeles and Santa police did not provide proper notification.

The Los Angeles, Santa Ana and Sonoma County law enforcement agencies disputed findings in the audit, particularly the allegations that they failed to comply with state guidelines and privacy rights.

LAPD Deputy Chief Matt Blake said the allegations might harm public trust in law enforcement. Blake also praised the LAPD gang detail officers for their ability to identify gang members.

Peter Bibring, the director of police practices at the California ACLU, described CalGang as an ineffective tool.

CalGang is an ineffective tool full of inaccuracies that results in violations of people’s rights,” Bibring said.

In response to the auditors findings, Howle recommended there be a new oversight structure for CalGang that is administered by the California Department of Justice. Auditors also recommended conducting public hearings and adopting new requirements for entering, reviewing and sharing information in the database. Likewise, auditors called for police agencies statewide to complete comprehensive reviews of their entries.



  1. non_sequitur says:

    Cops being cops

    (-5) 13 Total Votes - 4 up - 9 down
  2. jana says:

    I wondered why Ramona Voge left LAPD abrubtly, soon followed by her husband Jim, a commander with LAPD.

    According to deputies, Parkinson was so in love with Jim Voge he bent the civil service rules to make him a full time commander; over sergeants who had 20+ years with the sheriff’s department.

    As for the gang data base I am not surprised it is inaccurate. When some new program is rolled out everybody wants to be the top performer, especially when money and chief’s egos are involved.

    (11) 11 Total Votes - 11 up - 0 down
  3. Scott says:

    Add more to the list are the recent arrest of Senior Special Agent for the FBI’s New York Field office who had a TOP SECRET clearance was Agent Kun Shan Chun a US Citizen was found guilty of aiding and abetting the enemies of the United States, he is the 7th such agent this year alone caught with his hands in the selling of American Secrets, yet for years he was a Special Agent accessing more than the National Intelligence data bases. Then to think we have sent over 1,000+ special agents, operatives, covert and clandestine officers to the RIO Olympics to assist in protection as of this week 87 were found to be on the INTERPOL watch list.

    When i was last in Colombia to assist with “PLAN COLOMBIA” we were suppose to have no more than 850 para-military and sheep dipped agents in Colombia, well while meeting at “Club El Nogal” in Bogota we found listed over 1,543 US operatives all in violation of US Policy and Laws for our involvement in Plan Colombia.

    I firmly believe we need legal, ethical, honest intelligence officers many who risk their lives of our great nation but we must be forthcoming and honest with intelligence and the list and units we are suppose to assist and use for our protection, not corruption and padding there pockets.

    I testified under oath more than once before Congress Oversight committees and in Federal Grand Juries which all wee suppose to be “Secret” but when it came to revealing corruption they wanted to hush up the abuses. My Commanding LTG Eugene Tighe ( Former DIA Director) even testified about me and that is now public , the military and civilian units are not suppose to snoop, spy or work inside the USA borders only outside, now many are working with Law Enforcement all for the wrong reasons. I still have the “Summer Johnson” list of our local’s.

    “Yea shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free”

    (2) 2 Total Votes - 2 up - 0 down
  4. Scott says:

    Any sort of “Gang” “Criminal” “Summer Johnson” lists are all filed with fake, false and many are used as (Probable Cause) claims to obtain bogus warrants, conduct raids, make false arrests and so many more.

    Here are a few we used and all ended up being wrongly used:
    PDID (Public Disorder Intelligence Division) LAPD settled massive lawsuits and was taken down.
    (OCCIB) Organized Crime Criminal Intelligence Bureau, Calif. DOJ
    (CNIN) California Narcotics Intelligence Network, Calif. State DOJ
    (BET) Biker Enforcement Team of which I worked over 10 years in until it was “Disbanded”
    (CCGIA) Gilroy, CA Central Coast Gang Investigators Association
    (SLONET) San Luis Obispo Narcotics Enforcement Team formerly before COry Pierce arrest was aka NTF/GTF/SID and more.
    (WSIN) Western States Intelligence Network
    (EPIC) El Paso Intelligence Center
    (LEIU) Law Enforcement Intelligence Unit, also I was part of with many other agencies
    (ISA) Intelligence Support Activity another one i was a part of until it was closed by Gen. Odom
    (MTF-CCC) Mellaine PCI Muslim Task Force Central Coast California-PCI=Paid Confidential Informant.
    (SAD) Special Activities Division
    (NCS) National Clandestine Service
    (DCS) Defense Clandestine Service
    (HIDTA) High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area ( SLO CA is #2)
    (OMG) Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs data bases are full of wrong intelligence and fake names
    These are just a few of the over 147 different Intelligence/Gang/Crime units operating all over California who many have access to place names etc on a very wide range of computer data bases without any facts or legal foundations.

    When I was assisting the PDID unit with Lt. Kilgo, Officer Jay Paul and others it was formerly known as the RED Team, later they were sued settled. One person who was fired from LAPD is R. Voge who’s husband is now a contract IA investigator with the SLO Sheriffs office Jim Voge.

    I could go on naming over another 97+ data bases and units that have falsified input into the Police Information and Intelligence network most were and are made up. There in all 58 California counties a county Intelligence network many have no proper (TNG) or knowledge of what they are doing, other than snooping and spying on innocent people. These don’t include the many other Federal, State, Cities all over the state who have access to place false information and fake intelligence into the network.

    If the San Luis Obispo “Summer Johnson” phony task force FB published all 1,432 names and businesses publicly many names, businesses we all know would be exposed from local Judges, Lawyers, elected officials, civic leaders, local political figures and so much more.

    These Alphabet Soup organizations as we call them have NO oversight NO accountability and certainly no legal or ethical bases for doing the snooping and spying on the public. Much like the 1972 KNAPP Commission or the Church/Pike Hearings on corruption, misconduct and out right lies . We should all be concerned about Public Corruption and misconduct because it is here and growing.

    Several years ago, I turned in a select member of the (FBI’s Phoneix JTTF) Special Agent Charles Jackson whom i worked with in Arizona when he transferred from the SF FPS due to corruption, he joined the FBI’ elite JTTF where i again reported him to OPR and US Attorney General’s office he was finally indicted, arrested, fired, convicted and sent to Federal Prison for a very short time. But it takes honest, ethical people to stand for the truth and Justice.

    Just the recent arrests of FBI agents, Police Chiefs, Asst. Police Chiefs, Elected Sheriffs, Under-sheriffs , Police officers state wide is now at an all time high, yet more need to be prosecuted.

    (13) 17 Total Votes - 15 up - 2 down
  5. jimmy_me says:

    This problem can only be solved by tossing a lot of money at it.

    (8) 8 Total Votes - 8 up - 0 down
  6. ShootTheMessenger says:

    If you get on the CalGang list do you get a card?

    Are you on the ‘no fly’ list or do you get free upgrades because nobody wants to sit next to you?

    Do you get discounts on firearms and tattoos?

    Do they have a loyalty program since you joined at 2 years old?

    Can you join on your own or do you have to be endorsed?

    Do you have to live in California to be on the list?

    Do you get to have lunch with the Mayor of Santa Maria?

    (15) 23 Total Votes - 19 up - 4 down
  7. mej says:

    Probably just using technology from The Minority Report.

    (10) 12 Total Votes - 11 up - 1 down
  8. dogeatdog says:

    How many of these gang members live in Santa Maria? And I think it Santa Maria you are born into the gang so 2 years old and a gang member, eh not so hard to believe.

    What a waste of tax money on this database, why not spend the money to get all the child molesters listed instead of gang members. I think gang members are easier to identify than molesters.

    (2) 18 Total Votes - 10 up - 8 down
    • L.A.RamsFan says:

      Child molesters are “listed” on their own database (Google “Megan’s Law”) and are kept by state, county and city as a matter of law.

      “…you are born into the gang so 2 years old and a gang member, eh not so hard to believe.” Really? Why so? Being born “of” a gang member doesn’t necessarily mean being a gang member, especially at two years old. But it’s attitudes like yours that may have an affect on a person making that decision later on in life (why not become one when you’re already considered one by birth right).

      ” I think gang members are easier to identify than molesters.” How so? Because of tattoos, a different look, or maybe just because they’re Hispanic or African American? I’ll take you to a few places where some of the most notorious and ruthless gang members in this country don’t look any different then a conservative bank president would, only the suit comes off at meetings and runs.

      Perception can be good, but not in this case…

      (-13) 25 Total Votes - 6 up - 19 down
      • dogeatdog says:

        glad you understand sarcasm

        (4) 4 Total Votes - 4 up - 0 down
        • L.A.RamsFan says:

          I can’t believe it! Someone who takes the “Trump Sarcasm Dodge” when explaining his or her obvious lack of knowledge on such subjects. Amazing!

          As the poster “Scott” said:

          “Any sort of “Gang” “Criminal” “Summer Johnson” lists are all filed with fake, false and many are used as (Probable Cause) claims to obtain bogus warrants, conduct raids, make false arrests and so many more.”

          With that in mind some of us would conclude the entering of a two year old’s name on this type of list wasn’t some sort of oversight or mistake; it was purposely done to dodge or completely ignore the rights of others.

          Maybe it was just a preemptive strike? Maybe we’ll see drone strikes next on suspected gang members with law enforcement telling us that the “collateral damage” was minimal and only included two year old’s that would have become gang members anyway. Why not? The militarization of our law enforcement agencies is in its infancy and as it grows (and grows, and grows, and…..)? The further we are isolated and removed from our “inalienable” rights! The presumption of innocence has all but disappeared, being replaced with bias and prejudice as an expedient replacement of “justice”…

          Over the weekend they released 16 more people from Guantanamo, of those some had been in custody for as long 14 years without being prosecuted let alone charged with any crime. Now they go back to the countries they are from where they are looked upon with suspicion and where some, if not all, will end up on a terrorists death list (I think that was the sole purpose of Guantanamo anyway…). Maybe the next step will be to call these two year old’s “enemy combatants”, ship them offshore somewhere and deny them their due process, equal protection and habeas corpus rights.

          The process of “Rights Reduction” started with the Patriot Act and only gets worse day-by-day….

          Will we hear your “sarcasm” then? Probably so…

          (-3) 11 Total Votes - 4 up - 7 down
      • Citizen says:

        You have a “politically correct problem”. In our area, you can often tell if one is a gang member by the MS-13 tattooed across the guy’s forehead.

        I’ve never heard of a pedophile arrested with PEDO tattooed on his/her face. Have you?

        Another case of “don’t believe your lying eyes”? You’re part of the problem, not the solution.

        (6) 8 Total Votes - 7 up - 1 down
        • L.A.RamsFan says:

          I’m politically correct? Don’t think so, Citizen! Being “politically correct” has more to do with location then the merit(s) of your opinion, right? This being the conservative neighborhood that it is I am anything but politically correct, right?

          Yes, a tattoo of MS-13 across the face is a drop-dead indicator of a gang member, but when was the last time you saw a two year old with that type of tattoo across their face? And yes I have seen a person or two with PEDO tattooed across their face(s) (no, I’ve never seen anyone arrested with PEDO tattooed across their face, but then again I’m not omnipotent…) , put their by their co-prisoners (personally I think THAT would be a great deterrent to anyone who would consider going down that path…).

          I don’t worry about being “politically correct”, especially since being so usually attests to an alignment to one party or another, which I am not.

          If I qualify as “part of the problem” does that mean you and those who think like you are “part of the solution”? How’s that going for you? Any real positive tangible results from your camp?

          (-6) 8 Total Votes - 1 up - 7 down

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