When questioned about Bender not having any gang tattoos, Broberg explained that "the fact that he made a conscious decision not to get one — he understands what tattoos mean. So the lack of the tattoo actually, with that knowledge, strengthens" the case against him.

In other words, a lack of evidence is evidence. And there's more: Citing a Field Information Card showing that Bender was walking on Oakdale Avenue by himself at 4:30 p.m. on a Monday afternoon, Broberg said, "If he's by himself, the safest place for him to be would be in the Oakdale Mob territory, which is where he is at, and he is by himself."

On the day Bender was arrested for criminal threats, the inspector also testified, he was wearing red, the color associated with the Oakdale Mob: red boxers under his blue jeans and a red mohawk. It was the only time he was documented "wearing gang clothing." Bender shaved the mohawk soon after the arrest, though, telling an officer that he was concerned the hair color would link him to the gang. "When we are talking about him removing the red mohawk," Broberg stated, "he's saying others are trying to classify him or identify him as Oakdale."

Jacori Bender was 17 years old when police first affiliated him with Oakdale Mob. He was in state prison by the time he turned 20.
Courtesy of SF Police Department
Jacori Bender was 17 years old when police first affiliated him with Oakdale Mob. He was in state prison by the time he turned 20.
“If you’re charged with a gang-related offense,” says Public Defender Jeff Adachi, “you’re gonna get more time, you’re gonna be treated differently, and most importantly you’re gonna be subject to this second-class justice.”
“If you’re charged with a gang-related offense,” says Public Defender Jeff Adachi, “you’re gonna get more time, you’re gonna be treated differently, and most importantly you’re gonna be subject to this second-class justice.”

For prosecutors, proving a crime was "for the benefit of" a gang is a small hop from proving gang membership. Many crimes can be tied to gang motives. In a 2010 murder trial against alleged Central Divis Playas member Charles Heard, Assistant District Attorney Michael Swart argued that Heard killed a man to keep from "losing face" with the gang after the victim resisted Heard's robbery attempt. In a pending murder case against William Jones, prosecutors are claiming that Jones' robbery of his victim benefitted the 2Rock gang because he split his profits with several co-conspirators who were also suspected gang members.

In his closing arguments, Mark Guillory, the assistant district attorney who tried the case, told the jury that Bender had a gun "for the benefit of" the gang because "when a gang member has a gun, not only is he individually carrying that gun, but he's carrying the gun for the gang. Meaning if one gang member is with five and rivals come about to do a drive-by, someone like Jacori Bender can fire back and protect not only himself, but can protect the territory and the gang."

The jury agreed, convicting Bender on the gun possession and enhancement charges (he was acquitted of the theft charge). That's two strikes. The judge sentenced him to four years in state pen, two for the weapon, plus two more for the gang. When Bender leaves prison, anyone seen with him will be seen associating with a validated Oakdale Mob gang member.

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10 comments
patfan34
patfan34

"But at what point do you have to stop making excuses for him and say, 'Jacori, what are you doing?"

 

So the solution for a wake-up call is to send him to state prison to mingle with actual criminals for four years? Seems like a fine system that we have going here.

SuperWittySmitty
SuperWittySmitty

I guess things here in NYC are very different and also very familiar, in the end. What gets me as the most powerful and the most dangerous: this wanna-be attitude. A huge portion of our urban youth will have to continuously struggle to find success and chances are they will never be part of the "real" gangster lifestyle  and enjoy all the of the perks that come with the status. Yet this desire to at least acquire the trappings of gang life and then flaunt your "achievements" to your neighbors seems to be enough for many, but it also comes with a lifetime of growing resentment when they realize was it and there's no more coming. 

Hodor
Hodor

If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, quacks like a duck.... well, it may NOT be a duck because ducks don't have gang tattoos....nice argument, you boob!

JIPB
JIPB

I think the author forgot to mention that when Bender was arrested in the Cuts, officer Gonzales must have found a loaded gun that someone in Bender's group of friends threw away given the charges.   Tough to arrest someone on those charges without an actual gun.  Oops.

DOOLEY
DOOLEY

SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL HELLS ANGELS MC FRISCO AND OAKLAND.

Antonio J. Solano
Antonio J. Solano

Just because they're not organized and don't have jump ins doesn't mean they aren't a gang. He isn't some kid hanging out. He knows who he's with where he's at and what thats all about. He's not innocent at all.

SF Weekly
SF Weekly

Marlon, thanks for letting us know. The link should now be working correctly.

Marlon Crump
Marlon Crump

Actually it might just be something with the computer terminal Im at. Great article!

Marlon Crump
Marlon Crump

I tried to read this story online, but it appears that your site might have be under attack by some virus.

hplovecraft
hplovecraft

"...and enjoy all the perks that come with the status." ??!!

You most assuredly are liberal...

 
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