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Kilmartin Responds to Hodgson on RICO Gang Initiative

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

 

RI Attorney General Peter Kilmartin

Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Kilmartin has responded to State Senator and Republican candidate for Attorney General Dawson Hodgson's proposal that state prosecutors use his “RICO Gang Initiative" to fight gang violence.

Statement from Kilmartin's Office

“The suggestion to use the RICO law in this way is not new, and the use of federal and state RICO laws to address gang violence has been discussed by this office and other law enforcement officials for several years.  Although the RICO law has been a very successful tool in the efforts to prosecute organized crime, RICO investigations are generally the result of proactive, long term and labor intensive investigations involving multiple law enforcement agencies.  Because RICO investigations require significant police resources, law enforcement agencies are critical partners in the decision whether their often limited resources are best used in such an effort. 
 
In reality, violation of the RICO statute it is not simply a charge that the Attorney General, or any prosecutor, adds to an existing case.   Under Rhode Island law, the term “racketeering activity” is specifically defined and requires more than simply gang membership.  In addition, the Rhode Island RICO statute requires the receipt of income derived from a racketeering activity. Because of that limitation, it is more limited than federal law. Rest assured, however, that police and prosecutors are already well aware of the potential use of federal and state RICO statutes.
 
Recognizing that RICO is one tool that can be used to combat gang violence, but looking to develop additional prosecutorial options, Attorney General Kilmartin this year proposed a new sentencing enhancement statute for individuals who are convicted of a felony and are found to be associated with a criminal street gang.   This new law allows for prosecutors to seek an additional 10 years to serve for any person who is convicted of any felony that is knowingly committed for the benefit, at the direction of, or in association with any criminal street gang.
 
The law, in combination with seeking strict criminal penalties for the underlying criminal acts, will provide for harsher penalties for anyone whose motivation to commit crimes comes from their loyalty to a criminal organization, and whose disregard for public safety has resulted in numerous deaths and serious injuries, particularly from gun violence.  And, it will hopefully deter vulnerable youths from joining a criminal gang.”
 

 

Related Slideshow: Providence’s Most Violent Neighborhoods

Each week, the Providence Police Department releases its "Weekly Crime Comparison Report" on its website. The breakdown covers how many crimes have occured in the past week, past month, and year to date in each Police District and comparing them with the same time interval from the year prior, reflecting changes in crime rates. GoLocal has distilled the key data points from this weeks report to reflect YTD crime data grouped by general category- violent, property, other, and total. For the full report as filed by the PPD, click here

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#9: District 9

College Hill, Wayland Square, Fox Point

Violent Crimes Reported (YTD)

2013: 35

2012: 53

Property Crimes Reported (YTD)

2013: 597

2012: 630

Other Crimes Reported (YTD)

2013: 183

2012: 218

Total Crimes Reported (YTD)

2013: 815

2012: 901

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#8: District 8

Mount Hope, Hope, Blackstone

Violent Crimes Reported (YTD)

2013: 36

2012: 40

Property Crimes Reported (YTD)

2013: 596

2012: 531

Other Crimes Reported (YTD)

2013: 226

2012: 212

Total Crimes Reported (YTD)

2013: 858

2012: 783

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#7: District 3

Reservoir, South Elmwood, Washington Park

Violent Crimes Reported (YTD)

2013: 63

2012: 67

Property Crimes Reported (YTD)

2013: 443

2012: 452

Other Crimes Reported (YTD)

2013: 311

2012: 305

Total Crimes Reported (YTD)

2013: 817

2012: 824

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#6: District 1

Downtown

Violent Crimes Reported (YTD)

2013: 79

2012: 94

Property Crimes Reported (YTD)

2013: 1116

2012: 1118

Other Crimes Reported (YTD)

2013: 563

2012: 580

Total Crimes Reported (YTD)

2013: 1758

2012: 1792

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#5: District 6

Mount Pleasant, Manton, Elmhurst

Violent Crimes Reported (YTD)

2013: 128

2012: 116

Property Crimes Reported (YTD)

2013: 829

2012: 885

Other Crimes Reported (YTD)

2013: 531

2012: 559

Total Crimes Reported (YTD)

2013: 1488

2012: 1560

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#4: District 7

Charles, Wanskuck, Smith Hill

Violent Crimes Reported (YTD)

2013: 172

2012: 183

Property Crimes Reported (YTD)

2013: 1143

2012: 1092

Other Crimes Reported (YTD)

2013: 784

2012: 813

Total Crimes Reported (YTD)

2013: 2099

2012: 2088

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#3: District 4

Federal Hill, West End

Violent Crimes Reported (YTD)

2013: 173

2012: 188

Property Crimes Reported (YTD)

2013: 1082

2012: 1085

Other Crimes Reported (YTD)

2013: 755

2012: 919

Total Crimes Reported (YTD)

2013: 2010

2012: 2192

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#2: District 5

Olneyville, Silver Lake, Hartford

Violent Crimes Reported (YTD)

2013: 206

2012: 189

Property Crimes Reported (YTD)

2013: 911

2012: 865

Other Crimes Reported (YTD)

2013: 758

2012: 724

Total Crimes Reported (YTD)

2013: 1875

2012: 1778

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#1: District 2

Upper South Providence, Lower South Providence, Elmwood

Violent Crimes Reported (YTD)

2013: 213

2012: 188

Property Crimes Reported (YTD)

2013: 966

2012: 964

Other Crimes Reported (YTD)

2013: 841

2012: 910

Total Crimes Reported (YTD)

2013: 2020

2012: 2062

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Citywide

Violent Crimes Reported (YTD)

2013: 1121

2012: 1135

Property Crimes Reported (YTD)

2013: 7738

2012: 7714

Other Crimes Reported (YTD)

2013: 5017

2012: 5296

Total Crimes Reported (YTD)

2013: 13876

2012: 14145

 
 

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