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By Ian Duncan, The Baltimore Sun | April 8, 2014
It's almost a year since federal authorities announced that Tavon White and the Black Guerrilla Family gang had corrupted the Baltimore City Detention Center from the inside out, and this week's New Yorker magazine has an expansive look at the case. Staff writer Jeffrey Toobin casts a close eye over the sexual dynamics in the jail, pointing to misogynistic ideas espoused by the BGF's founder in the 1960s, and repeated up by former Maryland gang leader Eric Brown. George Jackson, who founded the BGF in a California prison, was steeped in many of the left wing ideas popular in the 1960s, but he roundly rejected calls for women's rights and espoused polygamy as a way to care for women who would otherwise go unmarried, according to Toobin.
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NEWS
By Ian Duncan, The Baltimore Sun | April 22, 2014
A corrections officer at the Baltimore City Detention Center received a 30-month prison term Tuesday for her role in a wide-ranging drug smuggling plot hatched by members of the Black Guerrilla Family gang. Katrina Laprade, 32, pleaded guilty to a racketeering conspiracy charge in November and was sentenced the day before the anniversary of the initial indictment in the case being unsealed. Federal investigators found that inmates and the corrections officers worked together to smuggle drugs and cell phones into the downtown Baltimore jail.
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NEWS
By Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun | November 8, 2013
A handcuffed man escaped police custody during raids connected to Thursday's massive takedown of suspected Black Guerrilla Family gang members, police confirmed Friday. The suspect - who police identified as Tavon Lee, 23 - was not among the 48 people charged by prosecutors in the gang case, but was being sought by investigators and had been placed into custody during a raid in the 400 block of Pittman Pl. in Greenmount West, officials said. “Somehow he was able to elude police and fled the location,” said Sgt. Sarah Connolly.
NEWS
By Ian Duncan, The Baltimore Sun | April 8, 2014
It's almost a year since federal authorities announced that Tavon White and the Black Guerrilla Family gang had corrupted the Baltimore City Detention Center from the inside out, and this week's New Yorker magazine has an expansive look at the case. Staff writer Jeffrey Toobin casts a close eye over the sexual dynamics in the jail, pointing to misogynistic ideas espoused by the BGF's founder in the 1960s, and repeated up by former Maryland gang leader Eric Brown. George Jackson, who founded the BGF in a California prison, was steeped in many of the left wing ideas popular in the 1960s, but he roundly rejected calls for women's rights and espoused polygamy as a way to care for women who would otherwise go unmarried, according to Toobin.
NEWS
May 19, 2013
In regard to Tavon White's lifestyle ("Alleged gang leader in poor jail conditions, his lawyer says," May 15), his attorney says Mr. White can confer with him for only an hour and only through a glass screen. In addition to that unspeakable atrocity, he only has in his possession a jump suit, one pair of underwear, shower sandals and a sheet for his bed. Aw, my heart bleeds for the worthless thug. Katherine Ambrose, Kingsville
NEWS
By Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun | March 27, 2014
Police have charged a 27-year-old Baltimore man with the shooting of three people - one of whom died - in Brooklyn on Tuesday night, and allege in court documents that he is a member of the Black Guerrilla Family.  Laser Womack, 27 of the 2700 block of Round Rd., is charged with first-degree murder in the killing of Johniese Sheppard, 21, as well as two counts of attempted first-degree murder for shooting and wounding two others.  Detective Raymond...
NEWS
By Erin Cox and The Baltimore Sun | April 25, 2013
Allegations that a cabal of Black Guerrilla Family gang members effectively took over the Baltimore City Detention Center have prompted a rare out-of-session legislative hearing on the state's prison system. The House Judiciary Committee scheduled a May 8 public inquiry into the matter, according to committee members and staff.  The House Appropriations Committee, which oversees funding for the prison system, has been invited to attend the 1 p.m. meeting.  A federal indictment unsealed Tuesday alleged the BGF gang, under the leadership of inmate Tavon White, established a lucrative smuggling operation that involved corrupt female corrections officers.
NEWS
By Kevin Rector, The Baltimore Sun | May 8, 2013
Months before a federal indictment detailed allegations of corruption at the Baltimore City Detention Center, the smuggling and sexual improprieties at the core of that case had already been outlined in an inmate's lawsuit. Calvin Hemphill, in a handwritten civil complaint filed in federal court in July, alleged that fellow inmate Tavon White was a gang leader who held a startling degree of jailhouse power. Cellphones - illegal in the jail - were readily available to White, he held control over the jail's "working man" program, and he was able to come and go from his cell as he pleased, according to the court papers.
NEWS
By Kevin Rector, The Baltimore Sun | May 30, 2013
As Tyrone Brown sat in his jail cell at the Baltimore County Detention Center late last year, awaiting trial for the murder of a man in a Towson Town Center parking garage, he kept busy in part by smoking marijuana and memorizing contraband writings of the Black Guerrilla Family - the same gang prosecutors say he killed to become a part of. Meanwhile, Frank Williams, who helped Brown plot the 2011 mall attack and was arrested with a group of...
NEWS
By Carrie Wells, The Baltimore Sun | November 22, 2013
Baltimore police are asking for the public's assistance in finding one of 48 alleged members of the Black Guerrilla Family gang indicted earlier this month. Gerald Johnson, 31, is alleged to be a leader of the gang who authorized the murders of Gregory Rochester in 2007 and Moses Malone in May because he believed the men were cooperating with police. Johnson was unable to be found by police when they executed raids to arrest the suspected gang members two weeks ago. Police said he frequents the Greenmount Avenue corridor and that his last known address is in the 1500 block of Madison Ave., in the Madison Park neighborhood.
NEWS
By Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun | March 27, 2014
Police have charged a 27-year-old Baltimore man with the shooting of three people - one of whom died - in Brooklyn on Tuesday night, and allege in court documents that he is a member of the Black Guerrilla Family.  Laser Womack, 27 of the 2700 block of Round Rd., is charged with first-degree murder in the killing of Johniese Sheppard, 21, as well as two counts of attempted first-degree murder for shooting and wounding two others.  Detective Raymond...
NEWS
By Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun | March 16, 2014
Two men were convicted Friday of randomly firing into a group of young people, killing a 12-year-old boy and wounding three others in an attempt to "send a message" to their East Baltimore neighbors. In May 2011, prosecutors said, Danyae Robinson, 31, and Derrick Brown, 20, fired at least 15 shots, seeking to avenge the shooting earlier that night of a fellow gang member — even though their victims had nothing to do with their gang's rivals or the earlier shooting. "This was a deplorable, unconscionable act of violence that hurt many and took the life of one of our young people," State's Attorney Gregg Bernstein said in a statement.
NEWS
By Alison Knezevich, The Baltimore Sun | February 28, 2014
The shooting death of 12-year-old Sean Johnson as he watched basketball on his porch in 2011 stemmed from the Black Guerrilla Family gang wanting to "send a message" in his East Baltimore neighborhood after the killing of a member, prosecutors said Friday. At a pretrial hearing in Baltimore Circuit Court, prosecutors for the first time presented their theory that the killing was related to gang retaliation. Danyae Robinson, 31, and Derrick Brown, 20, face charges that include first-degree murder in the shooting, which also wounded three teenagers gathered on the porch.
NEWS
Dan Rodricks | December 12, 2013
A couple of weeks ago, before he went on a nine-day trip to Brazil and El Salvador, Gov. Martin O'Malley pledged that major glitches in Maryland's health insurance exchange would be fixed by mid-December. Well, the governor has returned from the Southern Hemisphere, and guess what? Mid-December is Sunday at noon. So I guess we'll see if our totally excellent governor will be able to deliver a fix like the one the Obama administration appears to have pulled off at the federal level.
NEWS
By Carrie Wells, The Baltimore Sun | November 22, 2013
Baltimore police are asking for the public's assistance in finding one of 48 alleged members of the Black Guerrilla Family gang indicted earlier this month. Gerald Johnson, 31, is alleged to be a leader of the gang who authorized the murders of Gregory Rochester in 2007 and Moses Malone in May because he believed the men were cooperating with police. Johnson was unable to be found by police when they executed raids to arrest the suspected gang members two weeks ago. Police said he frequents the Greenmount Avenue corridor and that his last known address is in the 1500 block of Madison Ave., in the Madison Park neighborhood.
NEWS
By Justin George, The Baltimore Sun | November 12, 2013
Baltimore police used battering rams to smash their way into suspected drug dens in a series of pre-dawn raids Tuesday that netted a half-dozen arrests, continuing what authorities describe as aggressive campaign to "dismantle" the Black Guerrilla Family gang. It was the second such strike in less than a week. Officials sharpened their rhetoric against the one-time prison gang they say has been spreading across the city and taking over drug territories through force and intimidation.
NEWS
Dan Rodricks | November 9, 2013
For their joint news conference on Thursday, the police commissioner and state's attorney of Baltimore chose Mund Park on Greenmount Avenue, where, they said, members of the Black Guerrilla Family and their associates held regular meetings. That moment was fraught with symbolism — top cop Anthony Batts, in uniform, and top prosecutor Gregg Bernstein, in a gray suit, reclaiming a public park from a violent gang. But the symbolism grows larger when you consider the place — Greenmount Avenue, between North Avenue and 25th Street — in the context of the long struggles of Baltimore: the riots of 1968, the white flight, the concentration of poverty, the rise in crime, the generally sad reputation of the area, and the long wait for transformative help.
NEWS
By Alison Knezevich, The Baltimore Sun | February 28, 2014
The shooting death of 12-year-old Sean Johnson as he watched basketball on his porch in 2011 stemmed from the Black Guerrilla Family gang wanting to "send a message" in his East Baltimore neighborhood after the killing of a member, prosecutors said Friday. At a pretrial hearing in Baltimore Circuit Court, prosecutors for the first time presented their theory that the killing was related to gang retaliation. Danyae Robinson, 31, and Derrick Brown, 20, face charges that include first-degree murder in the shooting, which also wounded three teenagers gathered on the porch.
NEWS
November 10, 2013
After seeing two unrelated stories in The Sun, I think I've discovered a way to use one problem to solve another. You ran a big article about the trouble police are having dealing with the Black Guerrilla Family ( on the same day you also ran a piece noting that the FAA has cleared the way for domestic use of unmanned drones ("FAA plan paves the way for drone use in U.S. by 2015," Nov. 8). So why not use the drones to clean up the BGF problem? Police say they have trouble building cases against BGF members because of witness intimidation and a strong culture of non-cooperation with police.
NEWS
Dan Rodricks | November 9, 2013
For their joint news conference on Thursday, the police commissioner and state's attorney of Baltimore chose Mund Park on Greenmount Avenue, where, they said, members of the Black Guerrilla Family and their associates held regular meetings. That moment was fraught with symbolism — top cop Anthony Batts, in uniform, and top prosecutor Gregg Bernstein, in a gray suit, reclaiming a public park from a violent gang. But the symbolism grows larger when you consider the place — Greenmount Avenue, between North Avenue and 25th Street — in the context of the long struggles of Baltimore: the riots of 1968, the white flight, the concentration of poverty, the rise in crime, the generally sad reputation of the area, and the long wait for transformative help.
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