Project gang vs SBPD

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Project gang vs SBPD

Post  TumbleWeed on Sat Apr 21, 2012 4:14 pm

Stacia Glenn, Staff Writer
Posted: 01/25/2010 07:10:24 PM PST

SAN BERNARDINO - The leader of a Westside gang has an elaborate tattoo of a uniformed police officer being murdered inked across his back.

It depicts the officer falling backward while one man stomps on him from above and another fires at him with a gun. A masked face pointing a shotgun is below the officer, and "187 SBPD" is scrawled across Charles Owens Jr.'s shoulder blades.

The tattoo became a point of interest Monday in the criminal trial of Terrell Markham, an 18-year-old man charged with brandishing a firearm at a police officer, possessing a stolen gun and street terrorism.

At the end of a foot chase on Nov. 7, 2007, Officer Adam Affrunti shot Markham three times because he allegedly refused to obey commands and was pulling a gun out of his back pocket.
Affrunti is the cop pictured in the ominous tattoo and Markham is associated with the Projects gang that Owens "held the keys to" when the shooting took place, testified San Bernardino Police Sgt. Travis Walker.

Owens has reportedly held a grudge against Affrunti since 2004, when the then-new officer accidentally hit and killed Charles Owens Sr. as the man crossed Ninth Street.

Affrunti, who said he saw the tattoo in 2007 before the Markham incident, testified that Owens never told him that he was the officer shown in the tattoo. He also said he did not feel like there was a hit on him because of the tattoo, as authorities have implied.

"I don't recall anybody telling me that they think there was a hit out on me," Affrunti said.

The tattoo "was put on Mr. Owens' back after Officer Affrunti had his accident," Walker, a gang expert, told the jury. "This was out of anger at Officer Affrunti and members of the San Bernardino Police Department after his father's death."

In pre-trial motions, prosecutor Ron Webster argued that Markham had "a lot to be gained" by hurting Affrunti and suggested that the teen lured the officer into a dark courtyard and hid behind the bush with the intent to harm Affrunti.

Defense attorney Dale K. Galipo has denied that Markham knew about the tattoo or was carrying a gun that day. Authorities have said Markham was carrying a gun stolen from a federal agent's Victorville home, 1.3 miles from the house where Markham had recently moved.

Trying to link Markham to top gang members and show the gang's pattern of violence toward police, the prosecutor asked Walker about a half dozen documented Projects gang members and one particular incident in January of 2007, where two gang members assaulted a pair of officers.

Projects gang members have been known to strike back at police. In both 2003 and 2004, officers were shot at while driving through the gang's turf.

"Killing a police officer is the ultimate way of obtaining status in any criminal street gang," Walker told the jury, adding that Owens' tattoo could prompt violence against Affrunti because "it would allow any member that cause harm to Officer Affrunti to gain ultimate status in this gang."

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