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Following Mass Shooting, Fresno Police Explain Why New Task Force Targets ‘Asian Gangs'

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Alice Daniel
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KVPR
Lieutenant Stephen Viveros (right) and Corporal Ying Vang of the Southeast Policing District speak with Kerry Klein in the studio. Lieutenant Steve Card of the gang-fighting MAGEC team joined the conversation on the phone.

At a press conference following the mass shooting that killed four and wounded six others in Southeast Fresno, Fresno Police Chief Andy Hall announced he had created an Asian gang task force, despite no definitive evidence the shooting was gang-related. Many members of Southeast Asian communities have since questioned why the police made the implicit association without definitive proof, and some worry it perpetuates stereotypes from which they’ve long sought to distance themselves.

To better understand the task force and why the police determined Asian gangs needed investigating, we sat down with three Fresno police officers: Lieutenant Steve Card of the gang-fighting MAGEC team, and Lieutenant Stephen Viveros and Corporal Ying Vang of the Southeast Policing District.

Kerry Klein is an award-winning reporter whose coverage of public health, air pollution, drinking water access and wildfires in the San Joaquin Valley has been featured on NPR, KQED, Science Friday and Kaiser Health News. Her work has earned numerous regional Edward R. Murrow and Golden Mike Awards and has been recognized by the Association of Health Care Journalists and Society of Environmental Journalists. Her podcast Escape From Mammoth Pool was named a podcast “listeners couldn’t get enough of in 2021” by the radio aggregator NPR One.
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