Okay, folks, we’re about to talk about something serious.  We’re going to talk about gangs.

Specifically, we’re going to talk about the Latin Kings street gang, about which the Chicago Tribune is currently running a lead story, complete with graphic, in its online edition.

The story is about a high-ranking king who turned informant in a government case against a higher-ranking king.  But it is not a story about the choices that people make when they enter a gang, or the situation in which this person found himself that made him decide it was worth the certain risk to his life to turn on his fellow gang members.  No, the Trib wants to tell you about the “unprecedented” understanding this has given prosecutors and police officers about the structure of the gang.  To wit:

Waitwaitwait.  Let me get this straight.  Gangs, which are essentially in the business of making lots and lots of money off of the sale of drugs, are structured like  businesses? Who knew?!  How DID those street kids figure out such a complex, hierarchical system, wherein junior people report to more senior people, who in turn report to even more senior people?  It boggles the mind!

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