Fighting The Code of Silence

A "break for law enforcement" becomes a citizen's nightmare

The bloody scene was bad enough: six people were wounded; two, a 17-year-old and a boy of four, lay dead, cut down by automatic gunfire in Garden Grove, Calif. But what infuriated Ralph Rodriguez, a cousin of the dead child's, was that not one witness was willing to tell police what everyone knew: the slaughter was a revenge killing by the 5th Street gang from nearby Santa Ana, where Rodriguez lives. "I started screaming, and I made people talk to the police," he recalls. "I knew everybody they named as the shooters. I knew all their families." Rodriguez, 32, helped investigators...

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