After a year-long public records battle with the city of Toledo, The Blade has obtained a copy of the Toledo Police Department's “Gang Territorial Divisions” map.
The city's gang map was obtained by The Blade from a source, who is not a representative of the Toledo Police Department, or the city law department.
The city map shows 18 different gang territories and identifies each set as a Blood, Crip, Folk, Mexican Mafia, or as unaffiliated.
There are three motorcycle clubs on the map, which was produced in conjunction with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.
Citing an ongoing lawsuit, Toledo police declined to comment today or look at the map obtained by The Blade. In July, 2012, The Blade sued the city in the state's Sixth District Court of Appeals for refusing to make public the police department's gang map.
"I can't confirm whether what you have is the investigatory tool used by the police department or not and, aside from that, it is considered pending litigation so we will not discuss it any further," city spokesman Jen Sorgenfrei said,
While the release of the map was tied up in court, The Blade, with the help of current and former gang members and some law enforcement sources, created its own gang map which was published in April as part of a four-day series about gangs in Toledo - Battle Lines: Gangs of Toledo.
The Blade's map shows 49 gangs, compared to 18 gangs on the city's map.
Gang sources who viewed the map today agreed with the city's map, but said the map produced by the newspaper is "more detailed" and more up to date.
The police map, and supplemental information about individual gangs included with the map, was created more than a year ago.
The areas of both maps are fairly similar, though there are notable differences.
Aside from more individual gangs on The Blade's map, the Out Hill is listed by police as Bloods. Numerous sources, including a member from Out Hill, said the gang doesn't have a nation affiliation, but operates as a gang for drug sales. Their main rival is the Lucas County Gangsters, a neighboring "territory" with no nation affiliation.
The police map has only one gang in East Toledo, "Vil Boy Bloods" at and around Ravine Park Village.
The Blade also identified The Ville, but also, on the east side, plotted the T's at Birmingham Terrace, Weiler Boyz at the Weiler Homes, and a subset of the Southside Folk.
Not on The Blade's map, but featured on TPD's, is Sureno 13, what the city calls a Mexican gang, which has a small territory near F Street, between East Central and Bronson avenues in North Toledo.
The city said the map “is a confidential law-enforcement investigatory record” protected under state law and said that releasing the map would interfere with ongoing investigations.
Last month, the appellate court ruled, in a 2-1 decision, that the map was a public record and should be turned over to the news organization.
The decision was based, in part, on testimony from Officer William Noon, a member of the department's Gang Unit, who said he created the map based on information from confidential informants, surveillance, crime reports, field interviews, and other investigative work.
The city filed an appeal with the Ohio Supreme Court.
“Other than revealing that the police department knows where the gangs operate, Officer Noon stated that nothing on the map identifies any location that the Toledo Police Department is surveilling,” stated the opinion written by Judge Mark Pietrykowski. “Accordingly, it is undisputed from the record that release of the map would not reveal any specific confidential investigatory technique or procedure.”
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