Dungeons, dragons and pachucos

The West Sac injunction is a fantasy game played with people’s lives

Samuel Aguiar Iñiguez is an adjunct English professor at Cosumnes River College and a local poet/writer.

The Broderick Boys is an assumed gang name, but the West Sacramento Police Department insist that the gang they believe it names is just below, or maybe just a notch above, the extreme and secret firepower of the CIA. Any brown-skinned person with a Spanish surname or one who appears to favor an ounce of red color to spice up their daily attire is pulled over, and his name is added to a gang injunction list that now has more than 400 names.

This imaginary right to arrest or detain Latinos by West Sac Police is a scapegoating process. They imply gang affiliation on the part of law-abiding citizens who merely have a nicer tan than men in uniforms. If a neighborhood dog wears red lipstick, will West Sac Police assign this dog status as a gang member? Anything is possible in this police fantasy.

It is as if the governing regime and its street-war militia, the police, are wrapped up in a role-playing game like Dungeon & Dragons. They utterly believe in the fictional characters that they have become: fighters, paladins, rangers to rid the evil from their world. They are armed with guns, Mace, and batons.

But what of this chaotic disorder that they claim they fight, the gang that is supposed to be the Broderick Boys? Where is the reality of the Broderick Boys, with their tommy guns and AK-47s? On what street corner or home in West Sacramento is this armed militia needed?

Some West Sacramento residents feel that the West Sac Police are wasting their time, hoping they’ll roll a 20 on the 20-sided die, granting them a fatal blow to these gang affiliates. But where is the logic or evidence that this gang exists, beyond in the minds of those that carry the badge?

Segregation once kept the pachucos and colored people from enjoying civil rights, and now it has reappeared in a land where the West Sac Police Chief plays Dungeon Master and hopes his cast of fictional characters gain enough experience points to make their next levels.

But it’s not a game when a red pimple on your face can get your name added to the West Sac injunction list. And many citizens are not willing to live in a dungeon. Living only commences with the equal enforcement of civil rights. Perhaps the West Sac Police will realize this one day.