Whoa! It is commonly believed that King Tone went to jail to cover for other crimes by Latin Kings. Regardless, this 30-year old Puerto Rican man believed in his cause but was weak in the end. When he went to jail, the Latin Kings degenerated into numerous violent gangs and you know that story. All the while I'm thinking: couldn't the cops and district attorney use a man like King Tone?
King Tone at least kept almost 7000 young men and woman from violent crime. He had the ear of the Puerto Rican community. Even other gangs respect him. Why couldn't we be somewhat flexible with King Tone instead of sending him away and watching that community fracture. Couldn't he have been sat in a room, told that he's being put on 20 years probation, and given an office at a community center. And if he strayed, life imprisonment? I think King Tone would have gone along with that. And wouldn't the cops and DA benefit from that? I know the D.A. called him all kinds of names, but the evidence just doesn't fly. This King Tone was a community leader. One that could have grown into more. But we just see criminal and jail time. And we're so intelligent about crime?
So right now, King Tone sits in prison, as he says, "reading a book every two days" and being a model prisoner, while New York fights the violent factions of the leaderless Latin Kings. Just seems like a wasted chance.