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Mother of deceased gang member speaks out

Posted: 11:38 PM, Dec 14, 2017
Updated: 2017-12-15 07:38:03Z

Last month, suspected West Side Crips gang member Augustus Crawford was killed by police.

Thursday, 23ABC spoke with his mother Ingrid Crawford Smith after she read the indictment of the investigation on her son and other suspected gang members.

The indictment comes after this week’s gang sweep conducted by multiple agencies in Bakersfield. There were 40 suspected West Side Crips gang members arrested after a ten month investigation that also involved Augustus “AJ” Crawford.

Ingrid says she is still at a loss for words at the allegations brought against her son AJ.

“Going through this briefly, it saddens me to see that as a race we are going against our own people for starters. That’s sad,” said Ingrid.

Ingrid’s son AJ was shot and killed by Bakersfield Police officer Warren Martin, son of BPD Chief Lyle Martin on November 4. It happened just minutes after he was suspected to have been involved in a separate nearby shooting.

Ingrid says she was aware of AJ’s affiliation with the gang, but not much beyond that.

“I did know that he was in a gang, but he is the first gang banger I knew in my life. My family don’t know anything about no gang bangers,” said Ingrid.

According to the incitement, AJ was being watched and his phones were being tapped by BPD for months leading up to his death.

The purpose of the investigation: a search for leads in the murder of 5-year-old Kason Guyton in February. BPD believes AJ knew who killed Kason.

“You go in there and see that a child was injured…his life taken away. You know its sad, its really sad,” said Ingrid.

She says it’s clear to her that her son was no angel.

 “My heart goes out to the families of all of the people that have been injured. Through these papers I am finding out more stuff than I ever even thought imaginable. And this is really sad. I am so sorry,” said Ingrid.

“I mean not saying that he did it all but he apparently knew about it and that’s just as a bad to be an accessory…It saddens me.”

Though Ingrid acknowledges her son’s wrong doing, she is seeking justice and answers for his death. Ingrid says she is yet to receive an autopsy on AJ’s death.

“I’m looking for justice for Augustus. That’s what I need,” she said. “Judge, jury and executioner was hired by BPD and that’s not right.”