For some of these, the trauma of involuntary migration and the subsequent necessity to negotiate Vietnamese and American identities did not lead to enriching new experiences or cultural formations. Boom editorial board member Bidhan Chandra Roy sat down with Tin over three meetings to discuss his childhood experiences of fleeing Vietnam as a child in the s, his role in establishing a new wave of Vietnamese street gangs in Southern California in the s, and his hard-fought transformation into the man he is today. Since recording equipment is not allowed in the prison during the interview, Tin wrote up his responses to the questions following the three meetings. Boom : Can you tell us about your experiences traveling from Vietnam to California as a child in the s? What do you remember of that journey?
They were founded in the early s as part of efforts of protection   for Southeast Asian immigrants and refugees from the more numerous American gangs in their localities. In the early s, the Asian Boyz gang was formed by a group of schoolmates, including Filipino brothers named Marvin Mercado and Pierre Mercado in Southern California , as part of an effort to protect themselves from the more numerous pre-existing gangs situated in their respective neighborhoods. Their identity also attracts notable controversy, being that the Cambodian sets are notoriously influential and decorated as their own faction of Crips that is, among other things, racially or ethnically distinct. Although the Asian Boyz gang comprise their own identity as an organization, the identity itself is largely interpreted as an umbrella of individual Crip gangs or "sets"; hence their alternative monikers "Asian Crips" and "Asian Boyz Crip". Though the relationships between these individual sets are unclear, the various Southeast Asian members tend to work with people of their own national, ethnic or cultural background. More recent publications since have revealed even more information about the gang, notable details include the alliance of a number of gangs based in Long Beach, California referred to as SEAs, an abbreviation of Suicidal Town, Exotic Family City Crip and Asian boyz. In , founder Pierre Mercado was responsible for four murders, in an attempt to intimidate other gangs.
If a geothermal map of areas plagued by Asian organized crime were laid over Southern California, one of the spots glowing red would be the San Gabriel Valley. Indeed, the region earned mention in a U. Some estimate up to Wah Ching leaders are active here. Taiwanese crime groups such as the United Bamboo and the Four Seas each have only about 50 leaders here, experts say.
It started as a shoving match. A girl at a Fountain Valley skating rink pushed a smaller girl. A boy stepped in to defend her.