Saturday, August 24, 2013

The Golden Dragon; Scene of 1977 SF Chinatown Massacre

The Golden Dragon restaurant in Chinatown.

For some reason, this story has always stuck with me.



  1. My father was the head of the Chinatown Squad when
    he died of a heart attack in 1967 at the age of 52.
    It seemed that half of Chinatown came to his funeral. The "Squad" had a tremendous relationship with the residents -- one based on mutual respect.
    They kept a lid on all illegal activity in the district. Shortly after my dad passed away, they disbanded the Squad. Evidently, some powers-that-be in Chinatown felt that having a plain clothes unit assigned to their neighborhood created a negative stereotype of the Chinese people. With the Squad gone, illegal activity reared its ugly head and Chinatown gangs ruled the district. This lack of police presence, respect, and public relations is what eventually led to the Golden Dragon massacre. To say a gang task force was created years later is simply a matter of semantics. The Chinatown Squad, under my dad's leadership, was exactly that many years earlier. The heyday of the "Squad" and the height of its' effectiveness was in the 60's. I've read Mullen's book. Sadly, there is only one passing mention of my dad, and that era in the history of the Chinatown squad is woefully underrepresented.

    1. Anon @9:44...thanks for the background. I happened to pick up a large format paperback in a remainder bin a few years ago, titled "Good Life in Hard Times: San Francisco in the 1920s and 1930s" by Jerry Flamm (Chronicle Books). It has a chapter devoted to the Chinatown Squad in those years (the squad having been formed in 1875). Interesting stuff.

    2. Jerry Flamm. I remember him speaking to my college journalism class back in 1977 when that book first came out. He had quite a career.

  2. I remember that as a kid. It almost seems quaint that it only took five people to qualify for a massacre back then. It was huge news.
    How many shootings since then have surpassed the toll in the Bay Area?

  3. In September 1977 the "Bruce Lee" Phenomenon was still at its Peak. Similar to the years after 1996 and Tupac Shakurs Death and the "Thug Life" Mentality spreading among Minority Youth world wide 1996-2001 In particular.
    Bruce Lee's Movie Image of Triads and Oriental Organized Crime spread like Cancer Nationwide and San Franciscos China Town Becomes a Nucleus.

    Last week in San Jose Three Men where Shot @ Hoang Hon Bar and Restaurant on Alum Rock Avenue. San Jose would be considered a Top Contender for the first Place spot of Cities with (Foreign) Asian Organized Crime Hubs like Koreatown and San Francisco. But This Story in the Local News was outweighed By the Ongoing Drug War in Oakland California. Heavier news items coming from Oakland and its "African & Latin American Organized Crime" Issues continue to Dominate Local News coverage But not as Much statewide or nation wide.
    If the 1977 China Town Massacre happened the same year (time period) as the April 2011 'Sweet Jimmies' Shooting (which coincidentally happened the same Night Of A 'Cash Money Records artist Lil Wayne Concert at the Coliseum and After Party @ Kimballs ). Given the History of Asian/African Organized Crime & Politics in the San Francisco Bay Area in the Last Half Century .Which News Article would get More Statewide and/or Nationwide Attention? if Worldwide Press? The Last "Mass Shooting" In Reference to Asians in the Bay Area was the April 2012 Christian Oikos University Shooting @7850 Edgewater Dr by 43-year-old One Goh.But That Story Leaned More Towards the Domestic Terrorism Category then the 1977 'Golden Dragon' Organized Crime Category.

    The Chicago Bears Played @ Oakland RAIDERS East Oakland Coliseum Last week in a NFL exhibition game. Two Cities fighting for the #1 Spot in the Annual ' Most Violent Cities' List. However Rahm Emanuel's Chicago gets alot more Nationwide Press for its Urban Violence then does Jean Quan and Oakland '100 Blocks of High Intensity Drug Trafficking Street Carnage. Maybe Rahm Emmanuel is a Better Pitcher in Washington of Gangland Shootout stories then Jean Quan Is. This is perhaps why the City of Oakland Payes Baltimore Police Commissioner Thomas Frazier $337,000 a year for. So He can Paint a Better picture. The City of Oakland cut One Chief (H.Jordan.). But In turn added 1 Ex Commissioner T.Fraizer, I Ex Internal Affairs S.Whent and 1ex NYC Police Chief William J. Bratton . Imagine acting chief, Anthony Toribio sigh of relief being cut from the table of Board of Directors. In the Search for a "Rudy Giuliani " Type to lead OPD or the City of Oakland.

    But Oaklands City Council Battles with OPD And the Mayors office gets alot more Local Press Coverage & Press Opinion then does San Francisco or San Jose's current Political Climate. They Aint Playing "MoneyBall" in Oakland. Cut the Non-Producers and Focus on Rebuilding the Youth Educational Outlook. Brattons got a 'Clean Swing' Like Giuliani , But Bratton doesnt know the streets of Oakland in 2013. '' Whats The Problem !? '

    There is an epidemic failure within the Government to understand what is really happening and this leads people who run major Cities to misjudge their 'Elected & Appointed Officials ' and mismanage their Cities. But Yeah... The 1977 'Golden Dragon 'Massacre' always did stand out for me too.


  4. 3:57am, what are you talking about? You obviously don' t live in Oakland and/or you have your head buried somewhere. In 2003, Chris Huie, a convicted Chinese organized crime boss was shot to death at the Legendary Palace in Oakland Chinatown. The shooter shot him from outside through the window.

    Chicago gets more press because the sheer numbers of shootings and killings are staggering. It is also a major business and tourist destination.

    Mr. Frazier was forced down Oakland's throat by a negotiated settlement with a federal judge as a result of the Riders case. The city did not choose to pay this man to add yet another layer of bureaucracy over OPD.

    Layer on top of everything the Occupy Oakland crew, largely white people who riot downtown on occasion and are squatting all over the city creating another level of chaos. CM Noel Gallo just cleared out a large industrial parcel of land in Fruitvale that was packed with occupiers in trailers and filth. No press coverage, none. I watched it happen.

    Many shootings in Oakland are not gang revenge killings but domestic disputes that turn violent in a public way. The participants may or may not be gangsters.

    The Oikos shooting was not organized crime. It was one mentally unbalanced Asian who carried out a mass shooting of seven people. New Town wasn't organized crime either.

    Crime is complex and people who don't know what they are talking about should do more listening. And I'm not a cop just an Oakland resident who has studied and worked on this issue for years.

    As for the rest of what you say, I frankly couldn't understand the rambling disconnected stream of consciousness. If you were saying Quan is a disaster, we can agree on at least one thing.

    1. "Crime is complex and people who don't know what they are talking about should do more listening." @ Anon 3:57 am In 1977 or in 2013 can You say that U have any element on Friends involved in any Major Criminal Underworld? Right, Crime is complex , Jaywalking is a crime, Murder by police is a Crime. When a Hayward police officer shoots a father in his home in 2seconds after kicking down the door because they feel a level of domestic violence is being committed. And those Officers just get :time off" and never almost never get charged with anything, Yes i would say Crime is Complex. Or when Hayward Police kill a man in its City Jail suites and the story gets almost no Press,Yes crime is Complex.

      And for what U define as "rambling disconnected stream of consciousness." This is my first original post & second post on this Blog (third with this comment). Respect the fact that someone 30-40 years your Junior is reading your blog sincerely, And tried to responded as Professional and gentlemen like as possible.

      But I Am in Oakland Every day, But I do live in a Oakland Suburb off 880. But my point of view is coming from a "Younger G' eneration perspective " In 1977 i wasnt alive but in 2013 i come across alot of these "Local Gangsters"depicted in Local Press on a dad to day basis from SF TO SJ TO Oakland, be they white, Asian, Latin or African. The Complexity of crime.

      . J.S