For this blog we were assigned to discuss a main figure of our topic and a issue with our topic. For this post I chose to focus on Micahel Thompson. Michael Thompson is s ‘a leader in the Aryan Brotherhood (AB) prison gang. He has been in prison since 1973, and has been sentenced to additional life terms for crimes committed behind bars.”(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Thompson_%28Aryan_Brotherhood%29).The picture below is a picture of Thompson while incarcerated at Pelican Bay.
In the early minutes of the following video, Michael Thompson is featured showing how he has created a shank and how he views the Aryan Brotherhood.
He calls the AB the brand, because it is a brand that all the members embody, when you join the brand you ride for the brand and fight for the brand. Michael Thompson was once considered one of the most ruthless killers of the Aryan Brotherhood which explains why he was regarded as a top leader. However, after the gang began to lose its structure and discipline Michael Thompson “became an informant against the Aryan Brotherhood after another AB member, Curtis Price, killed the father, wife and friend of an AB informant named Steven Barnes. Thompson was appalled by the lack of respect shown by the organization to their fellow member, and started cooperating with the FBI” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Thompson_%28Aryan_Brotherhood%29). This brings up the issue that has lead to a reformation of the gangs leadership. In the begining the gang was formed to protect white members of the prison community against rival gangs such as the Black Guerrilla Family. However recently the gang has swtiched to “Prison activities [that] include introduction of contraband, distribution of drugs, and getting past facility rules and regulations.” (http://www.dc.state.fl.us/pub/gangs/prison.html#ab). The murder of Barnes family as well as the move from protection to drug trafficking lead to Thompson’s decision to disassociate himself from the gang.
As there is not a chest of information on the AB on the internet due to the secrecy that the gang prides itself in maintaining, I would also like to introduce the key founders of the Aryan Brotherhood. Barry “The Baron” Mills is one of the three founders of the Aryan Brotherhood. Additoanlly, Mills was recently endited for “charges of murder, conspiracy and racketeering… [and for] rdering the murders of two African-American inmates” (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5591170). Below is a picture of Barry Mills.
Along with Mills fellow founding father Tyler Bingham was also endited for the same crimes that Mills was. The two founders avoided the death penalty due to the fact that no other gang members would say anything about the murders. However himself and Mills were “convicted of murder…[and are] serving a life sentence with no parole, escaping the death penalty.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tyler_Bingham). Below is recent picture of the founder.
Of these three important figures the only two who are still members of the AB are Mills and Bingham. They are responsible for establishing the Brotherhoods mantra which states “An Aryan brother is without a care, He walks where the weak and heartless won’t dare. For an Aryan brother, death holds no fear, Vengeance will be his, through his brothers still here.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aryan_Brotherhood#Notable_members). No matter what direction the Brotherhood is moving towards it is clear that the leaders still value violence, murder, and racial purity, and use their excessive force as way to stay dominate within the confines of prison walls.