Posted by Wes Bradford on May 16, 2017

Martín Flores was introduced by Bob Welbourn, a defense attorney who has known him as a consultant for many years. Martín graduated from Roosevelt High School and grew up in a gang-influenced neighborhood in Boyle Heights, where 88% of the students perform below grade average. Many of them have single parents and lack role models. However, he received a Rotary scholarship, and attended UC Berkeley and UCLA. While in college, his 17-year-old brother was killed by gang activity.

After college, Martín worked for the city of Inglewood, organizing youth activities. He did community relations work in Watts. He discussed how providing educational opportunities for incarcerated people provides better opportunities for them when they return to their community after release, and reduces recidivism. Building leadership skills and self-esteem help provide viable alternatives to criminal activities.

Martín has been a gang expert for 10 years, and has served as an expert witness in court cases for homicides and capital offenses. Being familiar with different gangs in the Los Angeles area and their territories, tattoos, “signs”, graffiti, and vandalism, he has been able to provide expert testimony when the penalty depends on whether a defendant is a participating gang member. He gave the example of riding in a car with associates when someone else in the car pulls out a gun and shoots a victim. Prosecutors usually allege that all individuals present are in the gang, but this is not necessarily true. Associates, friends and relatives of gang members are not necessarily gang members themselves. He works to assess these relationships and testify about this information to the court.