In Boise, gang-busting or profiling?

A young man in a dark blue hoodie cuts down a Caldwell alley, glancing behind him as a white sedan glides onto the gravel.

He stops with a look of nervous resignation. The car's unmarked, but he knows who's in it and what the driver wants.

Sgt. Joey Hoadley, head of Caldwell's Street Crimes Unit, gets out and quizzes the young man in a familiar, friendly tone.

Hoadley asks the dark-haired young man about his destination, his probation status, his garb — "You know what blue will get you." Hoadley pats him down to make sure the cell phone in his pocket is just that. Asked if he has any new tattoos, the young man says "no" and bares his skin to demonstrate. He agrees to have his picture taken and readily gives Hoadley his cell phone number.

The young man smiles affably but frequently looks down the alley to see who might be watching. He's walking through the alley, he says, to avoid a gang house on the next street. He's staying away from that life, he says.

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