Brooklyn Gangs: Dangerous, Trendy or Both?


Police investigators are touring church groups with slide shows and lectures to warn parents of the latest threat to their children: violent youth gangs who throw luxurious parties, sport trendy bracelets and post photos of their exploits on social media for all to see, the New York Daily News reported. Police investigators have made slide shows “filled with disturbing photos of punks holding up guns, wads of cash, and bags of drugs.” The images, such as the party scene above, are taken from social networking sites such as Instagram and Google Plus. Police and pastors said the photos show violent gang members, but others disputed their claims. Stephen “Ill” Edwards, founder of Illflix.com, said the kids depicted are part of rap groups with music videos on YouTube and thousands of Twitter followers. “Why is it when urban kids get together it is a gang?” Edwards said. He directs music videos for several Brooklyn groups, such as the Oww Oww Gang, which is based in the Gowanus Houses, and listed as a “known posse” in the 76th Precinct, according to the Daily News. The audience at one East Flatbush meeting was reportedly “most shocked” by photos of parties, bracelets and “other colorful things favored by teens.” According to the article, the latest trend among urban youth is sporting colors in the form of “Buddhist-inspired Shambhala bracelets made of gemstones and black string popularized by Justin Bieber and other A-list celebrities,” rather than bandanas. Pastor Gilford Monrose of Mt. Zion Church of God on East 37th Street in East Flatbush, who invited police to speak at his church, wants to help families whose sons have joined gangs. “We can help families move these kids into another neighborhood or a new school,” he said. Do you think police and community leaders are confusing youth pop culture trends with illegal criminal activity? Or are the two closely related?
Brooklyn Gangs: Dangerous, but Also Making the Pop Culture Scene [NY Daily News]
Photo by Webstagram via New York Daily News

13 Comment

  • great, one problem thou. I doubt the criminals, nor their parents , & co-conspirators goes to church. Really the same law abiding, hard working citizens are the ones the police need to be bridging the gaps w/ instead they treat us like all criminals.

    The Preist and deacons are to busy consuming materials goods.

    It’s f’up when u cannot trust a cop, or develop a relationship w/one.
    NYPD loves photo-ops.

  • daveinbedstuy

    Law enforcement always tends to overreact. That’s the way they think…from the FBI all the way down.

    That said, there should be a stronger, more vocal anti gun policy and they should be advertising a “shoot to kill” policy towards anyone with a gun. It does wonders in reducing repeat offenses.

  • Anything young black kids wear is suspicious to police (and adults in general). They wear Shambala bracelets because celebrities wear them, so it must be gang related. When I was a kid it was friendship bracelets and slap bracelets, and we liked them in bright colors, so naturally, that must be a gang thing. This is lazy police work at it’s best. The party scene in the above photo is a “disturbing photo”? I don’t comprehend. It looks like teenagers partying in someones backyard. I guess when it’s in the slideshow with some jerk holding up a gun, then sure, it’s all disturbing.

  • White kids get to take over entire neighborhoods to do the same shit (williamsburg and bushwick), but when black kids come together to throw parties and hang out they are called goons and thugs by the press. Same drugs, same age kids, same tattoos, same social media use, same graffiti, and they even embrace mainstream icons more than their white peers, but no leeway.

    The article didn’t mention a single episode of violence attributed to these kids, but they’re branded criminals (news flash: white kids take pics of themselves doing drugs, getting drunk, and beating people up too – we even host tv shows dedicated to such lifestyles; right Jersey Shore?).

    • lalaland, this is so true! I made the same observation about 6 years ago, seeing an entire street on the Lower East Side (Norfolk between Delancey and Rivington) filled with drunk white frat-boy types…if they’d been black the riot police would have been all over.

  • The scariest thing in that photo is the blond weave paired with yellow spandex.

    A group of black kids partying in someone’s yard is hardly a gang convention. As a middle aged black woman here in New York in 2012, I have plenty of problems with how some kids dress, carry themselves, and their ideas about priorities and what’s important, but none of that makes them criminals in training, or makes what they do “gang related.” We can’t ignore how our kids leave the house, and then complain we don’t know what they are up to. Parents need to involve themselves in their families more, which goes for all income levels.

  • The scariest thing in that photo is the blond weave paired with yellow spandex.

    A group of black kids partying in someone’s yard is hardly a gang convention. As a middle aged black woman here in New York in 2012, I have plenty of problems with how some kids dress, carry themselves, and their ideas about priorities and what’s important, but none of that makes them criminals in training, or makes what they do “gang related.” We can’t ignore how our kids leave the house, and then complain we don’t know what they are up to. Parents need to involve themselves in their families more, which goes for all income levels.

  • how come y’all didn’t post my comment?

  • Seriously, people are still debating whether there’s a link between gangs and that stuff? Ain’t it been almost 20 years since 2pac and Thug Life? And then Biggie after him? And weren’t those kind of parties always part of the game???

    And when the ‘Pac and Biggie got got nobody said a word cos “I ain’t no snitch”, yet so many know exactly what went down, and they’re the ones that were going to those parties in the 90s.

    Yet almost 20 years later it’s “urban kids get together” and “what’s scary about that picture”. Nothing’s scary about that particular one picture, but how about you spend 30 seconds googling Oww Oww Gang or 100cloccs?

    FFS why would anyone doubt the police and even the community leaders when everybody knows this has been going on for 20 years or more, it’s just that now they post on facebook and word (and street cred and all that so-called urban ‘culture’) travels much faster.

    Sure, keep pretending not to see, then maybe when some day you find near your doorstep a man shot dead in a gangfight then you realize all of a sudden.

    • I agree to a certain extent here as well – hip hop and rap stars from Jay-Z on down flaunt their past as drug dealers, and now that Snoop Dogg is Snoop Lion will he no longer identify with the Crips? As long as celebrities glamorize the thug life kids will be drawn into it.

  • Seriously, people are still debating whether there’s a link between gangs and that stuff? Ain’t it been almost 20 years since 2pac and Thug Life? And then Biggie after him? And weren’t those kind of parties always part of the game???

    And when the ‘Pac and Biggie got got nobody said a word cos “I ain’t no snitch”, yet so many know exactly what went down, and they’re the ones that were going to those parties in the 90s.

    Yet almost 20 years later it’s “urban kids get together” and “what’s scary about that picture”. Nothing’s scary about that particular one picture, but how about you spend 30 seconds googling Oww Oww Gang or 100cloccs?

    FFS why would anyone doubt the police and even the community leaders when everybody knows this has been going on for 20 years or more, it’s just that now they post on facebook and word (and street cred and all that so-called urban ‘culture’) travels much faster.

    Sure, keep pretending not to see, then maybe when some day you find near your doorstep a man shot dead in a gangfight then you realize all of a sudden.