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