Note to current and would be gang members; bragging about your murderous exploits on social media have historically proven to be an efficient way to get arrested. On Wednesday, September 12th, 49 members of a couple of East New York, Brooklyn gangs—the Rockstarz and the Very Crispy Gangsters (aka VCG/Weez)—that utilized Facebook to taunt and threaten each were indicted on various charges including murder, attempted murder and conspiracy.
According the New York Times who attended a press conference with Brooklyn DA Charles J. Hynes and NYPD commissioner Raymond W. Kelly, the two sides had been feuding for a few years, boasting about the murders and crimes they committed online.
“Because of these individuals' insatiable desire to brag about what they did, these investigators were able to draw a virtual map of their activities and bring them to justice,” Mr. Kelly said.
The social networking activity that has swept up adolescents everywhere is no less prevalent in East New York, and, it seems, the young people are no less foolhardy. But the stakes are much higher.
Two members of the Very Crispy Gangsters are dead, as is one member of the Rockstarz. There were 10 shootings over three years; one bullet, officials said, hit a 10-year-old boy who was in his apartment watching cartoons.
The indictments charged the gangs with engaging in a three-year war that began with the killing of a member of the Very Crispy Gangsters, Taquan Crandall, by a Rockstarz member in September 2009. The police said the suspect, Michael Allen Reid, had been indicted on murder charges and was also a suspect in another fatal shooting. The cases against him are pending.
Members of both gangs — many about age 20, with the oldest 23, and nine younger than 18 — made and accepted friend requests among their rivals, the authorities said.
Mr. Kelly said one defendant posted a picture of himself wearing the belt and watch of a man whom the police said he had shot. He said that under the photo was written: “I can't give it back. You can't walk no more.”
After a murder of a member of the Very Crispy Gangsters, members of the Rockstarz posted comments including “Rockstarz are up 3-0,” Mr. Kelly said.
This isn't the first, and probably won't be the last, time social media has been used against gang members. In January, 43 gang members from another part of Brookyln were arrested for bragging about murders on Facebook and Twitter.
Let's stop the senseless violence. Also, log off.
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Photo: The New York Times