Reports on Gang Members Indicted for Shootings, Bragging on Drill Song…..A must-read…
According to reports, 22 alleged gang members from the Bronx were indicted on Tuesday, May 24 for allegedly being involved in shootings and bragging about it in drill songs.
Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark and New York City Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell announced that 21 men and one teen, alleged members of the River Park Towers gang (RPT), were charged in a 65-count indictment with conspiracy to commit murder, attempted murder, attempted assault, criminal possession of a weapon, and numerous other charges in connection with multiple shootings in and around the River Park Towers complex in the Highbridge neighborhood of the Bronx. The gang is alleged to have carried out multiple acts of gun violence in the Bronx and acts of assault on Rikers Island.
Some of the gang members are alleged to have bragged about their alleged crimes. “Hop out the V and I’m shooting s–t up. Smoking on Noah. I don’t give a f–k… Throw shots at a Crippy. Glock in the party, in case s–t get litty,” Omar Gaines, 19, rapped in a video. According to Bronx District Attorney Clark, the gang members would go on to brag in songs about carrying out acts of violence and how easy it was to illegally purchase guns. They would also post pictures of the guns they allegedly used in shootings.
Members allegedly brag about their acts of violence and easy access to guns in their music videos around the time of the shootings, intimidating enemies. They allegedly used social media channels to recruit and acquire a following, as well as harass rival gangs.
“These defendants allegedly engaged in gun violence, committing six shootings, one of which injured a rival gang member. They allegedly fired wildly on the streets without regard for the lives of anyone else. They allegedly possessed a gun used in shootings that they posed with on social media and rapped about the violence… We are doing all we can to battle the gun scourge, but more must be done to deviate young people from a life of gangs and senseless violence.” Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark said.
“I am calling on rappers from the Bronx to stop using music to encourage shootings and use it to better the community. I am asking to have a summit with aspiring rappers and the rap stars who come from the Bronx, record companies, radio stations, and social media so we can find solutions to prevent further violence.”
Another indictment filed by the district attorney’s office charges seven of the alleged gang members with attempted murder, weapons possession, and other charges stemming from an incident on Aug. 17, 2020, in which they reportedly fired 11 shots into a building’s vestibule, narrowly missing one of their targets. A third charge is related to an alleged incident on Rikers Island on April 25, 2021, in which apparent members of RPT and its associates attacked a Crips member.
The gang is alleged to have participated in a violent and dangerous turf war against their rivals. It is alleged that they participated in multiple shootouts. In a more recent act of violence, it is alleged Gaines and fellow gang member Sheriff, opened fire on their rivals for apparently being in their territory on 1435 University Ave.
The gang also faces a charge of animal cruelty stemming from a live stream on a social media platform that allegedly promised the killing of a pigeon if the live stream received 100 likes. The pigeon that flew into the area and the gang said the bird was like a Crip who walked into their neighborhood. One of the accused gang members threatened to murder the animal if the live stream hit 100 views. The members beat the pigeon to death with a cane on Facebook Live when they reached that number, according to the district attorney’s office.
“These long-term, Gun Violence Suppression Division investigations are carefully constructed, precisely focused tools that have a huge impact on eradicating gun violence and improving life for all New Yorkers,” Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell said.
According to the investigation, between January 2020 and March 2022, the gang members engaged in acts of violence such as murder and assault against members of competing street crews in order to maintain and protect the RPT organization’s authority and position.
According to the district attorney’s office, six of the accused are still being sought, while eight others are already detained for other crimes and will be charged in connection with this case in the coming days. The rest had previously been arraigned and remanded.
Earlier this year, Mayor Eric Adams seemingly blamed drill music for gun violence in the city, calling for it to be banned. This was after the murder of two young rappers in the city. Adams eventually met with a group of New York-based drill artists, in an effort to have a conversation that would be beneficial for the mayor and the rappers. Since the conversation at the beginning of Adam’s term, violence in the city has continued to rise.