As Crown Heights Gentrifies, A Vicious Gang-War Plays Out
Twenty five members of two Brooklyn gangs were indicted on murder, attempted murder and other connected charges.
While hipsters walk to the Nostrand Avenue subway station with soy lattes in hand, police have been clamping down on a vicious Crown Heights gang war going on around them that for new residents seems straight out NYC’s turbulent past. On August 3, 2016, twenty five members of two alleged Brooklyn gangs, the Lincoln Family and the Bergen Family were indicted on murder, attempted murder and other connected charges, says Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson. Their areas of operation are in the same rapidly gentrifying brownstone nabe where properties are now fetching north of $2 million.
“This indictment underscores the continuing commitment of this office and the NYPD to take back the streets of Brooklyn from mindless gang and gun violence that puts so many people at risk, including in this case, an innocent 13-year-old girl,” Thompson said, referring to shooting that happened in March when the Lincoln Family gang started shooting Clara Barton High School, wounding the girl mentioned.
According to the NYPD, 375 gangs or street crews operate in the city. Brooklyn has the highest number with at least 130 — and 73 in north Brooklyn alone. The Bronx plays second stage to the gang epidemic, with 87 gangs or crews, officials said.
“Some gang members and their brothers and sisters have to go five or six blocks out of their way just to go to the corner store,” Brooklyn activist Tony Herbert told The NY Daily News in December. “There are more gangs out there than you can imagine, and as a result our kids are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. They hear the shots being fired or hear that a friend was shot or killed. Everybody needs to be up in arms about this.”
Worrying for Crown Heights residents is the ongoing fear of being caught in the cross fire. Last September Carey Gabay, 43, a Harvard-educated lawyer and aide to Gov. Cuomo, was accidentally shot and killed during a J’Ouvert pre-Labor Day parade celebration.
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