Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Gangland: ANC5A

The History Channel's show Gangland focuses on gang issues in cities
across America.
  This past Sunday morning a 23 year old CUA student was attacked as he got off the metro in Brookland.  The graduate student was being followed by a group of teens as he was walking away from the station.  After alerting the youths that he was aware they were following him, one member of the group tackled him to the ground.  This was the end of the confrontation, and no money or personal items were taken.  This comes on the heels of a CUA student being shot and killed near Petworth, and throws salt in a wound that has not yet begun to heal.
  Youth incidents are not new to the Brookland Metro Station, or ANC5A as a whole.  Kids have often been witnessed tagging benches or signs, as well as knocking over garbage cans and other items around the neighborhood.  This is the first assault to take place at the station in quite some time.  However, recently there has been an increase in what appears to be teen gang activity in the neighborhood (and the city as a whole).  Most notably the tagging of cars and trees on and around Providence Hospital (some rep'ing the Riggs Park Crew and Big 30). 
  While gang activity  in DC is nothing new, and even the "Riggs Park Crew" is not a new entity (2004 blog posting appraising the DC gang situation), the city lacks the strong presence of the national gangs.  Most gang activity in the District is perpetrated by smaller neighborhood street gangs, and recently groups of 15-19 year old teens.  Although these small neighborhood street gangs are usually preoccupied by beefs with other gangs, the teen groups seem to be far less introverted and secretive with their activity.  This increase in (what appears to be) gang and youth related criminal activity in the neighborhood is disturbing, and should not be overlooked by authorities.  The proportion of violent crimes committed by teens in DC is alarmingly high.  While there does seem to be a recent decrease in the use of weapons in these incidents, they are none the less still taking place.  What the police and neighborhood leadership are doing to quickly and efficiently address these issues is not clear.  But perhaps the emphasis in the media should be focused more on what can be done to help curb youth violence in the District, rather than focusing on the personality differences between two major mayoral candidates that hold fairly similar platforms.


Steven Sorrell said...

Sadly, ways to protect yourself are often illegal in the city, for example tasers are illegal, and mace must be registered.

I think if they knew that more people were at least someway protected, incidences like this would happen even less frequently.

Caribou said...

I'm not sure that teens will be deterred from violence just by knowing citizens may or may not be armed. I think the best way to curb this increase in youth violence across the city is for youth outreach including more after-school programs (much of the after school programs have been cut--kids are bored!). I have seen a lot of new recreation centers and parks put up with Fenty, which I think is wonderful and encourages youth to sports etc. and keep busy!

Brookland Avenue said...

"Riggs Park Crew" tags were also recently seen on a number of cars on Taussig a couple of weeks ago.

Don't forget also all the daytime burglaries going on in Ward5 and ANC 5A. There really seems to be a mini crime wave. The kids doing it seem to be local but not to local.

Also what is interesting about the metro "tackling" attack is that there have been a number of fights ,etc on metro that start on the redline around Fort Totten. It seem pretty likely that these are more than just coincidence.