|The History Channel's show Gangland focuses on gang issues in cities|
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.