According to reports, 17 alleged gang members were arrested in Brooklyn as part of a sweeping 118-count indictment that includes four murders, and a spate of shootings across the borough. The Brooklyn DA’s office is accusing the alleged gang members, 14 of whom are teenagers, of hunting down rival gang members and committing a series of armed assaults, killing four people and wounding 10 in the process.
“One of the most disturbing aspects of this case is the age of the defendants in this indictment. Some of them were as young as 14 or 15 years old” when the crimes were committed, said Brooklyn DA Eric Gonzalez. “That is heartbreaking, that some of our youngest residents in our county are involved in this gang and gun violence … it’s devastating and it’s truly destructive.”
Authorities found several videos of the alleged YPF gang members – a consortium of crews across Fort Greene, East New York, and Brownsville – flaunting guns and even showed one member shoving a pistol in the mouth of a puppy.
“These videos really show, and they were all uncovered during the course of the investigation, how deeply ingrained the problem is, how this gang and gun culture has obsessed these young men. They wave these guns around. They show them off. They brag about them. These guns are in a way something that they think makes them men,” said Gonzalez. “It just shows how deep our challenge is to change the culture that we have in some parts of our community.”
The defendants, who range in age from 17 to 23, are facing numerous charges, including murder, conspiracy to commit murder, and attempted murder. Fourteen have been apprehended with three suspects still at large.