Safe Mode: On
Gang videos posted on the web

Is there a connection between the videos and recent violence?

*******

(The Journal News) YONKERS - Street gangs in the city's southwest have posted audio slide shows of their members on the Internet flashing handguns and other weapons.

The videos of Hispanic gangsters calling themselves Vatos Locos de Yonkers Barrio St. Andrews and Downing St 203 Raza Loca de Yonkers were posted on the Web site YouTube.com in the past month - in the same period that some southwest Yonkers residents have complained of rising crime due to budget-induced reductions in police staffing.

The gangs take their names from where they are active, St. Andrew's Place and Downing Street, both of which are in the Police Department's 3rd Precinct. Police confirmed that some people in the videos are known to them as gang members.

The videos, which are actually collections of photographs assembled as a slide show with video-game and rap music in the background, depict dozens of people flashing gang signs or showing off their gang tattoos.

It is unclear whether the firearms in the photos are real or replicas.

Jim Bostic, chairman of the City of Yonkers Violence and Gang Prevention Coalition, hadn't seen the videos, but said other local gangs have posted videos on YouTube.

"I think it's very bold and brazen of them," he said of the Vatos Locos' weapons display. "The thing for me that's disturbing is the youngest kids you can imagine go on YouTube. It's a glorification and glamorization of this lifestyle. It's not good for our children to digest this without any kind of filter to help them understand the negative aspects of this lifestyle."

Bob Stauf, president of the Third Precinct Police Community Council, viewed the videos after the newspaper sent him links to them. Stauf said residents of St. Andrew's Place have told him they feel threatened by "the large number of unsavory characters" on the street.

"I think the word on the street is that they can afford to be more brazen because of the lack of police protection," said Stauf, who, with a police union official, held an Aug. 18 meeting to express concerns about understaffing at the 3rd Precinct.

Sgt. Patrick McCormack, a spokesman for the Yonkers police, declined to respond last week to questions about staffing levels, but noted that not as many posts are being covered since the city's new fiscal year began July 1.

The department's chief gang expert, Detective Keith Olson, said Vatos Locos members have used social networking sites, such as YouTube and MySpace, in the past to post gun photos. Olson said Vatos Locos is one of the city's largest gangs, with 75 to 100 members, and is constantly involved in assaults, mostly against other Mexican gangs.

Olson said no one is safe from them, especially the city's Mexican-American young people.

"If you are Mexican, you fall into their recruitment," Olson said. "If the young kids don't join the gangs, they face acts of violence."

Bob Stauf, president of the Third Precinct Police Community Council, viewed the videos after the newspaper sent him links to them. Stauf said residents of St. Andrew's Place have told him they feel threatened by "the large number of unsavory characters" on the street.

"I think the word on the street is that they can afford to be more brazen because of the lack of police protection," said Stauf, who, with a police union official, held an Aug. 18 meeting to express concerns about understaffing at the 3rd Precinct.

Sgt. Patrick McCormack, a spokesman for the Yonkers police, declined to respond last week to questions about staffing levels, but noted that not as many posts are being covered since the city's new fiscal year began July 1.

The department's chief gang expert, Detective Keith Olson, said Vatos Locos members have used social networking sites, such as YouTube and MySpace, in the past to post gun photos. Olson said Vatos Locos is one of the city's largest gangs, with 75 to 100 members, and is constantly involved in assaults, mostly against other Mexican gangs.

Olson said no one is safe from them, especially the city's Mexican-American young people.

"If you are Mexican, you fall into their recruitment," Olson said. "If the young kids don't join the gangs, they face acts of violence."


Click to view image: 'thumbnail'
Loading the player ...
Embed CodeSwitch Player
Plays: 9867 (Embed: 0)
Loading the player ...
Embed CodeSwitch Player
Plays: 9867 (Embed: 0)

Added: Aug-30-2009 
By: Smitten_Kitten
In:
News
Tags: gangs, flaunt, guns, youtube, vatos, locos, yonkers, gang, downing, st, smitten_kitten
Location: Yonkers, New York, United States (load item map)
Views: 11524 | Comments: 40 | Votes: 0 | Favorites: 0 | Shared: 1 | Updates: 0 | Times used in channels: 1
You need to be registered in order to add comments! Register HERE
'
Sort by: Newest first | Oldest first | Highest score first
Liveleak opposes racial slurs - if you do spot comments that fall into this category, please report them for us to review.