Arrests made re: several recent shootings in Crown Heights — Brooklynian

Arrests made re: several recent shootings in Crown Heights

Here's the press release:


Twenty-Five Alleged Gang Members Charged
With Conspiracy, Violent Crimes in Connection with Crown Heights Turf War

Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson today announced that 25 alleged members of the rival Lincoln Family and Bergen Family gangs have been charged in a 67-count indictment with conspiracy, murder, attempted murder, weapons possession and other charges in connection with eight separate shootings in Crown Heights that left six people injured and one teenager dead.

The District Attorney said that, according to the investigation, during the course of the conspiracy, between October 2013 and the present, the defendants allegedly agreed to commit crimes, including murder, assault and other violent acts to protect their turf. The defendants, who now range in age from 16 to 23, are members of rival street gangs operating primarily within the 77th precinct.

The violent acts charged in the conspiracy — which the defendants planned and shared on social media — include multiple alleged shootings by members of both gangs, including the January 2015 killing of 19-year-old Bergen Family member Jaquay (Queezy) Bennett on St. Marks Avenue in a retaliatory shooting by a Lincoln Family member.

In a March 2016 shooting, members of the Lincoln Family allegedly fired multiple shots at rivals as school was letting out at Clara Barton High School and the International High School in Prospect Heights, striking and injuring a Bergen Family member and a 13-year-old girl.

District Attorney Thompson said, “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.”


An indictment is an accusatory instrument and not proof of a defendant’s guilt.

We discussed both of the incidents mentioned:

1.   The Jan 2015 fatal shooting

2.  The March 2016 shooting near the high schools


  • edited August 2016

    The video by the Bergen Family is still up on youtube:

    NSFW:  Language is consistent with young men who engage in violence.


  • I don't regularly follow this kind of stuff (so forgive the ignorance) but I'm curious.  Is this typical or a big deal that they are getting indicted? Is it the social media aspect that allows them to know more certainly who to charge?

    Also what are local politicians/community groups doing if anything?  These kids are so young.  Seems like this real serious string of violence in the neighborhood is lost in the shadows of real estate this, real estate that.
  • A variety of groups try to reach out to young people engaged in violence, SOS Crown Heights and the Crown Heights Youth Collective come readily to mind.

    The social medial aspect of this certainly makes the job of the police easier, and allows juries to potentially render conspiracy convictions when they otherwise would be unable/unwilling.    The DA thus pursues indictments in cases where it otherwise could not.

    Is the violence lost in the neighborhood's greater news and narrative?   Absolutely.   I suspect that is largely due to the fact the (with the exception of some missed shots) victims and perpetrators of the violence are far outside the radar of the news reading, chattering class.

    ...they would likely get some more attention if their targets were graduate students, but their targets are largely themselves.

  • As long as these boys continue to traffic drugs and guns to one another and to victimize only each other, the powers that be will turn a blind eye. In fact, I think the only reason that such a sweep has occurred was that this most recent round of back and forth has occurred on highly gentrified Franklin during daytime hours and the police are well aware of the potential repercussions if some young 20-something should get struck by an errant bullet at 5pm on a summer afternoon while strolling to happy hour after work. 

    As for what the politicians and community groups are doing, I'd say they are doing what they always have. They are spending money and time trying to provide alternatives and diversions for these kids when they are young. However, there are a lot fewer stable adults in the neighborhood that have any interest in volunteering/supporting such programs. Things like sports leagues, scouting, tutoring programs, even academic clubs at local schools need adults to make them run. Many of the people that would have had ties to such programs (because they attended them as children, or grew up in the neighborhood) have moved out. The folks they have been replaced by have no such ties and seemingly no interest in volunteering. 

    The string of violence is lost in the fact that people see the kids perpetrating it as "them" not "us".
  • Right I was wondering the same, did such a sweep occur because it was right off Franklin in daytime hours?  Did it occur because of social media?  Probably a combo of both but regardless it is "us" and I wonder how to persuade the "chattering class" of this.  Leticia James did alot of this work in her district and I'm just not sure the same is happening here.

    SOS CH in my limited understanding primarily works with youth in more eastern Crown Heights.  These two rival gangs (again in my limited understanding) influence the area in and around Franklin Ave, more to the west.
  • edited August 2016

    In this raid, the Brooklyn DA did describe the turfs of each gang as being defined by blocks and seemed to imply that they were very fixed.   Various media then created little neighborhood maps to illustrate same.


    I have done a fair amount of work with court involved adolescents and young men (Children's Village, Fortune Society), and I found the turfs of their gangs/crews/families to be far less defined and not fixed over a periods of time.

    For example, one crew forbade another crew from being on a block that was isolated from the area where they lived, because an attractive girl who put out was located there.

    Another claimed a bodega to be "theirs" despite not being contiguous to their area because it sold them beer without requesting ID.   

    I reached the conclusion that nothing was as simple as a geographic map or claimed affinities (bloods, crips, neta, latin kings MS13, etc) might lead one to believe. 

    I found that youth sometimes lived outside of the area they claim as their own, because the youth were often transient.  

    They couch surfed because they had left home (often foster care) and had employment (often drug dealing) that resulted in a very sporadic income.

  • I believe the police have been working to contain or breakup these gangs for a decade but obviously these youths are new recruits
  • The youth I worked with were not really recruited.

    It usually seemed like an autonomous group of friends would for some reason decide that they hated another group, in order to prove their male superiority.

    Kids killed each other for nonsense. No one could articulate why they hated the other group. No one was in charge.

    It was very myopic group thought.
  • edited February 2017
    Is there some kind of reference map for gang territories (as vague as I realize the borders would be), or more importantly, the graffiti they tag with? There are several new graffiti tags inside my apartment building with the same initials, and I'm a bit worried some gang is trying to claim territory. Or it might just be some degenerate kid. Or both? My Super doesn't seem to know how to clean them, as they have been there for at least a week now.

    EDIT: Well, I found one:

    But it seems outdated. One of the gang tags left in my building last week is from a gang listed as "inactive" on that map. And the other tag is a gang not listed on the map at all, yet is still a gang. Yikes...
  • edited February 2017
    Not to be coy, but gangs tend not to register with the NYS Department of State as business entities.

    They come and go.

    Maybe giving them this link will help:
  • C'mon... that's not helpful at all. I'm asking a serious (and trepidatious) question.

    There are known initials and abbreviations for different gangs, and tags. And I'm trying to find out if this new graffiti is something I should worry about. Though, through my own research on Google, comparing different lists and sites, I have confirmed that it is definitely a gang related tag. Whether it was done by an actual gang member, or some kid trying to be cool, only the video cameras will tell. Hopefully it'll be taken care of by my 311 reporting. Super and building management aren't responding. Does no one else have any experience with finding and reporting graffiti tags in their apartment building?!? Or is no one wanting to say anything?
  • I find the open drug sales along Union and President to be more worrisome.

    Is the name de jour of the specific youth crew important?
  • You seem to be missing my point. I could care less about the names. My point was that I was reaching out for help to try and find out if it was random graffiti or something indicating a gang, and being able to distinguish one from the other. Unfortunately, it's the latter. And you seem to have not only misconstrued my question, but gave a very insensitive reply.
  • edited February 2017
    Gangs are active along President and Union, between Franklin and Bedford.  They have been for several years.

    Drug sales, fights and gun fire are among the telltale indicators.

    You might see some graffiti too.  

    Assuming it isn't cleaned up, the graffiti tags will likely outlive the present youth crew.
This discussion has been closed.