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The Brooklyn Hoodstars (ENY and Brownsville gang) — Brooklynian

The Brooklyn Hoodstars (ENY and Brownsville gang)

On occasion, I like to create threads that are off the usual topics we discuss. In this thread I will give some attention to the Brooklyn organization known as the Hoodstars.

As a result of killing a bystander on Friday 10/21/2011, the Hoodstarz (and to a lesser degree their rival group, which seem to go by either "Flyguys" or "Waves") were mentioned throughout the media over the weekend.

Friday’s after-school gunfire -- which also left a sixth-grade student and a parent wounded -- stemmed from an ongoing beef between two warring factions, the Hoodstars and the Waves.





But, they have been around a very longtime. Here are two pretty notable incidents that happened over the summer. On June 27

Tyquan Spann, 16, who police say was tied to the BFG, was among the first victims. Sources said Culture Bermudez, 16, a member of the Hood Starz, shot Spann in the arm around 2:30 a.m. on June 27.


On August 12th,

Sahiah “Uzi” Davis, a new member of the Wave Gang, was ordered to kill someone in her former crew, the Hood Starz, police told the Daily News.





Needless to say, the Hoodstarz didn't just pop up this summer. They have been around for a longtime and have a lot of entries on the internet's largest message board for gangs

Folks are welcome to add info to this thread as a result of personal knowledge or internet searches. In the event that we don't understand some of the terms used on Hoodup, we should utilize boards like this one:



  • My reading of the various media is that the Hoodstarz members claim an affinity for The Bloods. However, like most crews, they are largely autonomous fans.

    The present violence seems to be unrelated to their loose alliance with The Bloods, because their present opponents [the Waves/Fly Guys] also claim a similar affinity.

    ...the Hoodstarz and the Waves/Fly Guys are reportedly warring over the usual low-income teenage male nonsense: money, girls, and drugs.

    Such non-sense seems to cross racial and geographical lines.

  • Brownsville’s battling street gangs have been invited to a beef-squashing powwow later this month aimed at stopping the ongoing turf war and rising homicide count.


  • A study was recently done on NYC youth gangs in East Harlem,

    I suspect if a similar study was done on youth gangs in Brooklyn, similar results would be found....

  • While no one is The Authority on any neighborhood, I perceive this description of Brownsville and ENY as being pretty spot on:

  • Whynot, what will you do? Your favorite Brownsville gang is no more...?

  • Until a new youth gang rises to terrorize the streets of Brownsville and ENY, the local residents and I will breath a sigh of relief.

    l'll even hope that (against all odds) these kids somehow learn different ways to live while in prison or OCFS.

    ....anyone got a magic wand, and some rehabilitative services funding I could borrow? I'm gonna need both.

  • Upcoming discussion on attempts to quell crime "hotspots" before they reach the "Hoodstar" level:

    whynot_31 said:

  • An article in the NYT discusses the reactions of people who live in communities, such as Brownsville, to Brooklyn's rapid Change/Gentrification.

    I find it interesting that they do not discuss the crime rates that some of these communities have, and then link it to the "lack of gentrification".

  • I found parts of that article quite amusing as most of Emmons Ave in Sheepshead Bay / Gerritsen Beach has outdoor dining. Even the Applebee's has it. As for Brownsville not getting their fair share, well, many of the gangs "own" the housing projects on Linden Blvd. and the whole of Brownsville gets a bad rap for that. Back in the late 70s I lived in Starrett City and it was fantastic. Now, from what I hear, not so much. But, there were plenty of new housing units built near there and they weren't all for lower income families.

  • yes, the writer seemed unable to differentiate between more than two categories:

    "Wealthy Park Slope" and "Struggling Brownsville"

    They seemed unable to articulate the various degrees of wealth, education, safety, etc.

    ...surely those things relate to how one views neighborhoods like Park Slope that have undergone massive changes.

    Perhaps it was too big of a topic to attempt in 2000 words?

  • Personally I think any neighborhood can be turned around. But, it's the people who live there now that have to be the ones that want to do it. They can't always wait for outsiders to come in and spur the growth. I think the program (S.O.S.) that you work with is a fine example of that. The people who live here in Crown Heights and PLG want their neighborhood to be the best it can be. I think the people in Brownsville-ENY are still a little too apathetic. It's not just relatives of victims who have to be outraged, it's everyone.

  • Apathy plays a role, but there also needs to be some resources to build off. To build anything, tools are needed...

    ...we can't just expect people who are at the bottom of the social and financial hierarchy to be able to get organized and fix stuff: A strong non-profit, politician, or something needs to lead the way.

    Many of the strong non-profits fled Brownsville long ago.... the communities experience brain drain because folks who get an education often move away.

  • As for the smarter folks leaving, that's a pity. It shows they don't care enough to better the neighborhood that they grew up in. And as for the people being in the bottom of the financial food chain, so to speak, I always found it funny that where ever I go, those same people always have money for cigarettes and spray paint for graffiti.

  • PragmaticGuy said:

    As for the smarter folks leaving, that's a pity. It shows they don't care enough to better the neighborhood that they grew up in. And as for the people being in the bottom of the financial food chain, so to speak, I always found it funny that where ever I go, those same people always have money for cigarettes and spray paint for graffiti.

    PragmaticCuy, that's an awful harsh judgment. And I don't quite understand why its the responsibility of any individual to make return to a neighborhood simply because they grew up there.

    Supposedly what's going on in Brooklyn now is all about young people being able to move to new neighborhoods that they have no prior relationship to and bring their energy and perspective to building a better community. Why is this okay for young white kids, but black folks who have moved away to go to school must come back home and "fix" everything or they are somehow bad, uncaring, heartless people?

    Why can't they have the same motivations as others, i.e they move away to go to school and stay there, they move to where they can get a job, they move to where their boyfriend/girlfriend is, or they move to the place where they "always wanted to live"? I'd suggest that a lot of people that come from Brownsville and move to other parts of the city don't go back because its not convenient to live there if you work in anywhere in the city other than a portion of Queens, LI, or Brownsville/ENY.

  • homeowner-

    I totally agree: People should be able to live wherever they can afford, and want.

    Which leads me to think that the folks you mention may also be able to move from Brownsville/ENY because their credit scores are better than those that live there.

    It never ceases to amaze me how similar rents are in "ok" vs "bad" parts of the city. No matter how much one earns, credit scores seem to be a big influence on whether one can move to a "more desirable area".

    More Desirable Area: An areas with better transportation, neighbors, food options, less crime, and better public services (fire, sanitation, police, schools, libraries etc).

  • Of course one should be able to live anywhere they want. And why would you think that "young, white kids" would make a neighborhood better when "young, minority kids" can't do the same. And maybe as the eastern end of Brooklyn grows, and there are some very nice blocks there, the people with better credit scores and higher incomes will start moving there. Just like I did when I lived in Starrett City back in the late 70s.

  • I think we would all love for young minority kids who are seemingly lost to be as interested in neighborhood and self improvement as these .

    ...but, even with lots more resources, I make no promises.

    Part of accepting that many at-risk youth can be reached, is that many can not be.

  • Speaking of SOS....

  • whynot_31 said:

    Until a new youth gang rises to terrorize the streets of Brownsville and ENY, the local residents and I will breath a sigh of relief.

    I'll even hope that (against all odds) these kids somehow learn different ways to live while in prison or OCFS.

    ....anyone got a magic wand, and some rehabilitative services funding I could borrow? I'm gonna need both.

    As feared, those arrests didn't do much.

    Arrests are only part of addressing a problem, especially when the underlying social conditions remain the same.

  • The NY Post obtained a copy of the NYPD's list of youth gangs.

    Here is said list:

    Here is article about said list:

  • NYT wrote: A 17-year-old from Brooklyn who was wanted in the murder of a 13-year-old boy was arrested on Friday, the police said.

    The suspect, Akbar Johns, of Brownsville, was one of a group of about 20 youths who confronted a smaller group that included the 13-year-old, Ronald Wallace, just after midnight on Aug. 24, the police have said. The groups got into a dispute that the police said was gang-related and Ronald was shot in the back.

    Mr. Johns was arrested on charges of second-degree murder and weapons possession, the police said.

    NYNP wrote: The Resilience Advocacy Project (RAP) has launched a new awareness-raising campaign that highlights the myriad causes, and far-reaching consequences, of youth poverty. The campaign – What Really Causes Youth Poverty? - features two videos, which depict a young boy and a young girl each expressing their deepest thoughts about why they are poor. RAP, a youth advocacy organization working to empower youth to break cycles of poverty, drew the idea for the content of the videos from years of working with youth from the poorest communities in New York.

    Click here to see the video.

    “So many young people internalize what they see around them, and it makes them think they are flawed somehow,” says Brooke Richie-Babbage, founder and Executive Director of RAP. “We know that that’s not true. We know that poverty is perpetuated by failing schools, funding cuts for after school programs, a fragmented job training system, ineffective sexual education… But because we never have frank conversations about the link between these and poverty, young people are left to come to their own conclusions.”

    Youth poverty statistics are increasingly alarming. The 2010 Census found more young people in poverty now than at any point since the Census began its tracking, and in certain pockets of New York City – like the South Bronx and Central Brooklyn – close to 50% of children and teens are living in poverty. Over 250,000 teens in NYC are “disconnected” from school and work; Approximately 1 in 6 NYC teens is a teen parent, and almost 4 in 5 will be arrested before their 18th birthday. Only 21% of NYC 8th graders can read proficiently, and only 26% can do math proficiently.

    “We are largely silent as a society about the real causes of youth poverty,” says Meghan DiPerna, RAP’s Board Chair. “But how can we figure out real strategies to end poverty if we don’t really talk about its causes? RAP aims to figure out real strategies – this campaign is part of that effort. ”

    As the city heads into the final two months before the election, RAP aims to tap into the political and social conversations that are occurring more frequently concerning our country’s leadership and values. The ultimate aim of the campaign is to make the issue of youth poverty part of those conversations. The videos challenge viewers to ask themselves: What do I think are the real causes and consequences of youth poverty, and what role do I play in ending it? RAP will be collecting all of the comments and responses to the videos, and sending them – along with the videos – to the Obama and Romney campaign directors on October 6th – exactly one month before the election.

    “Now is the time to spark a real conversation about what we can do to end youth poverty," says Richie-Babbage. "We have to start by helping young people see just how much power they have to shape their own destinies, and by creating a society that provides real support for their efforts to move out of poverty.”

  • What we can do to end youth poverty.....uhh, how about the parents having a job instead of sitting around doing nothing. How about the parents making sure kids are in school and doing their homework so they can help themselves to get out of poverty. Throwing money at poor people doesn't break the cycle. What helps the most is parents giving a shit. Kids are poor because they're born into it or something happens to the family that changes financial matters. Kids are not poor because of genetics. So, ending youth poverty doesn't start with the kids, it starts with the parents.

  • While I think we (i.e. not their parents) can do a lot of constructive things to reduce the cycle of poverty, I think this statistic is exaggerated in the above article:

    almost 4 in 5 will be arrested before their 18th birthday


    Surely this statistic does not apply to NYC teenagers as a whole.

  • Funny thing, or maybe it's not so funny, years ago I got held up in my office at gunpoint. Three teens. Cops took me for a drive around to see if I could spot them. We passed a schoolyard where a bunch of kids were playing B-ball. Cop says to me..."pick any one of them. They'll all end up in jail anyhow." That was 1997. Maybe they knew something we don't.

  • Some teachers currently hold similar attitudes. a certain point, such attitudes become deterministic.

  • Kids will mirror the behavior they see. If a child is being raised by someone who never 1)lived in a stable home; 2)was parented by a stable adult; 3)was taught that school and education were important; 4)understood that making a living is different than bringing money home you'll get kids that have screwed up morals and displaced values.

    I heard the following two statistics from Rachel Lloyd, executive director of Girls Educational and Mentoring Service (GEMS), which is an organization devoted to helping teenages child sex workers get out of the life. These help frame how vast the problem is.

    * The estimated median age of entry into the commercial sex industry in New York City occurs between the ages of 12 and 14.

    * A 2007 study showed that 75 percent of sexually exploited and trafficked children in New York City were in foster care at some point.

    We talk about parents working and getting a job in that "Duh" way - like its a common thing. But what we fail to understand is that for many kids, the values we take for granted - working, education, and stable relationships are not seen as being important in their families. So how do you deal with those kids? Can you reprogram their parents at 24, 25, 26 or are they simply lost causes?

  • Attempts to reprogram the parents are usually done only once a child is in danger of entering the foster care system.

    Various preventive service (ie "home visits and mandated classes") programs are then implemented in order to keep the kids at home. Foster care is expensive. Foster care has miserable outcomes. Foster care is a political nightmare.

    As a result, the bias is toward keeping kids home, and/or in their own neighborhoods.

    ....12 - 14 year old girls in the neighborhoods and situations we are describing are very susceptible to the older man who tells her she is beautiful and gives her some $.

    ...many boys are susceptible to proving their manhood and earning some extra $ by entering the local drug trade.

  • The folks behind Crown Heights SOS (the Center for Court Innovation) have just been awarded a federal grant to begin a similar project in guessed it... Brownsville:

    Bklyn Eagle wrote: Attorney General Eric Holder and the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) Director Denise E. O’Donnell, speaking in Brooklyn on Tuesday, announced more than $11 million in awards to address neighborhood-level crime in 15 locations nationwide.

    The awards, administered through the department’s new Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation (BCJI) program, will target locations or neighborhoods with significant levels of crime.

    The announcement includes a $600,000 award to the Center for Court Innovation (CCI) for the Brownsville Anti-Violence Project. In addition to the Center for Court Innovation, this partnership organization is supported by the Kings County District Attorney’s Office, the New York City Police Department, the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Eastern District of New York, the New York State Department of Corrections, the Pitkin Avenue Business Improvement District and the Brownsville Partnership.

    O’Donnell was joined by U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Loretta E. Lynch, New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, and Kings County District Attorney Charles J. Hynes.

    BCJI is a part of the Obama Administration’s larger Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative (NRI), which helps local and tribal communities develop community-oriented strategies to change neighborhoods of distress into neighborhoods of opportunity.

    “While overall crime rates have continued to decline nationwide, some neighborhoods have experienced troubling increases in specific types of criminal activity, which is why the department and our partners are providing additional resources to communities that need them the most,” said Attorney General Holder.

    Earlier this year, BJA awarded, through an agreement with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), $2 million in Public Safety Enhancement grants to HUD’s Choice Neighborhood grantees in Boston, Chicago, New Orleans and San Francisco.

    “In times of limited resources, community leaders need tools and information about crime trends in their jurisdiction and support to assess, plan and implement the most effective use of criminal justice resources to address priority crime issues,” said O’Donnell.

  • Wow Im so sorry I wasn't part of this thread earlier. Thanks for the insight whynot_31