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Gang debate plays out in Scranton

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  • Gang debate plays out in Scranton

    Only 90 minutes after leading a community meeting about gangs in South Scranton on Wednesday night, the Rev. Kathryn Simmons heard the call come across her police scanner at home.






    A group of 15 to 20 teenagers was attacking off-duty state police Trooper Joseph Gaughan after he tried to arrest one of them for disruptive behavior.

    To the Rev. Simmons, the assault was the latest in a string of crimes connected to area gangs. However, local law enforcement officials have been reluctant to make that characterization.

    Court records identified several of the teenagers involved as being connected with JRB, a loosely organized group of fans of the rap group Insane Clown Posse. At Thursday’s press conference, Scranton Police Chief David Elliott refused to mention its name, instead calling it a “group” and never once using the word “gang.”

    The difference cuts deeper than semantics and speaks to the divide about the perception of gang activity in Scranton.

    “I still don’t see it as a major issue because of one incident,” Chief Elliott said Thursday.

    “They’re in denial,” the Rev. Simmons said of local officials. “Whenever any group of people, young or old, gather in number to cause vandalism or any kind of assault to a human being, you’re a gang. You’re not a clique anymore.”

    Two types of gangs

    The legal definition of gangs is an ongoing group of three or more people who can be identified through a common element like colors or a name.

    Officials have recognized there are two types of gangs in the Scranton area: those they call “traditional gangs” like the Bloods, Crips and Latin Kings, who are drawn to the region for its drug trade, and also local groups that are largely unstructured.

    Police admit there are local groups that meet the legal definition of a gang, but aren’t involved in the type of severe crime the Bloods and Crips are known for.

  • #2
    A Gang Based On The Insane Clown Posse?....hahahahah what are they? a gang of 7 year olds?

    i bet they still buy happy meals.
    RIP Proof
    End Of An Era

    Comment


    • #3
      lol

      Comment

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