Commentary

I'm With Stupid: Social Media Boasts Lead to Gang Bust

While I would never encourage anyone to break the law, I take it as axiomatic that if you are going to do something criminal, you probably shouldn’t boast about it in a public forum.

Apparently no one told the members of the “Wavegang” and “Hoodstarz,” two gangs in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn that were recently busted by the New York Police Department for a series of shootings that killed three, injured more, and generally kept their neighborhoods in a constant state of terror. Social media played a key role in nabbing 43 gang members from both gangs, according to the NYPD, which released details of social media activities so profoundly stupid you have to wonder if the quality of gang recruits has fallen off in recent years.

This much is clear: these gangs were not the disciplined, well-oiled machines portrayed in The Wire, as evident in their decision to boast about serious crimes on a public forum. According to NYPD commissioner Ray Kelly, quoted by NY1 speaking at a press conference, police investigators “followed gang members on Twitter, on Facebook and on YouTube. By linking their boastings and postings on social media to active cases and other crime, these officers were able to build this case.” Cue Dragnet theme: dumb dumb-dumb-dumb…

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The whole thing is even better (in the sense of more hilariously stupid) because the NYPD actually announced its intention to monitor social media for evidence of criminal activities last year. Back in August it was revealed that assistant commissioner Kevin O'Connor would head up a newly-created social media division, which is part of the juvenile justice unit, and which monitosr social media on the lookout for information about misbehavior ranging from out-of-control house parties to gang battles. O'Connor previously made a name for himself with online policing efforts including stings targeting sexual predators on social media and helping apprehend murderers based on their online boasting.

3 comments about "I'm With Stupid: Social Media Boasts Lead to Gang Bust".
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  1. Steven Clarke from a440, January 19, 2012 at 5:29 p.m.

    Too funny. It's like the guy who holds up a bank with a note written on the back of his deposit slip

  2. Casey Quinlan from Mighty Casey Media LLC, January 19, 2012 at 6:39 p.m.

    This is priceless. Really. Thanks for the great laugh! At stupid!

  3. Stephen DiNardo from Steve & Kate's Camp, LLC, January 19, 2012 at 8:02 p.m.

    It's comforting to know that downright stupid Twitter behavior is not limited to political figures. If there was a Darwin Award for Twitter use, Anthony Weiner now has some competition.

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