Forty-Three Charged in Connection With Brooklyn’s Wave Gang and Hood Starz

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Photo: Spencer Platt/2004 Getty Images

Authorities announced yesterday the indictment of 43 members of two Brooklyn gangs, ranging in age from 15 to 21 years old, who were "engaged in open warfare," according to Brooklyn district attorney Charles Hynes. The Wave Gang and their rivals, the Hood Starz, were both based out of Brownsville and while "not tightly organized around drug or other money-making endeavors," attempted to control territory through intimidation and frequent gun fights. The NYPD blames the gangs for six homicides and 32 shootings in the last year and a half, leading to charges of second-degree murder and first-degree conspiracy. 

The Wave Gang, the Times reports, was named for the logo on their preferred Adidas shoes, but also lent itself to beach-related slang:

Rival gang members called it “going to the beach,” code for venturing into territory controlled by a landlocked crew in Brooklyn that called itself the Wave Gang.

Such outings were rarely tranquil, and often led to shootings between the Wave Gang and their rivals, the Hood Starz.

When Hood Starz gang members would shoot a rival Wave, they congratulated themselves with another breezy-sounding phrase.

“They would say they ‘clapped him off the surfboard,’” Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said.

Police said their investigation was aided by the close monitoring of social networks like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. "By linking their boastings and postings on social media to active cases and other crime, these officers were able to build this case," said Kelly.