Last month the NYPD announced the arrests of 49 Brooklyn gang members from crews called the Rockstarz and the Very Crispy Gangters, a bust facilitated by the senseless commenting the young men did on Facebook. “By capitalizing on the irresistible urge of these suspects to brag about their murderous exploits on Facebook, detectives used social media to draw a virtual map of their criminal activity over the last three years,” said Police Commissioner Ray Kelly. Now, as the department’s gang unit doubles to 300 detectives, social media is a main battleground.
As mentioned in September, officers have been given a new set of tech-y guidelines “to instill the proper balance between the investigative potential of social network sites and privacy expectations,” Kelly said in a speech yesterday, according to the AP.
In an attempt to match the gangs’ absurd names, the NYPD has declared this offensive “Operation Crew Cut,” and will deal with the real world too. “We’ll focus those resources not on large, established gangs such as the Bloods and Crips, but on the looser associations of younger men who identify themselves by the block they live on, or on which side of a housing development they reside,” said Kelly, whose department also remains steadfast in its use of bad puns.