NEW YORK (Reuters) - More than 100
suspected gang members who have turned two Harlem housing projects into
a "war zone" have been charged with a string of violent crimes in the
largest gang indictment in New York City history, authorities said
Prosecutors say the 103 men named in two indictments belong to
three gangs - the allied Make It Happen Boys and Money Avenue, and
their rivals, 3 Staccs - who have fought a four-year turf war in and
around two neighboring public housing projects.The gangs are accused
of two homicides, 19 non-fatal shootings and about 50 other shooting
incidents, said Cyrus Vance, the Manhattan district attorney.
They face a string of charges, including attempted murder, gang
assault, criminal possession of a weapon and, the most serious,
"For these four years, these gangs have waged a campaign of violence
simply for the sake of violence," Vance told a news conference
announcing the arrests.
One of those killed in the violence was Tayshana Murphy, an
18-year-old high-school basketball star who lived in the Grant
Houses, one of the two housing projects. She was shot dead in a
hallway near her apartment on Sept. 11, 2011, as she fled members of
the Make It Happen Boys, who are based a block away in the
Manhattanville Houses. Two Make It Happen Boys - Tyshawn
Brockington, 24, and Robert Cartagena, 23 - were convicted for her
murder and sentenced to between 25 years and life in prison.
Some of the other gang members charged on Wednesday posted Facebook
messages and YouTube videos reveling in Murphy's death in the weeks
after, according to one of the indictments.
The gang feud is not linked to drugs or organized crime, but is
instead a dispute over territory on the streets and inside the
housing projects, said William Bratton, the city's police
He said the feud has turned the housing developments into a "war
zone" with residents fearful of being caught in the crossfire.
"They're not organized crime. They're not disorganized crime,"
Bratton said at the press conference. "It's all about violence."