Criminal Justice

NYC indicts more than 100 suspected gang members in claimed shooting conspiracy

Two gang members have already been tried and convicted in the Sept. 11, 2011 murder of an 18-year-old high school basketball star, who was shot to death in a hallway near her apartment in a New York City housing project.

But Tayshana Murphy’s death was also front and center in a record sweep of two Harlem housing projects that authorities describe as being at the center of a war zone. More than 100 suspected gang members have been charged, the city police commissioner and Manhattan district attorney said at a Wednesday news conference. The defendants are accused of participating in a conspiracy in which two gangs are blamed for two slayings and more than a dozen shootings in a war of retribution over the past four years or so, according to the New York Times (reg. req.) and Reuters.

A number of the defendants were already in jail, and 40 more were rounded up Wednesday by 500 police officers in what authorities described as the largest single gang indictment in the city’s history. Another couple of dozen defendants are still being sought.

Officials say the tactic of holding members of a gang responsible for its acts will help reduce gun violence. They also point out that the same prosecutorial approach could be used on other rampant crimes, such as identity theft and cellphone theft,.

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