Alleged gang members suspected of selling videotapes of robberies, assaults
November 23, 2009
DENVER (AP) – Three suspects are sought in a roundup of alleged gang members suspected of videotaping robberies and assaults, then selling the tapes as entertainment.
Denver police Friday announced 32 arrests of suspects involved in what authorities have called racially motivated assaults across Denver, including in the Lower Downtown – or LoDo – entertainment district.
Police said the suspects arrested belonged to either the Rollin’ 60s Crips gang or the Black Gangster Disciples gang. They are accused of robbing white or Latino men of wallets, iPods, and cash.
Three suspects had not been arrested as of Sunday.
A task force of Denver police, the FBI and District Attorney Mitch Morrissey’s office identified 26 incidents since July.
Police in September asked for the public’s help in solving 14 muggings, but didn’t let on that they were investigating the crimes as part of a racial-fueled pattern of crime.
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Denver Police Chief Gerry Whitman said groups of four or five black men would approach their victims late at night or early in the morning, taunting them with racial slurs. Victims have had broken noses and shattered eye sockets.
The Rev. Leon Kelly, who runs a Denver gang-prevention program, said he got a copy of a videotaped assault recorded in West Palm Beach, Fla. As gang members surrounded a white couple at a club, one of them told the others to hold on.
“He said, ‘Let me get this camera on.’ It’s a staged thing,” Kelly said.
Such tapes are taken from city to city and are mimicked by other gang members.
Denver police Lt. Matt Murray said a national TV program on Friday profiled similar gang-fueled activity in Minneapolis.
“We’re not the only city having something like this happen,” Murray said.
Information from: The Denver Post, http://www.denverpost.com