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Tuesday, 26 January 2010

looking for “Black Pat” police raided his house in the Hill neighborhood in late August and found a stash of drugs, cash and gang recruitment pamphlet

looking for “Black Pat” police raided his house in the Hill neighborhood in late August and found a stash of drugs, cash and gang recruitment pamphlets.

Most troubling to police was the trove of materials glorifying the culture of the organization known as the “Grape Street Crips.” The Grape Street Crips — a copycat of a violent Los Angeles gang of the same name — had been confined to the Hill neighborhood about six blocks south of Yale’s Medical School campus, and police were determined not to let them expand.Although police doubt the presence of the El Salvadoran gang in the New Haven area, some buildings in Fair Haven have been tagged with graffiti bearing the gang's name.On Aug. 27, members of the New Haven Police Department’s Tactical Narcotics Unit acted on their suspicions and burst into “Black Pat’s” house. Pat, 27, whose real name is Patrick Brown and who is also called “Pizzy,” was nowhere to be found. But the drugs netted the arrest warrants police needed to put Brown behind bars — if they could ever catch him.
Police continued surveillance of the 15- to 20-person gang, arresting another member for a murder in September. But Brown — the gang’s leader — continued to elude capture. Acting on a tip, detectives finally caught Brown after surrounding him in his Chevy Equinox on Orchard Street on Oct. 21. They sealed the block, expecting trouble, but Brown gave up without a fight.The Crips have been relatively quiet in New Haven ever since, according to police. But they are but one of the many gang factions police are now fighting in New Haven. Like a game of whack-a-mole, the New Haven police frequently quash gangs that pop up around the city. But even after a successful strike, another gang always emerges, police say. According to interviews with six New Haven police officials and two outside gang experts, a complex and fluid network of street gangs inhabit the city’s neighborhoods, with constantly shifting allegiances and dealings.While police say few if any gangs have actual ties to national gangs — even if they share a name, such as the Crips — they remain just as dangerous to the city. For example, police said local gangs are behind a majority of drug crimes in the city, a majority of shootings and a significant portion of robberies.
The NHPD now has arguably the most aggressive stance against gangs in decades. Meanwhile, local gangs have showed a greater interest in identifying with larger, more organized national groups such as the Bloods and Crips. Under the direction of soon-to-retire Police Chief James Lewis, the police have taken a tough stance against gangs, but no official doubted that despite the city’s best efforts, gangs are here to stay in the Elm City.


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