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Prosecutor says second generation of gangs plaguing Flint area

Flint’s Police Chief said, at least once a week, the violent crime in Flint can be connected to gang activity
Published: Jul. 19, 2021 at 6:10 PM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - (7/19/2021) - Flint police are trying to push back against a rise in gang violence. That’s what they say was behind the death of Craig ‘CJ’ Myott.

The 25-year-old’s remains were found in a wooded area of Genesee County three weeks ago.

Chief Terence Green said his body was hidden there for more than a year, after his fellow gang members killed him.

This case has ABC12 asking how prevalent gangs are in the City of Flint.

The Chief said they’re definitely contributing to the rise in violent crime the City’s been experiencing throughout the last year.

He believes, at least once a week, one of Flint’s violent crimes can be traced back to gang activity.

“When we say gangs it could be this person resides in a certain neighborhood and they’re beefing or have, you know, animosity towards someone from another neighborhood,” Chief Green explained.

Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton added, “It’s not like there’s some big organized crime operation out there, it’s loosely knit young people from block to block in the city, acting bad.”

These types of groups have been around Flint for a long time. But, Leyton said he’s more concerned now because new gangs are forming.

“That are actually the children of the original gangs that I was prosecuting back in the day,” he explained. “So it’s still out there, it’s somewhat prevalent, it does create a problem in terms of violence.”

Leyton said what’s most concerning is the age range. 15 to 25 years olds make up these groups.

“My concern is that we are not providing the opportunities for employment, education, the opportunities just to get ahead by living a productive life,” he explained.

The Prosecutor wants to see the federal government provide more funding for community policing, too.

Chief Green is on board.

And he said, for months, the department’s Intel Center has been trying to stay on top of it all with “predictive analysis.”

“They’re doing a lot of work,” Green shared. “A lot of intel work as far as associating individuals that we know that might be associated with this membership of a gang or neighborhood.”

The Chief explained that when someone is shot, the analysts do what’s called a victimology. That involves tracing who this person may have issues with and who from the victim’s group may try to retaliate.

“I feel it’s been successful,” Green added.

And, he explained this effort is especially necessary because many are reluctant to speak up after they’re a victim. He doesn’t want to see the same shooter or shooters kill or injure someone else.

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