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America’s violent crime is intertwined with its forgotten gang problem, experts say


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Washington Examiner

The gang wars of the 1980s and 1990s may seem like a thing of the past, but crime experts say neighborhood gangs are thriving and involved in violent crime that has rocked American cities this year.

 

In the midst of nationwide protests, looting, and riots in May and June, gangs can take advantage of the civil unrest, U.S. Attorney of the Southern District of Georgia Bobby Christine told the Washington Examiner.

“We’ve seen a confluence of all manner of criminal activity in criminal street gangs — everything from your traditional activity of violence, enforcement, theft, robbery, burglary. We’ve seen that also in human trafficking and also in large, complex drug distribution,” Christine said in a phone call. “It would stand to reason that, given the unrest, they could exploit that scene for their nefarious purposes.”

Many major U.S. cities' police departments have reported upticks in violent crimes since the spring. In Atlanta, murders rose 86% in June compared to a year earlier, and “most of the shootings are gang-related.” An estimated 70,000 gang members resided in Georgia as of 2018.:snip:

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