EXCLUSIVE: Social media fuels gang violence - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

EXCLUSIVE: Social media fuels gang violence

Posted: Updated:
By: Alexandra Cowley 
acowley@abc6.com 

Local gangs are turning to social media to taunt their rivals. It's blatant, it's violent, and it's working. The messages from various Providence gangs are popping up all over YouTube. In the videos, gang members specifically target their rivals, threatening extreme violence.

Most of the violence in the capital city is targeted. Much of it is gang and drug related. What we're learning from these YouTube videos is just how brazen these members are.

"you beef with us, you outta' luck," are the words rapped in one video posted on YouTube by a local gang. The videos are all over YouTube. Some with thousands of views, all of them flaunting blatant violence.

"It is shocking to see a dozen young men you know carrying hand guns," said RIBCO president Richard Ferruccio. 

As president of the Rhode Island Brotherhood of Correctional Officers, Ferruccio has seen his fair share of gang violence inside the ACI. But he says social media is fueling the feuds.

"I think with the media available to these young kids now they're definitely flaunting it and they're taunting one another. So I think that's why were seeing some of this increase. I think it looks popular, I think it looks cool to a lot of the young kids," said Ferruccio.

The videos are even being used to recruit kids into gang life.

Ferruccio says, "They get into some details about their beefs with the other gangs, they get into detail about dealing drugs, they get into detail about what they're going to do with the other gangs."

"There have been homicides as a result of some of these videos," said Ferruccio.

Ferruccio says the murder of 22-year-old Gandy Kaydea, known as Young Shad was a result of gang retaliation after a video he posted online. Kaydea was an aspiring rapper. He was strangled to death before his body was lit on fire in Cranston's Pocasset cemetery in March of 2013. His murder remains unsolved.

Cranston Police Detective Captain Sean Carmody has been leading the investigation on Kaydea's murder. He says nothing in the investigation has led them to any videos as a cause of his murder. Captain Carmody asks that if anyone has information about this, they should contact Cranston police.

Ferruccio says these videos, if anything, show the gang's fearlessness of the law and getting caught.

He said, "When these individuals get released from the ACI and get released back to our community, these beefs are going to continue."

In 2011, there were 12 murders in Providence. Nine of those were a result of shootings. In 2012, there were 17 homicides in Providence, 14 were a result of shootings. Last year, there were 14 murders in the capital city, 10 of those were a result of shootings. 

Providence police's gang unit does monitor these videos and in some cases can use them to identify members. 

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