"Gangs" & the Criminalization of Association

Gang allegations are used in policing, prosecution, immigration court, jails, prisons, and more to stoke fear and trigger harsher punishment. The NYPD operates a gang database with no meaningful oversight and accountability, no clear measures to ensure that people are not erroneously placed or kept on the database, no transparency on whether a person is on the database, and no remedy to remove one’s self from it. The NYPD uses arbitrary criteria to determine gang membership or affiliation such as living in a “known gang location,” apparel, scars, tattoos, hand signs and relationships with “known gang members.” Significantly, commission of any crime is not among the criteria. ICE similarly uses specious criteria to label people as gang members, and has even admitted to using the label to scare judges into detaining immigrants while they fight against deportation. In addition to our work on abolishing the illegal database, BDS is a coalition member of the G.A.N.G.S coalition.

Resources

Testimony

BDS Testimony Before New York City Council on Gang Policing

Article

New York Daily News Article: Erase the NYPD’s gang database: The city can be kept safe without unfair, discriminatory and unnecessary information gathering

Article

The Intercept Article: NYPD added nearly 2,500 new people to its gang database in the last year

An illustration of community members holding a protest on the Brooklyn Bridge, raising signs that say: No Justice No Peace, Change, Equity, and Fairness.

Spread the Word on the Dangers of Gang Policing

Join us in spreading the word about the #EraseTheDatabaseNYC movement by visiting the G.A.N.G.S coalition's website. Watch and share the coalition's series of short videos about the dangers of gang policing.