City leaders admit 8 different gangs wreaking havoc across Baton Rouge
BATON ROUGE - During a news conference Thursday, Baton Rouge Police admitted at least eight different gangs are wreaking havoc across the community and measures are in place to address the subzones where they are operating.
"Just yesterday, based on investigative intelligence, suggested and identified gangs in our city are looming," Baton Rouge Police Chief Murphy Paul told reporters. "The violence is looming and my idea is a more informed community is a safer community."
Paul was joined by Mayor Sharon Weston Broome and a number of other law enforcement partners. They said crimes involving firearms are the priority for now, and Street Crimes and Special Operations units are targeting zones in the community with the highest incidents of shootings.
This year alone, they've seen thousands of felony arrests and hundreds of juveniles committing crimes.
"We have more than 3,100 felony arrests this year, 355 juveniles... and we've seized more than 1,366 firearms," Paul said.
During the news conference, Paul and Broome said many of the problems they are having involve the same individuals arrested for crimes over and over. One of those cases involves Derian Bailey. Bailey was booked on a host of charges Thursday morning, after leading police on a chase through the busy streets of Baton Rouge Monday. The chase ended in a violent crash that killed one of his passengers.
Bailey was freshly out of jail after posting a $300,000 bond set by Judge Fred Crifasi for a 2018 attempted murder charge. Prior to that, he was convicted in a 2012 killing in north Baton Rouge.
"In many of these instances, far too often we are seeing rearrests," Broome said. "Of the same individuals who were arrested for other serious crimes. This is not finger pointing or placing blame. It's telling the truth, and it's the reality of what we are dealing with."
"As your chief, I promise you, I assure you there is not a stone that's being unturned," Paul said. "It's all hands on deck, and we will continue to do that."
As the crime problem appears to continue spiraling out of control, city leaders held a meeting with college campuses Thursday to discuss it. Other meetings are scheduled with the justice system in the future.
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