Bed-Stuy's Sumner Houses. Photo: Google Maps.

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Fifteen young men aged between 16 and 24 and allegedly belonging to Brooklyn’s 900 gang have been charged in a 77-count indictment that includes two murders and nine shootings. Four additional alleged members of the 900 gang have also been charged in a separate 11-count indictment with conspiracy to commit murder and to possess weapons. On Wednesday, Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez announced the charges with NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea and said the indictments reflected the city’s commitment to stem the surge in gun violence that had been going on since last spring. The DA’s office said the young men had been charged with conspiracy to commit murder and possessing guns in an effort to maintain the gang’s territorial dominance in Bedford-Stuyvesant. In the 77-count indictment, the accused are charged with committing the murders of Tracey Washington and Wydeem Rudd and of nine shootings. The 15 defendants are variously charged with second-degree murder, second-degree attempted murder, first-, second- and fourth-degree conspiracy first- and second-degree assault, first-degree attempted assault, first-degree reckless endangerment and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon. They face up to 25 years in prison on the top conspiracy charge and the five defendants charged with murder face up to 25 years to life in prison, the DA’s office said. Eight of the defendants were arraigned last week in Brooklyn Supreme Court and the others will be arraigned on a later date. Gonzalez said the defendants were allegedly members of a violent street gang known as 900 Gang, which is an umbrella organization comprised of affiliated violent street gangs operating in Brooklyn, including Stack Money Goons (SMG) and Jayson Fam (JSF). SMG and JSF control territory within the confines of the 79th precinct bordering the 90th Precinct. The indictment alleges between April 19, 2019 and November 20, 2020, 900 members engaged in violence to establish geographic dominance in Brooklyn in areas including the Sumner Houses, Tompkins Houses and 303 Vernon Avenue developments in Bed-Stuy. To maintain dominance, the indictment alleges the you men committed murder and shootings directed at the rival Hoolies gang. Hoolies gang operates out of a building complex located across the street from SMG and JSF territory and the gang’s territory includes 721 Willoughby Avenue and 300 Vernon Avenue, as well as the Roosevelt Houses, the DA’s office said. According to the indictment, incarcerated 900 members communicated with non-incarcerated members in jail phone calls to keep up to date on the status of members or to discuss violent acts. The defendants also allegedly used Facebook and Instagram to demonstrate their gang membership and to broadcast gang activity, and they allegedly posted music videos to YouTube containing song lyrics referencing the status of rivalries and referring to acts of violence committed by gang members, the indictment says. Additionally, gang members allegedly signified their status as shooters by adopting the names of famous basketball players on social media or in song lyrics. These basketball players included “Shaq,” “Kobe,” “Curry,” “Westbrook,” and “Harden.” In the 11-count indictment, four alleged 900 members from the 1800/Humble gang have been charged over a shooting on Christmas Day, 2019, when allegedly they shot at a rival gang member at the Kingsborough Houses in Crown Heights. No one was injured in the shooting. The indictment alleges the 1800/Humble gang is in a feud with rival gang OTB (Only the Borough) for geographic dominance in Bed-Stuy and Crown Heights. “Many of these defendants are accused of recklessly opening fire in broad daylight, endangering not only their rivals but innocent passersby, including children,” Gonzalez said, adding he was determined to keep working on similar cases to get more shooters off the streets. NYPD Chief of Detectives Rodney Harrison echoed the sentiment saying, “there is no place in our city for the kind of violence alleged in this case, which tears at the fabric of life for all.”

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