By Vanessa Dominguez -
The website YouTube has assisted police departments across the county in identifying gang members, illegal activity, and violent criminals assaulting innocent victims.
Many gang groups require a new member to physically assault an innocent victim while peers watch and cheer him on, some even have their older siblings and parents in the audience. The onlookers encourage the new member to keep brutalizing the victim. In the past The Greeley Police Department has used the website to identify gang members and has arrested people who were involved in crimes and posted them online. The GPD has also been able to charge parents with a crime for not stopping the behaviour.
Many criminals post videos proudly; this is their badge or trophy to show their friends, post on social network sites, or to watch repeatedly as entertainment. But when the police knock at their door, it is not so entertaining. The Greeley Gazette was able to find local assaults and gang members on YouTube with a little detective work. The videos have been viewed hundreds of times; glamorizing criminals and their activity.
District 6 director of safety, John Gates, said he periodically checks social media sites for illegal activity posted. In regard to postings made by Greeley gang members, he is unable to take action if the act does not occur on school grounds. He said that most times, he finds legitimate videos such as school events, assemblies, and activities that are posted online. Most times, if the video contains nudity or drug use, it is deleted by YouTube’s filters. These were able to slip through the cracks.
Area residents can help by reporting any videos they may view that contain illegal activity to the Greeley or Evans police department with a link to the video. Many criminals do not think before they post that as gang members they are likely to be in the police database for gang members or affiliates. Especially on sites such as Facebook where a member must use a first and a last name.
Tags: activity, By Vanessa Dominguez, charge, District Six, Evans, gang, Greeley, Greeley Gang Members, Greeley Police, help, John Gates, member, network, online, Police Department, safety, show, The Greeley Gazette, The Greeley Police Department, use