ROCKVILLE, Md. (WUSA) - - Montgomery County Police say more local gangs are using social media to communicate with others, even coordinating criminal activity.
Officer Amy Daum said, "We used to see these kids flashing colors and gang signs in their neighborhood now we're seeing them do the same thing on social media."
Sites like Facebook and Twitter are popular among gangs. Many have even posted beatings on YouTube. "Gang culture has emerged in a huge way in our popular culture," said the officer.
Police point to Landover native and rapper Tay Don. In his video "Black on Black Crime," he is seen wearing a shirt that says NFL which stands for the "N-word from Landover." Police associate NFL with a gang but Tay Don who spoke to me on the phone as he was heading to a show in NE said it was not a gang. He claims to use NFL as a tool to unite the community and many different neighborhoods of Landover.
Despite songs entitled "Robbin' Season" and "Shootout," the artist said, "I do not condone violence and have never been a part of a gang."
"These artists who are talking to your kids and singing to your kids...we need to be more aware what these artists and pop culture are promoting," the officer said.
She said gang activity on line, whether real or perceived, is creating a dangerous culture of copycats. Parents are urged to monitor their child's online behavior and become concerned if you see your son or daughter wearing the same color repeatedly.
Montgomery County Police define a gang as three or more individuals, with a common identifier, joined to commit a crime.
Written by Delia Gonçalves
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