by Chris Haire
WCBD-TV News 2 ran a new gang report this week. And while News 2 reporter Jenny Fischer— and some police officers — are apparently anxious to label a group of tag-happy teens gang members, a North Charleston PD gang expert will have none of it:
Police stress it's a group of kids between the ages of 12 and 17. [North Charleston Gang Intervention Officer Gary] Zimmer said, "It is not a gang like the Bloods or Crips." When Jenny showed Zimmer police reports with repeated usage of the word "gang," he disagreed. Later, he called it a non-violent gang and added, "We don't have turf wars like they have in other cities," Zimmer said.
Although apparently not included in the broadcast report, the online report includes the following lines:
Under South Carolina state law, a gang is defined as five or more people involved in an illegal activity. In this case, vandalism.
To paraphrase the ole novelty hit, "I say vandals. You say gangbangers."
Come back to us when these kids set up a crime syndicate that has a lock on the drug trade in their respective parts of town or when the bullets start flying.