About 10 days after the Fourth of July in 2015, Corey Roberts entered a Brooklyn courtyard where children were riding scooters and bikes.
Roberts, 23, allegedly declared his presence by saying, "I'm Fresh, Corey is my name, from Ditmas, Newkirk." He then opened fire, striking two innocent bystanders.
Roberts was indicted, along with 17 other men, for his part in a violent street gang known as Folk Nation: No Love City.
"Our streets don't belong to violent street gangs or armed thugs," Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson said at a press conference Wednesday. "They belong to the people of Brooklyn."
Thompson announced the 76-count indictment in which the 18 men have been charged with conspiracy to commit murder, weapons possession, and other charges stemming form several other Brooklyn shootings.
"We must never allow violent street gangs to take over and terrorize our communities by going on hunting expeditions and roaming our streets shooting and killing people at will," Thompson said.
No Love City is a subset of Folk Nation, an alliance of gangs that started in Chicago prisons in the 1970s.
Thompson said No Love City gang members operated primarily out of the Flatbush neighborhood and directed their violence toward rival gang members in Canarsie, in retaliation for the murder of Malik Bhola, a 17-year-old No Love City member, who was fatally shot in the chest following a fight over a girl at a party.
The gang members used social media, including Facebook messages, to organize themselves and brag about shootings, Thompson said.
"I want to boom it up," they wrote on Facebook. "We gotta make sure somebody gets touched tonight."
In October 2015, following the execution of a gang member known as Money Bags, No Love City found out rapper Meek Mill was filming a music video as part of the movie Creed in Brooklyn, Thompson said. The people in the video posted photos of the set on Instagram, and members of No Love City identified their rivals.
No Love City gang members drove to the video scene and opened fire against the rival gang members. Law enforcement was able to track the incident back to No Love City after DNA from the scene was matched to Javanni Moise, who later sought medical attention at Kings County Medical Center.
Fifteen of the defendants were arraigned before Brooklyn Supreme Court and held without bail. Another defendant is awaiting extradition from New Jersey and law enforcement officials are still searching for two others. They face various charges including second-degree murder and attempted murder. All defendants were charged with second-degree conspiracy, which could land them up to 25 years behind bars.
Mary Ann Georgantopoulos is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Mary Ann Georgantopoulos at email@example.com.
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