Assistant Commissioner to Community Affairs Kevin O’Connor handed out a list of crews in south Queens, including POS (Pop on Sight) at Hammels Houses from Beach 81st to 86th streets and Rockaway Beach Boulevard to Beach Channel Drive; the Woodhaven Mayans from 85th Street to 88th Street; and the Woodcity Gang from Woodhull to Jamaica avenues and 195th to190th streets.
O’Connor emphasized that these aren’t typical gangs because there are no initiations, there is no hierarchy, and kids simply form alliances based on where they live. Many kids kill or assault each other just for being in another crew.
“Everything today is about protecting each other and forming an alliance,” O’Connor said.
He said social media has ramped up the intensity. Kids post everything on Facebook, including pictures with guns, ranting about beefs, what party they are going to and even images from ambulances after getting shot.
“You’re seeing a change of environment in the gangs,” he said. “The pressure is now on the Internet.”
During the summit, which was held at Campus Magnet High School, O’Connor also showed numerous images of gang-related graffiti. He said if there is the letter 'k' at the end it means they have a beef with that crew, but if there is an arrow or the number '2' that means two crews are in alliance.
Only about 20 parents and kids attended the summit. Christine Merrick has been a teacher’s aide at Campus Magnet for 10 years.
“Violence has decreased in the school,” she said, but wished more students would have attended the event.