New law sends zero tolerance message to NJ gangs

New Jersey officials hope a new piece of legislation will help combat gangs and gang violence in the state. New legislation passed in the New Jersey Assembly that would make gang recruiting a crime. If

News 12 Staff

Mar 24, 2007, 2:23 AM

Updated 6,269 days ago

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New law sends zero tolerance message to NJ gangs
New Jersey officials hope a new piece of legislation will help combat gangs and gang violence in the state. New legislation passed in the New Jersey Assembly that would make gang recruiting a crime. If passed by the Senate, the law will carry up to 10 years in prison and $150,000 in fines. News 12 New Jersey spoke to a former gang member and cop who battles gangs every day about the new law. Marques Aquil Lewis is a former gang member with ties to the crips. He says he turned to gangs at a very young age because he had no real family. He also encouraged other kids to join, thinking it might actually be good for them. He says the key to stopping gangs starts with good parenting. Lewis says: ?If the parent is not doing their job at home, the child wouldn't be recruited. But if [the] if parent was there, they wouldn't look for love in that gang." Jersey City Detective, and gang specialist, Benjamin Wilson says he is encouraged by the crack down, but again reinforces the importance of good parenting. "What we're seeing now are people as young as 10 to12 years old recruiting and a lot of it is because of families.? Wilson says, ?We're getting second and third generation gang members," Wilson says. Hudson County prosecutor Ed DeFazio says the law will be very hard to enforce and even tougher to make convictions. He says with electronic surveillance and good police work it can be done.


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