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Gangs using social media to recruit minors

Law enforcement in Louisville and elsewhere have noticed a concerning trend in criminal activity that could easily spread to other cities, if it has not already — gangs using social media as recruitment tools.

Like any ostensibly commercial endeavor, gangs use social media to bolster their image in the community and to display what they offer. Often the pictures they use will involve members posing with guns, piles of cash or what appears to be illicit drugs. These can act as effective advertisements to prospective members, or be a show of force.

While this is troublesome in it's own right, the recruitment often seems to be targeted at minors, who can be valuable assets to gangs on the front lines of criminal activities, because minors usually do not have criminal records and are generally more difficult to prosecute. It is easy to understand how a minor could be drawn to a gang, as the sense of safety or belonging, and the way to establish identities for juveniles, are powerful motivators.

Unfortunately, operating within a gang is extremely dangerous. Beyond the risk of serving jail time for offenses like drug and weapon trafficking or robbery, gang members face great personal danger of being physically hurt or killed.

If you are a parent, aunt, uncle, or grandparent to a minor who is has been charged with a crime, that child deserves an excellent defense and a chance at leading a better life. There is no reason that a minor's foolish youthful choices should dictate the rest of his or her life. There is also the chance that they are not even guilty of the crime they are accused of — they may only be guilty of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. An experienced, qualified lawyer can help ensure that your child receives fair treatment while his or her rights remain protected.

Source: wdrb.com, "Louisville gangs using social media to recruit kids," Danielle Lama, Aug. 30, 2016

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