(Memphis) Member profiles for gang members are changing drastically.
They start recruiting and they are looking to the future. You got to have allies. It’s good to always have allies in high places, big places.>
Gangs are no longer just looking for aimless youth, they are going after future lawyers, accountants and engineers according to a gang member who did not want to be identified, “You start integrating doctors, lawyers, educated individuals in, then it bust the circle and broadens it. That way you have more knowledge coming into the group.”
Lt. Anthony Carter heads up Memphis Police’s Gang Task Force.
He says the unit is finding new ways to crack down on gangs, as old crooks learn new tricks, “You are not just labeled a Joe Blow Crip, Vice Lord, Blood or GD. You have someone that is educated and a part of it. If he has a suit and tie on everyday, you are not gonna know if he is a member of one group or another.”
Gangs also recruit all types of working adults who become indebted to them for money or protection, “It’s easy to buy people. It’s easy to buy people, especially when you need people.”
All this makes it tougher for police to profile who may or may not be involved in a gang.
Those who join don’t always know what’s happening according to one member, ‘I can say ‘hey hold this for me. I walk off. You are working. Now you are working.’ It’s Just that simple.”