Dallas is witnessing a surge in drive-by shootings and local police believe exchanges between rival gangs on social media fuel the incidents.
According to The Dallas Morning News, Dallas has witnessed 122 drive-by shootings in 2017 alone. The city saw only 49 such incidents at this same time last year. Police believe drugs and gangs are factors in the shootings and they think these matters become actionable following gang-related interaction on social media.
Interim Police Chief David Pughes said, “We’ve seen instances in which there is a gang war that takes place on social media where one gang is challenging another gang. That ultimately ends up in a drive-by shooting at one of the places.”
A number of the drive-by incidents are taking place in the area of the city patrolled by the southeast division. Tiffinni Young is the city council member for that area and lives in Buckner Terrace. She says she “hears shots almost every night.” Moreover, she added, “You have seniors in our district that are living in fear that they can’t come to the other side of the door.”
Pastors and other leaders in the community are worried that violence may swell to unimaginable levels in the hot months of summer if the gang problem is not addressed. The Morning News reports that the “police gang unit was nearly gutted under former Chief David Brown” and is only now being rebuilt.
It is interesting to note that in January 2016, Chicago’s top cop blamed social media for a surge in shootings in that city. Chicago interim police superintendent John Escalante said, “A lot of it is gang conflicts, but [it’s] also heavily driven by social media. It is the new way … of taunting and challenging other gangs, and is the modern way of gang graffiti.”
Chicago ended 2016 with almost 4,400 shooting victims and nearly 800 homicides.
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of Bullets with AWR Hawkins, a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.