Boston’s New Problem: Stop Emerging Girl Gang “Epidemic”


Stunned by violence between gangs of young girls, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino is ordering new steps to stop the bloodletting, including the addition of female police detectives to a special unit, says the Boston Herald. “We need to stop it before it reaches an epidemic level,” said Menino, who has created a task force to deal with the crisis. Police Commissioner Kathleen O'Toole said the rise in violent crimes committed by teenage girls who associate or travel in loosely organized groups has prompted her to ask for more female cops in the Youth Violence Strike Force. “We tend to go focus our attention on male gangs. That focus is changing,” O'Toole said.

Teen girls were involved in at least four incidents of armed violence this week. On Monday night, a group “known as the 'Copeland Girls' ” surrounded the house of a 14-year-old girl, armed with a two-by-four, a knife, and a brick “to instigate a fight.” One member, Pamela “Scarface” Rivera, 17, explained with a smirk: “All we want to do is have fun. We're too cute to fight.” Community activists are responding by creating programs for younger teens, said Jeanette Boone of the Ella J. Baker House in Roxbury. “Girls are emulating boys more and more. It's evidenced in the maiming and the robbing of other girls,” Boone said. “If we continue to turn a blind eye to what's going on with these girls it could end up being an issue of them doing the same as their male counterparts: by taking up guns.”


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