Dozens of police from across New York City stormed two Harlem housing projects, arresting some 100 people they believe have been at the center of a deadly gang feud that included the 2011 killing of an 18-year-old woman destined for basketball greatness.
According to the New York Daily News, police dressed in full combat gear and carrying battering rams raided the Gen. Ulysses S. Grant and Manhattanville housing projects early Wednesday morning.
“We ain’t no f–king gang. I ain’t in no f–king gang,” a man identified by the Daily News as Isaac Waterman, 20, said as police walked him in cuffs.
According to the newspaper, the two housing projects, which sit blocks away from each other, have been feuding for some time, and gang warfare over turf includes shootings and murder. Sources told the Daily News that those arrested could face “charges including conspiracy, conspiracy to commit murder and other serious charges involving two killings and 20 additional shootings.”
The raid is a product of the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office and the New York City Police Department’s gang unit joining forces, with police noting that Wednesday’s arrests are part of the largest operation of its kind in city history.
The Daily News reports that the investigation into gang activity within the two housing complexes came after nationally ranked Murry Bergtraum High School point guard Tayshana “Chicken” Murphy was killed by two gunmen who had an altercation with her brother and went looking for revenge. When they couldn’t find her brother, they took it out on Murphy in her own building on Sept. 10, 2011.
The newspaper notes that Murphy, 18, was killed as “she begged for mercy.”
Robert Cartagena, 23, and Tyshawn Brockington, 24, were convicted in separate trials of killing Murphy, and each is serving 25 years to life in prison.
“It makes me anxious to wake up and see all these cops,” T. White, 47, a resident of the Manhattanville Houses, told the Daily News. “But I’m happy to see it; the violence needs to stop. We all need to live together; this is all [of] our neighborhood.”
Read more at the New York Daily News.