It’s been up for debate whether drill rap music or music videos should be used as evidence in making arrests connected to gun violence. However, it seems the NYPD has already made an advance, arresting 20 Bronx gang members with their “Operation Drilly” initiative, reported New York Daily News. The suspects were indicted for alleged connection to a variety of stabbings and shootings in the Bronx.
Per NY Daily News’ report, the violence spanned across an 82-count indictment including murder and attempted murder charges. One of the music videos used in the operation was Lee Drilly and E-Wuu’s “BET” which has over 270,000 views on YouTube, reported VIBE Magazine.
More on the operation from NY Daily News:
The indictment covers 32 violent crimes over 36 months, including brazen, broad-daylight shootings, some of which were bragged about on the drill rap music scene, authorities said. Arrests in “Operation Drilly” resulted in the recovery of 18 guns and charges that included murder, attempted murder, manslaughter, weapons possession, assault and grand larceny.
“The defendants allegedly committed multiple shootings, some in broad daylight, killing two people and injuring innocent bystanders,” said Bronx DA Darcel Clark. “These defendants terrorized residents of the Fordham/Bedford Park neighborhoods who were forced to run for their lives as bullets flew.”
Many of those arrested in the Thursday takedown had previous gun charges, said Deputy Chief Jason Savino, who commands the NYPD’s gun violence suppression division.
Delila Vasquez, 20, was shot and killed in March 2021 and James Rivera, 24, was killed in June 2020. Both of the murders were connected to the suspects who are alleged members of the G-Side/Drilly gang, according to prosecutors.
The defendants were alleged to boast about acts of violence in their music videos and challenge rivals, Clark said via NY Daily News. “It was beefs and slights and disrespects that all drove some of these incidents,” she said.
Mayor Eric Adams met with Maino, Fivio Foreign and other NY rappers to try and remove the negative stigma around the music genre, per VIBE. Though, Adams previously spoke out against drill rap music, calling for it to be banned on social media.