HOUSTON—Neighbors in a southwest Houston community welcomed the news that the county has decided to get tough on local gangs.
”I think it might help,” said one woman who refused to identify herself. She lives in the Brays Oaks neighborhood, an area crawling with gangs.
”It’s real scary at night. They’re crazy over here,” she said.
Another resident said he lives in fear of gang members.
”They don’t look friendly. They look intimidating.”
This week, the Harris County Attorney filed nuisance lawsuits against eleven members of the Crips and Bloods, and the owners of two convenience stores that have allegedly turned a blind eye to criminal activity.
Authorities also shared police surveillance video that showed suspected gang members congregating at the Albury Food Mart and the I and A Food Mart.
”Our goal is to make this a safer area, to cut down on crime and to send a message to other gang members,” said county attorney Vince Ryan.
According to a gang expert who coaches kids to stay out of trouble, convenience stores are often a hub of illegal activity.
”Young people often hang out there,” said Reggie Gordon. “When you have that kind of activity hanging out, you have to go back to the stores and put pressure on them.”
An employee at the I and A Food Mart said gang members weren’t welcome there.
Locals hoped the assurances and the legal action would make things better.
If the county wins in court, the suspected gang members will no longer be allowed in the neighborhood.