Leaked FBI memo warns of possible gang presence at Pegasus Parade
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The Louisville Metro Police Department confirmed on Wednesday a possible threat involving gang members showing up in large numbers to the Republic Bank Pegasus Parade on May 1. The information was leaked to the media in the form of an internal FBI memo on the subject.
Police acknowledged the information during a Wednesday afternoon news conference, but they refused to provide additional details.
"It's unfortunate that the information was out," said LMPD Sgt. Phil Russell. "However, as far as the particulars in the memo, I think the memo spoke for itself."
The FBI memo says the possible parade threat has not been verified. "Specific plans for acts of violence or other criminal activity at the parade by [a particular gang] are currently unknown," the memo reads.
The original intention of the police news conference was to announce the arrests of more teenagers in connection to the mob violence that swept downtown Louisville on the night of March 22 -- two boys: a 14-year-old who is charged with robbery, rioting and burglary, and a 15-year-old who is charged with burglary. Investigators said they have identified another juvenile whom they plan to charge within the next few days.
According to the FBI memo, the teenagers were not at Waterfront Park on March 22 to memorialize Me'Quale Offutt. Instead they went to the park to fight another gang "whose members had been ‘talking smack' about Offutt." When the members of the other gang did not show the mob violence began.
The memo also states the current initiation for the gang, which originated at Frost Middle School, requires the recruit to assault someone.
Below is the leaked FBI memo.
WAVE 3 News has previously reported the name of one of the gangs involved in this story. However, after consulting with an expert on gang violence, we have determined that this provides exactly the kind of publicity gangs are seeking. Therefore, it is the policy of WAVE 3 News going forward that we will not report the names of the gangs involved in this story or related ones. We may make exceptions to this policy on a case by case basis, and we will note our reasons for those exceptions if they occur.
"Good afternoon! Per our discussion, below, please find information provided to the FBI regarding the recent events originating at Waterfront Park last weekend. Please forward on to anyone with a need to know.
According to information provided to the FBI today, the group responsible for the "mob violence" in and around Waterfront Park this past weekend is a gang of middle school students known as [Gang A], which stands for [redacted]. [Gang A] may also refer to themselves as "Squad." [Gang A] did not gather at Waterfront Park to memorialize Me'Quale Offutt, the boy who was killed on the TARC bus on 3/16, as was reported by the media. [Gang A] members went to Waterfront Park to fight another local gang [Gang B] whose members had been "talking smack" about Offutt. [Gang B] members apparently didn't show, which is when the "mob violence" ensued.
THREAT: Information received by the FBI indicates that [Gang A] wants to beat up Anthony Allen (the man acquitted for the stabbing death of Offutt), and they are specifically targeting Allen's daughter [name redacted]. Rumor on the street is that [Gang A] members want to kill Allen's daughter. At this time, the FBI does not have any additional details about this threat.
Additionally, there have been rumblings about [Gang A] members planning on "going deep" (showing up in large numbers) at the upcoming Derby Parade. Specific plans for acts of violence or other criminal activity by [Gang A] at the parade are currently unknown.
About [Gang A]:
[Gang A] is comprised of mainly middle school students from in and around the Louisville, KY area. [Gang A] members are of various races, but the group is predominantly African American. There are both male and female [Gang A] members. The role of the females in this group is currently unknown.
Prior to the official formation of [Gang A], current members would hang out at the roller skating rink on Manslick and rap. Over the course of the summer of 2013, some middle school-aged individuals from Chicago (names unknown) moved to Louisville and began attending Frost Middle School. It is believed that the individuals from Chicago encouraged the individuals hanging out at the roller skating rink to "beef up" their efforts at becoming an actual gang.
When [Gang A] was first organized, "initiation" for new members consisted of taking 10 "blows to the chest." Now, new members are required to assault someone (additional details about what is meant by "assault" or the required severity of the assault are unknown). Targets of this assault may be random, but are not always (a current [Gang A] member allegedly locked is 9 year old little brother out of the house so that a [Gang A] probate could assault the 9 year old as part of the probate's [Gang A] initiation).
Recruitment to [Gang A] originated at Frost Middle School, but quickly spread to other local middle schools. Recruitment occurs via social networking/social media, specifically Facebook and Twitter. [Gang A] members may not be using their true names on their social media profiles. Many of the profile names start with [Gang A] or have the word "Squad" in them somewhere. Additionally, many [Gang A] members' current profile pictures are of Offutt. [Gang A] members are also posting videos of themselves "being off that" (acting crazy) to Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. These videos apparently show members harassing teachers and other students at school. No further information is known about these videos at this time.
[Gang A]'s goal is to be a "super gang" and to take over "the business" (drug sales) in Louisville. As such, [Gang A] is currently recruiting members of other more well-established local gangs. Recruits are permitted by [Gang A] to maintain their allegiance to their original gang while being a member of [Gang A]. [Gang A] is attempting to recruit members from all of the different neighborhoods with local gangs because they want to compare all of the business models of the other gangs in an effort to come up with the most effective means of running their own "business" (again, selling drugs). [Gang A] is currently attempting to identify and occupy corners that have not already been claimed by other gangs to "conduct business" (sell drugs).
Due to their recruitment of members of other gangs, many of the local Louisville gangs "have beef" with [Gang A] because [Gang A] is not "respecting the code" among gangs, gang members, and gang territories. Additionally, other gangs believe that [Gang A]'s actions are bringing increased law enforcement presence and scrutiny on other local gangs. There are rumors that other local gangs want to "take out" the kids in [Gang A] because [Gang A] is hurting their business and increasing law enforcement presence in their territories. At this time, the FBI does not have any additional details about this information.
Some older (early to mid-20s) members of other local gangs (specific gangs unknown) are scared of [Gang A] because the members "don't respect the code," don't abide by the unwritten rules of the local gang subculture in Louisville, and because [Gang A] members are unpredictable and possibly fearless – they "will do anything" and have been described as "crazy."
[Gang A] members are "armed in a major way." There is apparently a "gun train" that comes through the West End (specific location unknown) and stops for a couple hours every Sunday night (the reason for this stop is unknown). This train is legitimately transporting firearms from suppliers to retailers to be sold. The train is apparently heavily guarded by armed individuals, but [Gang A] members have figured out how to sneak onto the train and steal guns.
[Gang A]'s primary gathering spots are located on 38th St. (specific locations unknown). [Gang A] likes to use some of the boarded up and/or abandoned houses on 38th St. Some of the houses that are used as [Gang A] gathering spots may appear from the outside to be inhabited, but they aren't.
The number 677 is important to [Gang A], but the reason for this is unknown.
[Gang A] is one of six smaller gangs that are all affiliated with a larger group known as "The Family." The other gangs that are part of "The Family" are mainly comprised of middle school-aged youths. These five gangs are as follows:
[Gang F] - This group may have members that are older teenagers or young adults as well as middle school-aged kids.
[Gang G] - Members of the other five groups are "promoted" from their group into [Gang G]. Requirements for promotion are unknown at this time.
The FBI does not currently have any additional details about the gangs associated with "The Family." Organization, connection to each of the other five gangs, territory, origination, membership, etc. are currently unknown.
Unless there are any objections, a formal notification (Situational Information Report) of the above reporting will be provided next week, but we wanted to get this information out to you all as soon as possible. We do not currently have any information about any upcoming planned/organized incidents other than the threat to Allen's daughter and the rumor about showing up en masse at the Derby Parade. If we receive any information on planned incidents or any additional details related to the above reporting, I will forward that via email ASAP.
Please contact me at any time if you have any questions."
Wednesday, July 30 2014 9:12 PM EDT2014-07-31 01:12:13 GMT
The tattoo has not previously been seen widely by the public because cameras are not allowed inside Indiana courtrooms. The Indiana Office of the Courts released the photo on July 30 as part of evidence logged in by police and presented to the court by the Floyd County Prosecutor's Office.More >>
The tattoo has not previously been seen widely by the public because cameras are not allowed inside Indiana courtrooms. The Indiana Office of the Courts released the photo on July 30 as part of evidence logged in by police and presented to the court by the Floyd County Prosecutor's Office.