FBI memo leak on gang violence brings many questions - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

FBI memo leak on gang violence brings many questions

Posted: Updated:
According to the FBI memo, the gang, which gathered at Waterfront Park on March 22 when mob violence broke out, is a group of middle school students. According to the FBI memo, the gang, which gathered at Waterfront Park on March 22 when mob violence broke out, is a group of middle school students.
LMPD Chief Steve Conrad LMPD Chief Steve Conrad

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - More pressure is mounting for Louisville Metro police as the department tries to ensure safety at upcoming public events. An FBI memo leaked to WAVE 3 News and several media outlets was not meant for the public, but we decided to share it because one of the threats listed concerns the Republic Bank Pegasus Parade.

The FBI urges caution with the memo saying it contains "raw, unverified information." The memo was shared with several police agencies to help spread information and to make upcoming public events such as the Pegasus Parade and Thunder Over Louisville as safe as possible.

[Click to read 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.    

According to the FBI memo, the gang, which gathered at Waterfront Park on March 22 when mob violence broke out, is a group of middle school students with male and female members that meets at locations like abandoned houses on 38th street. 

The memo states the gang in question "did not gather at Waterfront park to remember 14-year old Me'Quale Offutt." Offutt died as a result of a stabbing onboard a TARC bus on March 16. That's a different explanation than the one given by LMPD Chief Steve Conrad March 26, when he and some community leaders stated the memorial was the reason for the gathering. Conrad told reporters, "People were coming to the park to remember their friend and somewhere things went bad."

Not according to the FBI memo.

It states the gang went to the park to fight another local gang, that was "talking smack about Offutt." When the second gang didn't show, the mob violence started on the waterfront and in downtown Louisville.

Among the gang's latest threats? Rumblings of gang members showing up in masse and "going deep" at the upcoming Pegasus Parade. There were no specifics about any crimes planned.

Wednesday Conrad said of the memo, "I have seen the information from the FBI, I have no idea who their source is, how credible their source is or how reliable their source is."

The other threat mentioned in the memo? To hurt Anthony Allen or his daughter. Allen is the man who killed Offutt, but was released from jail after a grand jury believed TARC video evidence showed Allen acting in self defense. Allen's daughter told WAVE 3 News the night her father was released she feared for her safety.

The memo states in 2013, some middle school-aged students moved to Louisville from Chicago and started attending Frost middle school and eventually began hanging out a Louisville roller skating rink near Manslick Road where they would rap. They then would encourage some kids at the skating rink to join the gang. Now, all new members are required to assault someone.

Recruitment spread to other schools and via social media. The memo stated the gang's goal is to become a super gang and take over drug sales in Louisville. Police sources told WAVE 3 News when gang and drug violence was an issue several years ago in Louisville's Victory Park, it also started with recruiters coming from Chicago.

The memo also stated the gang members are "armed in a major way" and that they steal from a "gun train" that comes through west Louisville on Sunday nights transporting firearms. However, a gang expert we talked with finds that last claim hard to believe.

Copyright 2014 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.

SIDEBAR: TARC, OFFUTT stories

Updated:

TARC releases statement concerning bus safety Police investigate possible link between TARC bus attacks and roving teen mob No sign of trouble before teens stabbed aboard TARC bus Charges dropped in deadly