Some believe gang members are operating under new rules - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Some believe gang members are operating under new rules


New Orleans, La. - Police say the Scott brothers are members of a gang known as the ‘Frenchman and Derbigny boys'.

"The Frenchman and Derbigny boys have been here since many of us were young officers and it's just generational," says Chief Ronal Serpas.

City leaders say the long running gang is just one of 38 other violent street gangs across New Orleans.

Mayor Landrieu says more than 600 people are members of those groups.

"This small number of people in gangs are responsible for the overwhelming number of murders and shootings of this city. They are in fact terrorizing our streets," says Mayor Landrieu.

The city is vowing to crackdown on gangs by identifying gang members and giving them a choice to change.

Without change, the city warns incarceration will follow.

As federal, state and local authorities fight to stop the violence, some believe a shift in gang activity is happening on the streets.

Tulane Criminologist Peter Scharf says these gangs are different from the gangs that existed in the past.

He says when gangs used to have a target, they would only go after that particular person.

Now, he says the rules of engagement have changed.

"The new rule is don't come back if you don't hit your target no matter who is in the way. The other thing is, there's a new macho attitude, which includes public shootings," says Scharf.

Scharf believes this new trend is the reason why so many innocent people, including young children, are being hurt or killed.

He also says the actions of a gang member can be directly related to their mental state.

"These gangs include several mentally ill individuals who will kill anybody. They have no empathy and no sense of pride," says Scharf.

City leaders, though, say the actions of these gang members will not be tolerated.

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