Local News
8:27 am
Mon February 2, 2015

Gangs In Chester County Becoming More Violent

Chester resident Kenny Young, left, is not convinced that there is a gang problem in the area. "I think it's just some bad-assed kids that need their tails whilpped," Young said.
Gwendolyn Glenn/WFAE

Chester County, South Carolina, population 33,000, has a big city problem, gangs. They have become more violent and in November, a city councilman was shot in the head on a Chester street. Five reported gang members were charged in that fatal shooting which sparked residents to call for aggressive action.

In driving through Chester, especially during the day, it seems like the usual, sleepy rural town. But that changes at night when the gangs come out, says Lt. Johnny Neal of the Chester County Sherriff’s Department.

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Local News
5:26 pm
Tue January 13, 2015

Chester's New Gang Task Force Meets

Gangs continue to be a problem in Chester County with drive-by shooting incidents increasing, including one in November that left a sitting city council member dead. Five reported gang members have been arrested in that case.

Last month the county sheriff asked the county council for money to hire more police officers. Instead, the county formed a gang task force. The task force held its first meeting Monday, Jan. 12. 

Why a task force instead of hiring additional officers?

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Local News
5:21 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

Chester, South Carolina: A Small Town With A Big Gang Problem

Chester city seal
Credit City of Chester, SC

Chester, South Carolina has a population around 5,500. It is in many ways a classic small Southern city. Chartered in 1840, the town has plenty of history, from farming and textiles to railroads and the Civil War.

Chester also has a 21st century gang problem. On November 4th, Chester City Councilman Odell Williams was killed in a drive-by shooting. Authorities say all five suspects now charged in the killing have ties to a gang called “Roundtree Circle.”And, this is just the latest gang violence to hit the town of Chester – a teenager was killed earlier this year.  

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Charlotte Talks
12:00 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Youth Gang Prevention

Credit chiesADIbeinasco / flickr

In 2011 the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department began exploring ways to merge several youth involvement organizations into a more cohesive, effective strategy of engaging at risk kids in our region. The result is the Youth Engagement Unit. About that same time the Hidden Valley Neighborhood was remaking itself from a bastion of perhaps the worst gang activity in the area to a stronger, safer place to live. We’ll look at how Hidden Valley came back from the brink and how CMPD and others are engaging youth to prevent juvenile criminal activity from occurring in the first place.

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Public Safety
4:59 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Court Rules Hidden Valley Kings Gang Members Can't Mingle

Wendell McCain's father holds up court papers and says his son, a defendant in the case (in red), is not part of the Hidden Valley Kings and was never part of the gang. To the right of McCain is Cordell Blair, another named defendant in the case.
Credit Tasnim Shamma

Mecklenburg County is the first in North Carolina to invoke a new law that allows police departments to prevent gang members from associating with each other in public or being near someone who is carrying drugs or guns.

A judge Thursday morning granted CMPD's request for a civil injunction against a north Charlotte gang called the Hidden Valley Kings.

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