Sen. Croci proposes crackdown on gang violence

Community activists in Brentwood are supporting a proposed state law that would increase the penalties for gang-related crimes.

Community activists in Brentwood are supporting a proposed state law that would increase the penalties for gang-related crimes. (3/28/17)

BRENTWOOD - Community activists in Brentwood are supporting a proposed state law that would increase the penalties for gang-related crimes.

Gang violence has been especially brutal in the community. Last fall, friends Kayla Cuevas and Nisa Mickens were just two of several people allegedly killed by MS-13 members.

"It was enough when we had the first incident, and then so many others after that, and so many others unspoken of," says Alfred Jaya, of the group Uplift Brentwood. "That's why we are putting our foot down."

Jaya says his group and others are supporting an anti-gang violence bill co-sponsored by state Sen. Tom Croci. 

The Sayville Republican says the legislation would increase penalties for gang-related violence, especially when it targets first responders. This comes after authorities say a Bronx EMT was run down and killed by an alleged gang member who stole her ambulance.

"There is no community that is immune from this," Croci says of gang violence. "This is something that should get wide support."

The bill will also expand intervention and education programs to try and prevent the growth of street gangs, supporters say.

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