Child Gang's Violent Spree Shakes Up Downtown Boston

Child Gang's Violent Spree Shakes Up Downtown Boston
Police in Boston, Massachusetts, cannot detain many of the gang members because they are under the age of 14. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Alice Giordano
A gang of young juveniles led by an 11-year-old girl is terrorizing random people throughout the popular downtown area of Boston.

According to incident reports released by police, all the children are black and under the age of 14.

A 13-year-old in the gang already had an outstanding felony warrant for assault with a dangerous weapon at the time of the recent attacks.

Their victims were all white—with the exception of one victim identified in the reports as a light-skinned Hispanic woman who the gang of juveniles allegedly called a "white [expletive] with braids."

The gang has been menacing people throughout the popular Boston Common. (George KUZ/Shutterstock) She told police the young minors began punching and kicking her after telling her she could not wear her hair "in the style" because she was "not black."

In one incident, the child gang is alleged to have entered a McDonald's outlet chanting "Black Lives Matter" and ordering customers to say the phrase. They also demanded free food.

When the McDonald's owner asked them to leave, they spat at him with an 11-year-old lunging at him with a knife, police reports state.

They then smashed the glass of the front doors to the establishment.

Several of their attacks were captured on both surveillance cameras and filmed by bystanders with the 11-year-old leading some of the attacks.

They included the beating of an elderly man and a violent assault of two college students that left one with head trauma. One of the children stomped on her eyeglasses after they fell off the student's head in the attack.

Police arrested, but then released some of the older children.

In a written statement on the incidents, Boston police said they know the identity of the 11-year-old girl, but cannot arrest her because she is under 12, the cut off for prosecuting a minor under a law passed in 2018 in Massachusetts.

Suffolk County District Attorney Kevin Hayden also cited the law as the reason his office has had a limited response to what he called an "urgent matter."

"Under this legislation, the primary responsibility for preventing these attacks instead falls on city, state, and community agencies," Hayden said in a statement.

The law also limits their ability to detain minors under the age of 14.

According to the Office of Juvenile Justice Delinquency Preventions, 16 percent of members of youth gangs are now under 14.

Boston's Mayor Michelle Wu blames the children's crimes on the pandemic. (Scott Eisen/Getty Images) At a press conference on the incident, Boston's Mayor Michelle Wu blamed the crimes of the children on the COVID-19 pandemic.

"All throughout our city right now, all through our country right now, there's an incredible amount of stress and anxiety that's translating the trauma of the pandemic into mental health challenges across every demographic, across every community.

"There is really a second epidemic that's coming out of this pandemic that is related to mental health," Wu said in response to a question about the level of violence by the children.

Just weeks after the election in 2021, Wu imposed some of the most restrictive COVID-19 school mandates in the nation, promising to keep them even if schools reached an 80 percent vaccination rate.

Her "B together" policy, akin to New York City's proof of vaccine passport, drew angry protesters who camped daily outside her home.

Wu's unwavering vaccine mandate for city workers also led to a lawsuit filed against her administration by police and firefighters.

Wu also ran on a campaign platform for what she called the demilitarization of the Boston police.

At least three Boston police officers were attacked by members of the child gang, including one that suffered a bloody nose after being punched in the face by the 13-year-old with priors.

Some of the kids also kicked and spat on the police and caused damage to a police cruiser, the incident reports reveal.

One of the children made racial slurs and homophobic comments to one of the officers.

According to a police report, one of the children said he had been "set off" when called a racial slur by a person he asked to buy him ice cream.

Boston is one of 24 states that set minimum ages for the prosecution of children.

The National Juvenile Justice Network has called on a national minimum prosecution age of 14.

As part of its call, it cited a video of a police officer in Rochester, New York, pepper-spraying a 9-year-old girl after she refused to get into a police cruiser, telling the officer she won't get into the car until her father arrived.

The child's school called the police after she allegedly threw a temper tantrum in class.

There have been similar incidents including a 2019 video of a New Mexico cop slamming an 11-year-old girl to the ground as she sobs and begs the police officer to get off of her.

The officer, who later resigned, was arresting her because she took milk from the school cafeteria.

Gangs made up of similar-aged children have for over a year been committing similar crimes in other major U.S. cities including New York, Seattle, and Chicago, where a 10-year-old boy held a woman at gunpoint while stealing her car as part of a string of violent attacks by a child gang.

Boston, which has few neighborhoods that are not affluent, has until recently been relatively free of violent crimes with incidents mostly confined to the city's low-income districts of Dorchester, Mattapan, Roxbury, Hyde Park, and Jamaica Plain.

Boston Common, the vestige to such iconic literary tales as "Make Way For Ducklings" and its iconic Swan Boats, has been a main area for the child gang.

The gang has also carried out attacks in an area of Boston known as Downtown Crossing, once the city's red-light district that flourished into a tourist attraction where people flocked from all over to stare into the Christmas decorated windows of Macy's and the landmark of Filene's basement.

At the press conference on the child gang, Wu called for privacy for the minors and suggested some of them have mental health issues and need support services.

Wu also said there is "never any excuse for violence."

Alice Giordano is a freelance reporter for The Epoch Times. She is a former news correspondent for The Boston Globe, Associated Press, and the New England bureau of The New York Times.
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