The New York Police Department arrested more than 100 people in one of the largest gang busts in its history, the end result of a years-long investigation.
A source told Reuters that the investigation began in 2011, following the murder of 18-year-old basketball star Tayshana Murphy. Murphy, who was a nationally ranked player who was not gang-affiliated, was killed in cold blood as a result of a turf war between two rival gang members. Two men have been sentenced for the killing, but the source said that the incident prompted police to take a closer look at violence in the area.
The New York Post describes the operation, which took place early this morning:
More than 400 NYPD cops flooded the neighboring Manhattanville and Grant Houses, near Amsterdam Avenue and West 125th Street around 5:30 a.m. the raid dubbed “Operation money grant.” There were 103 arrests in the sweep, of those, 41 were already in jail on other charges, police sources said. There were 29 search warrants executed in the operation.
The commotion was also noticed by Harlem residents who woke up to low-flying helicopters.
No wonder I couldn't sleep last nite. Cops storm through Harlem housing projects in attempt to end gang feud http://t.co/beqCRgDf8P— Eamon Kircher-Allen (@Eamon_KA) June 4, 2014
Police Commissioner Bill Bratton described the sting as "one of the biggest takedowns in NYPD history."
According to the Post, two of the gangs targeted were those whose turf war led to Murphy's death. Altogether, those arrested have been charged with two homicides, 19 non-fatal shootings, and an additional 50 shooting incidents.