POSTED: Tuesday, May 15, 2012 - 5:41pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, May 16, 2012 - 12:11pm
Baton Rouge, La (NBC33) — Small, organized groups of criminals have Baton Rouge authorities on alert.
District Attorney Hillar Moore says these gangs are largely territorial, and he says Baton Rouge criminal investigators have a good grasp on the problem.
On YouTube videos, you can see people of all ages dancing, flashing weapons, and even holding what appear to be drugs.
“We have groups that are clearly defined and identified, so I feel good that we're far along the path to where we need to be,” said Moore.
A spokesperson for Sheriff Sid Gautreaux tells NBC33 that these videos are nothing new, and investigators are aware of them.
However a video filmed in the Gardere area Comes as a shock to Mo Hair Salon owner Joan Louis.
Making matters even worse, she says she knows the people in the video.
An EBR Sheriff's spokeswoman says the people involved in the Gardere video are only looking to get publicity.
Local authorities assure they're on the case, saying detectives in the Violent Crimes Unit have the videos in hand and they're investigating these neighborhood groups.
Moore stated that there are more than a handful of these gangs in Baton Rouge, and even though there's a lot of this activity, he says it's nothing compared to gang problems in other Louisiana cities, such as Shreveport.
Regardless, people who live in work in Baton Rouge say they're both scared and upset.
Despite some people being scared of the blatant disregard for public safety shown in the video, others say the "gangsters" aren't anything other than actors.
Police agencies say they're on patrol every day. They know who the dealers are, they know who the criminals are, and they're building cases against them every day.
The East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office says the videos were originally recorded two years ago and were re-released on YouTube in the hopes of stirring record sales and notoriety for the neighborhood group.