At Least 12 Gangs Operating in Lansing According to Police Detective

By: Fay Li Email
By: Fay Li Email

Lansing Police Detective James Gill was assigned to investigate the 2010 murder of Shayla Johnson. While working on that case, he learned of an alarming number.

"There are at least 12 gangs operating in the City of Lansing. We didn't discover the gangs until July of 2010 at the death of Shayla Johnson," Gill said.

According to Gill, gangs are increasingly targeting children for recruits.

"They recruit them while they're younger because they don't get charged with an adult crime."

Sharlein Krom works with at-risk youth at Ingham Academy and says it's common for her to come across teens with a gang affiliation.

"We do have quite a few kids that are affiliated with different gangs, not all the same. So that right there causes an issue in itself having different gang members in the same building," Krom said.

At the academy, staff members run a variety of programs to get teens back on track. Krom says the whole point is to help teens continue their education and break away from the gang if they're in one.

Detective Gill says he wants to take a more complete approach.

"If you take them apart, you reduce the crime. Give us time, we'll take them down."

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  • by Dan Location: Lansing on Apr 6, 2012 at 05:57 AM
    The most dangerous gangs i've seen in Lansing are Bernero'Gillespie, Eydes and Hepler!
  • by Dan Location: Lansing on Apr 6, 2012 at 05:52 AM
    This is not new news!
  • by Sandi F on Apr 6, 2012 at 05:51 AM
    I think we (after reading the comments on this article)need to have some answers from the Police and our Mayor, on why the gang violence has been going on in Lansing for so many years, and the police have until a murder happened turned a blind eye to it? Also just what are they doing right now to put a stop to it. I am absolutely disgusted with the police and the mayor over this. Sweeping crime under the rug does not make it go away.
  • by Anonymous on Apr 5, 2012 at 12:48 PM
    12 gangs and not discovered until last year. Either they are in denial or this is a scare tactic by benero.
    • reply
      by Dan on Apr 6, 2012 at 05:52 AM in reply to
      I agree!
    • reply
      by Sans on Apr 6, 2012 at 05:53 AM in reply to
      This is not a benero scare tactic, there are and have been gangs in Lansing for many many years. Denial is not the right word ignore is the right word. The cops just ignore them.
      • reply
        by Jason on Apr 6, 2012 at 09:19 PM in reply to Sans
        I think they are afraid of fighting real crime. They would rather bust someone going 5 over the speed limit or find the guy who's had a few too many at the bar. You know, the easy stuff.
  • by Lee on Apr 5, 2012 at 10:59 AM
    So just what is the City doing to get the staff, and training that the police dept needs to deal with this problem? We need to do something now, not next year, or as in the past just ignore it. No matter what the money problems the city might have this should be high priority. I do not want to see any Lansing kids killed needlessly, or in a gang because they have no choice, or out of fear. I want the gangs gone from this city now.
  • by Sans on Apr 5, 2012 at 10:10 AM
    This is a joke, or a late April Fools Story. We have been writing and complaining about Gangs in So West Lansing for a long time. The police get calls all the time, and they just since 2010 found out there are gangs in Lansing. Question: Where have they been for the last 15 to 25 years? Driving by a gang of 20 kids out after 1 or 2 a.m. should have been a clue that something wasn't right. We can see this happen almost every night of the week. We get home the kids are out walking and the cops just drive right by.
  • by Anonymous on Apr 5, 2012 at 08:34 AM
    so what is the city going to do now that they know we have a gang problem? Sit on their hands.
  • by Anonymous on Apr 5, 2012 at 08:32 AM
    Last summer a gang of boys rode into an apartment complex with bebee and pelet guns and shot at 4 to 6 year old kids, the cops were called, came out and said there was nothing they (the cops) could do. The owner need to post the property private no trespassing first. But they just found out there were gangs in Lansing. Bull!!!!!
  • by Anonymous on Apr 5, 2012 at 08:29 AM
    Over 20 years ago I lived on the corner of Pleasant Grove and Wadsworth. 2 gangs of boys met in the street at Wadsworth and Richmond, over 30 people called 911. Not one cop showed up. These street gangs were shooting guns. Lansing Cops have been pretending there are no gangs in this town for years and years. Like none in the Willow street area near Jenison, or up near High Street, or all over east or south sides. What a total joke. Hope they are finally going to do something about this. Hope the cops will do more than drive by the gangs of boys out on the street after midnight. These kis are not out there for their health. People are afraid of these kids.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Apr 6, 2012 at 08:55 AM in reply to
      We moved away from this neighborhood because of this happening and the police not bothering to show up. It was horrible.
  • by Nancy Dougherty Location: Lansing on Apr 5, 2012 at 07:31 AM
    LPD, you've got to be kidding, right. How could you have not known about gangs in Lansing until 2010? Have any of you been out on streets in the last 20 years or so? What is going on in your department? And don't tell me it's because you don't have the personnel anymore. Gangs have been right here in Lansing for many many years. I know, because I live in an area where they are. I just find it appalling that you're just discovering this now and someone had to be murdered before you're going to "take them all down". Good luck with that!!!!
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