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Gang issues growing in Bladen County

READ MORE: Gang issues growing in Bladen County
Bladen County is battling a gang problem. The efforts stem in part from the shooting of 19-year-old Jakhee Sledge outside of a McDonald’s last month; the case still remains unsolved. The bigger issue behind this murder is that it may be tied to gang activity. Gangs can affect people in any community, from any race, and any social background. The issue is beginning to plague Bladen County. Elizabethtown Police Chief Bobby Kinlaw said, "Three years ago we started seeing cases of it in the county. Over the past year, year-and-a-half, it has started growing at a pretty fast pace." Chief Kinlaw said the rate of gang activity in Bladen County is growing faster than anyone prepared for. He said throughout the county more and more violence, robberies and property damage can be tagged back to gangs in the area. "There is some indication that there are some turf battles between rival gangs within the county. Everything that we have seen as far as violent crimes have been isolated to rival gangs,” Kinlaw said. Kinlaw noted members of nationally known gangs have relocated to Bladen County from bigger cities and he's seen an increase in home grown gangs getting in on the action. People in the community say they've seen the impact as well. "You got the Bloods, you the Crips, you got the's a shame, it's sad and it's the young people," said Sabrina Walston of Elizabethtown. Frankie Newkirk shares the concern. "The community has to get together to solve this problem and figure out what's going to be the next step." The first step according to Chief Kinlaw is with the community. Education and prevention will help curtail the problem before it gets worse. Members of the board of education and local law enforcement will present a plan of action Monday night at a public meeting from 7:00 until 9:00 pm at the Elizabethtown Presbyterian Church on West Broad Street.

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glad to see

Glad to see everyone here has the answers, do you not know that there are gangs here In Wilmington. Maybe these folks are trying to nip it in the bud before it gets out of hand. The Crime in Wimington is 90% percent worse than in Bladen County, we should worry about the thiefs and killers at our back door, before we are concerned the the folks across the river.

duh yes

Of course we are aware that there are gangs in Wilmington. What city with more than 100 citizens doesn't have gangs? There are weak minded fools everywhere who think a gang is the way to be cool and respected. We are also aware that our own children avoided gangs.... Good parents make sure of it.


Only a fool would think that being a good parent would stop their child from being in a gang. Even the Best Parents have kids who join gangs, do drugs, it is not the parent but, the make up of a child that causes them to take the wrong path. Ask the parent who did everything right, at the funeral of their only child's funeral what they did wrong, and they will tell you. We did everything we new how to guide him or her down the right road.

Not true at all...if you

Not true at all...if you knew anything about gangs and gang activity, you will find out that the majority of reasons why someone joins a gang has to do with home life. These thugs are looking for acceptance and they aren't getting it at home. If you think you know so much, how many bloods or crips have come from upper level with money???


Only a weak parent would stand by while their youngster pursues gang or drug related actiity. Walk the child to school. Pick the child up from school. Send him or her to live with a relative in another part of the state. Call the Police and have Junior charged if he threatens you for not allowing him to have his way. Let him stand in front of the Bar of Justice and face a few days in detention. Let someone tell him how full his dance card will be while in custody. But don't wait until after he's killed someone or been killed himself to mourn the loss of a sweet, misguided youth.


I did not say that the parent had not walked the child to school, some parents have done all these things and when they become young men or woment they still join gangs, or make mistakes, you can not follow your kid to collge and go to every class and function we they become a certain age, you give them values and hope they remember them. Just spending a night in Jail does not make all kids wake up. Some people just think they have all the answers until their child is the one who has committed the the crime. Right SurfCityTom.


I don't think I have all the answers. But this I do know. When parents take no action, it is likely Junior or Junioress will be up to no good. Have Parents considered sending the child off to another environment? There are several in this state. Try the Masonic Home for Children in Oxford, N. C. For the record, my daughter never committed a crime. Unless of course, mamby pambies consider a succesful college career, marriage, and well behaved children of her own a crime. We could use more crimes like that.


What gang are your kids in?


You keep thinking that ok?

glad to see

Glad to see the wway censorship police have hit this story. Many comments have been removed.

I would assume that "these

I would assume that "these people" means the parents of all of this so-called "good kids" that are usually found to be involved with gangs and crime. Parents are the first line of defense against these problems. Cops can't be raise children, and neither can teachers. It's not their job. More cops won't fix the problem, only create an even greater tax burden on the already tapped out people of this state. Parents need to get their heads out of their butts and take responsibility for their children. Any parent who says they don't know that their kid was involved with a gang is either a liar or a deadbeat.


There is a significant fault with your argument. The kids aren't placed into the care of police officers. Police officers deal in the protection of the community as a whole. Teachers, and other school staff members, are granted authority, albeit not totally consentual, over the children in their school and under their care. Make no mistake, teachers, and other school faculty members, SHOULD be held responsible for the children while the children are in school. Hiring a babysitter/tutor is far more a choice for Parents because the Parent has the Right to say "No, you are not an appropriate influence on my child, and therefore you cannot take care of/teach my child." When it comes to teachers and faculty in school, Parents do NOT have that Right. A Parent cannot say to a teacher, let alone a Principal, "Your personal, religious, and/political beliefs of bigotry and hate will do harm to my child mentally and cause them to view the world in a manner I consider inappropriate for what I want of my child. Therefore, you may not teach my child ANYTHING, or expose ANY of your views to my child." While we have heard of cases where teachers cannot expose children to certain beliefs, that doesn't mean it doesn't happen. In some cases, the exposure is claimed as protected speech. Those numerous cases on both sides of the issue aside, Parents do NOT, in fact, have the Right to decide who may or may not teach/expose their beliefs to their child. So claiming that teachers have no authority or sway over children is a falsehood. While a child is in school, away from the Parent, teachers, as well as other people's children, have the power over a child which the Parent cannot counteract. Imagine teaching your child that "You shouldn't hit anyone and no one has the Right to hit you" only to have that ideal countermanded by a dozen adults (teachers and other faculty at school) and about 40+ other kids every day by having your child told "boys shouldn't hit girls, but it's ok if girls hit you and if boys hit boys, it's just boys being boys." How much chance does a pebble stand against a rockslide? Andrew

"Make no mistake, teachers,

"Make no mistake, teachers, and other school faculty members, SHOULD be held responsible for the children while the children are in school." Sorry, but I have to disagree with this an extent. Yes teachers are responsible for students because they are in their care, but teachers should not be responsible for student behavior. There is nothing a teacher or administrator can do to these kids and how they behave...except suspend them.

Your comment makes no sense, to me...

"Yes teachers are responsible for students because they are in their care, but teachers should not be responsible for student behavior." If my child is in a teacher's custody for 35+ hours a week, then who's responsibility is my child's behavior? That IS part of a teacher's job, managing the students behavior.


WRONG....a teacher's responsibility is to educate your child, not take full responsibility for all your child's actions. What exactly are you doing at home? It appears as though you want teacher to raise your children for you.


Depending on the grade level and the act, more could be done. Detention. Time out. Affecting report card (again, depending on the grade level, "behavior" is reported in school records.) And certainly, for violent behavior, we do need to be able to take it up a level legally. In-school punishments are feasible the same way a it's feasible for a neighbor to punish a child that is watching over a child. Or even the ability for an adult at a week long camp can punish a child appropriately. Teachers and school administrators do have options, reasonable options, that can be taken early on before any of the events escalate. And should events escalate, we need to get away from the isolationist attitutdes of the schools. Al Sharpton's "it was just a school yard fight" was bull crap. It was debateable if attempted murder charges were appropriate, but a 6 on 1 fight, no matter how bad the injuries to the victim, went beyond simple school discipline issues. Certainly a confrontation such as that rightly involved police. But certainly things should have been handled far sooner at the school level before it did escalate. And the school really did have options to work with. There may still have been little that could have been done to prevent escalation, but certainly there were options for the school to take. Andrew

I didn't say there was

I didn't say there was nothing a school could do, but nothing that the school is allowed to do will really affect the situation. These thugs do not care about in-school suspension, detention, out-of-school suspension, or even expulsion. The school is really limited in their type of punishment. As far as report cards go, I don't know if they still put on their something about your behavior or not, but do you really think these kids care. And besides, it doesn't affect your grades, it's just a notation about your behavior. And most of these kids aren't going to college so how much does it really affect them

Unsolved Gang murder

It is unsolved because the witnesses wont come forward. It was McDonalds which is always busy, people know who did this. Chickens. If I recall the 19 y.o. victim was another "good boy" according to his family and friends even though he carried a gun and had gang affiliations etc. When are these people ever going to learn?

Go Back

and read the initial posts. 2 of 5 guns involved were siezed. A 17 year old was taken into custody on the basis of possession of a fire arm at the scene. What became of him? Was he released? How would a 17 year old gain possession of a fire arm? Were his parents hauled in to explain his possession of a firearm?

and if

I recall correctly, he was a high school senior with at least one expulsion under his belt for bringing a weapon to school. I thought I recalled also the police had taken possession of 2 of the 5 guns involved in the area of the shooting. Sounds like the Mayor and Sheriff should either send to Raleigh for some help in cleaning up the mess OR get a Texas Ranger in town to clean out the town.