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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Monday Wilmington Police Chief Ralph Evangelous revealed what the department believes is behind the crime wave in the Port City.

Chief Evangelous said a list of people who have talked to investigators got into the hands of gang members and caused the uptick in violence.

Police said gangs have known about the list since June. They say the list was produced during discovery from a case this past summer.

Wilmington’s top cop would not get into specifics but did say the list was used by prosecution then somehow went to defense attorneys, and the ended up with the gangs.

He said the violence is retaliation on those who talked to police.

“We are dealing with the aftermath of it now and now these gangs– it’s kind of self-perpetuated itself,” said Evaneglous.

In hopes of controlling the violence, WPD asked the city to pass an ordinance to create a gang investigative unit.

WPD said the unit would work to figure out how these gangs are structured within the community and how to dismantle them.

The chief said there are 125 gang members in jail and potentially hundreds more on the streets.


Comment on this Story

  • Zieke

    I find this so sad. The Chief is trying really hard, yet like our President today is so ill informed. I would rather trust the gangs out here than our own men and women.
    He is trying, but so not informed. Let me break it down for all of you who do not know;

    You have the drug addicts; You have the dealers; You have the LEO; Then you have the judicial Officials; ie; the attorney’s (heathens), then the Ct. Appt. Attorneys (heathens number 2), then you have you and I; The Jury; Then you have the magistrate, the jailor’s, the families, the prisons, then the pay-tell, the jpay, the paks set up by the DOC, global tel link; HAVE ANY OF YOU STOPPED TO THINK WHAT IS GOING ON HERE? NO, NOT ONE OF YOU PEOPLE ON THIS WEB SITE!!!! It will go back to the 1950’s when we or your parent’s were born; We or them, we sat down to family dinners; They had no idea that their kids were toilet papering a neighbors house; Or sneaking out to get a soda in the middle of the night; Or when it finally came around to my time and erra;
    1964; Born in Haight Ashbury, SF. Half of you would only want to know where this was, and you that are educated already knew at the time. My mother, born and raised in the south, she knew; My father knew he did not want us here in the south. He was in the Navy, he was for his second tour of duty with the Bay of Pigs (for you children and snot nose Attorneys, this was a 17 year old who enlisted on the USS Essex at the time). He looked liked James Dean, was a renaissance man in his own right, but took the right path. He was born on the right side of the tracks, and mother on the other. (yes, in those days there were the wrong side of the tracks and the wrong). I was three, in San Diego Calif when he came home from the Cuba Crisis Missiles (for those of you that are too shallow or shooting shit up your arms), this is when we as your parents almost went to deaf come 4, we were going to WW3. You gangs members, you pay attention!!! I know who all of you all are. But, being like my father, being the man!!!! He was able to purchase a new video camera, a Kodak, a 3mm. (for those of you, look it up, it was new and the best like a Carbine Williams 22 rifle; I will get to that in a minute for you!).
    Any ways, my daddy took the pictures/film of the Cubans trying to send out the submarines underneath the Esex. He was what they called a “Swabbie”, nothing desirable. Then, him being the man he was, he was able to capture Pres. JF Kennedy coming over the Admiral’s intercom; “here-y-here-y to all; This is your President of the US of America! This is not a drill; To all of you men, who have left your families at home; I want to first thank you; You will and have sacrificed your families, babies and wives at home. I am not going to guarantee that we are going to come out of this on top, but I am here to tell you that your efforts will go into the protection of each and everyone on the earth as well as the US of America. We have reached a deaf com 4, please take your battle stations. My father was 19 at the time and I was on the way in March of 1964. I have this on recording thanks to my father who looked like James Dean and who was misunderstood, who later became a test pilot, the first computer engineer for Edward’s AFB, yet lived the life like Clint Eastwood; He never lived for accolades. But I will say this; My Father was ahead of his times; He saved this for us or we children; OMG!!! Strict; You betcha!! You people would not get away with what you do today, he would have been on you in a NY minute!! Mouth, forget about it!!! You would have three sets of false teeth!!! I guess that is what I became a cop! Yep!!! Back in the old days, I was considered one of the best of the best. It is like my son say’s, “I could not move without you knowing about it 200 miles away”. A mother loves, she loves to know end. Her heart knows when you are sick, scared or hurting. My father always said, “If you get into trouble, then I am in trouble, and then you are in trouble with me”. OMFG!!! We were scared to death!!!

    You parents keep letting the gov’t raise your children; You keep letting them not sit down with you at dinner; you mother’s keep thinking you cannot make it and giving your children up to SSI so you can get WF; I will tell you this much; You will be judged at the end of the day; You politicians that think you have it all figured out; You of ALL SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELVES!!!! You should not have to have hired a gang unit;
    You should have sought out people who understood the young; And the one’s who wanted to be bad by themselves, all by themselves; They were the one’s to go to prison;
    Not the one’s who did not or did not need to go to prison; You put them in the cycle, gave them nothing live for; No land to raise, not animals to love, no ocean to explore, no where for them to feel free!!! You did this!!! You knew it was coming, 15 years ago. You all were warned!!! You should have prepared the ports, the drugs, yet you kept the people who were trying to help the weak out there, LEO have been so lost!!! You know why? BECAUSE YOU HAVE HIRED CHILDREN THAT DO NOT HAVE SOCIAL SKILLS, NONE AT ALL!!! THEY DO NOT KNOW HOW TO INTERACT OTHER THAN TWITTER, FACEBOOK AND DO NOT HAVE TO PUT A QUARTER IN TO PLAY A DAMN GAME!!!! EVERYONE THAT IS HUMAN IS NOT HUMAN ANYMORE!!!! YOU LEADER’S THINK ABOUT THIS REAL HARD!!! But you had to keep the weak down.

    I would suggest you buy a large farm (like my daddy always said) put these children on it; Allow them to climb mountains, raise their own food, ride horses, ride dirt bikes, plow the land, fertilize it. Let them see what it feels like to raise a heifer than have to kill it after three or four years, you will find, they will never commit another crime in their lives again. Let them climb the highest mountain without water, and live off the land, they will never ever want another drug in their bodies again; let them live in solitary confinement for 2 years in a 7.9″ cell, 24hrs, seven days a week, no showers, but once a month, no outside contact; And you will have the same thing repeated over and over again. I was taught this in the academy. Freud, 101.

    Start making my police pension work for me!!!! I did it for you back in the day!!! I payed this way through my only son, but not for this!!! I never saw this coming!!! You people get your shit together and save these children!!!

  • a white guy

    its really funny that this just became a speculative racial issue

  • beach guy

    I do not think the writer was referring to Black people negatively or trying to inject color into the statement as a form of race baiting I think is was maybe a realization of how skewed the justice system is towards the defendant. AS it should be as in innocent until Proven guilty. There are ways that were not used to protect witnesses. ever hear of a confidential informant? That is probably what the writer intended.But even saying that you gotta admit that everyone involved in this whole debacle is Black except for LEO. And even though the article did not say it everyone knew it so I guess what he should have typed to satisfy whatever urge you have to correct the writer and then denigrate him was that no one should talk to the police for fear of reprisal.
    This whole thing reeks of incompetence or apathy at the very least.

  • Guest Reply Redux

    Do you really have to ask “Why”?
    I guess, if in the case the Crips/Bloods were aware of their names on a court list, would might scare them into leaving the area, or subsiding in their violence…(but if that event failed)…then what you will get is retaliation of rival gang members.
    In a situation as to them knowing their names, it might cause this type of killing spree break out.
    If that’s what happened…the damage is too far gone to be reversed.

  • larryberrycherry

    This almost sounds like it was done on purpose to justify a bigger budget for the police department. Why would the entire informant list be given to the defense attorney rather than the list of only the informants that were directly involved in the case?

  • Guest123456

    To everyone who thinks its the Chief’s fault for the list getting into the wrong hands you are WRONG. The DA has to produce a list of “Discovery” this list then has to be presented to the Defendant (the one on trial, you know the bad guy, the one that did something in the first place to be on trial…yeah him) he gets this list and so does his attorney. He then talks to his friends aka gang members and they retaliate. Its not the police departments fault that this list surfaced. This is a known fact in the judicial system.

  • Protection

    SO HOW ARE THEY GOING TO PROTECT THE PEOPLE ON THE “LIST”????? Must of been a long list!!

  • Guest5588

    Can you not read? The list was part of discovery in a case and was last sent to the defense attorneys office…

  • GuestAghast

    This is both unacceptable and unpardonable. What a tragedy for the integrity of witness secrecy. The lawyers involved should be investigated.

  • wilm nc here

    so what wilm police chief ralph evangelous is saying that the black people who talk to police is put on a investigator list then its handed over to the defense attorneys who then hands it out the gang members. wow i guess that tell you not talk with the police the gangs will find out. well you better not chat with the police. so you cant trust the police, dam whats wilm coming too.

  • Wilmington Observer

    From you “ignorant” comment, “so what wil police chief ralph evangelous is saying that the black people who talk to police…..”

    The names of every witness that an officer interacts with, during the course of an investigation, is put on a list. When an arrest is made, the investigator provides the District Attorneys Office with all case related evidence, including the list of witnesses that, sometimes, bolsters the case. By law, the district attorney is required to make a copy of everything related to the case (including the witness list) and turn that information to the defendant and / or his attorney.

    This news report has , absolutely, no racial undertones until you throw your ignorant, uneducated, drivel into the Comment Section.

    Wilmington Observer


    This is a big joke! “Somehow got into gang members hands” You know there are more than one dirty hand in this!

  • Guest2281

    We’ve had enough! Evangelous has got to go. Maybe he wasn’t responsible for this list becoming so wide known before getting into the wrong hands but this department is in worse shape than it was before he came. Morale is much lower, and crime has gotten out of control. Not to mention the huge waste of money thrown at that new police department. Sure seemed to help our police tackle out real problems more efficiently.

    New laws need to crack down on these criminals and keep them locked up. Repeat offenders need to spend most of their time back behind bars. We need to shake up our department locally and out justice system across the state.

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