*WARNING: We hope this is only a rumor. It originated from a post on laurmahni.tumblr.com on July 25 and has since gone viral.
The post warns people to be safe because L. A. gang members have vowed to kill 100 people in 100 days and the threat is said to have been inspired by the killing of [a] 27-year-old man on July 17; a death that sparked alarming hashtags such as #100days100nights and #PrayforLA on Twitter and other sites.
The post reads:
No one knows for sure if this is real or not. Some sites say it is; while “urban legends/rumor” site Snopes.com says it’s not.
But as crazy as people can be, its better to be safe than sorry so don’t make any unnecessary trips to new neighborhoods. Capeesh?
The rumor spawned reflections on numerous urban legends about how gangs engage in ill-thought out games, contests, and initiations that end up with innocent, random people dead. And heated racial tensions along with a seemingly endless wave of profiling, police brutality and now, a growing number of mysterious jail-cell deaths, could very well be the trigger these gangs need to release a misguided boast like killing 100 people in 100 days.
Although social media posts have referenced the idea of a “100 days of violence” or “100 kills in 100 days” by Los Angeles gangs, local law enforcement members who deal with gangs say such threats are largely a form of bragging by gangs who have neither the intent nor the capability to carry them out.
Social media posts even claim two gangs have claimed a battle to reach 100 kills before the other.
Gang intervention teams who spend their days and nights working with hardcore gang members say they have investigated the social media threats and believe it’s just one way gang members are “banging.”
“They’ve been having issues with each other since the 70s anyway,” said Ben Owens, known as “Taco” on the street. “We’re trying to communicate to the community that this is something that’s being promoted through social media. However, we don’t believe that that’s what either community wants to see happen. We don’t believe that people want to kill 100 people within 100 days.”
“I think that people overestimate gangs,” Owens said, claiming neither gang has the resources or the intent to do so.
“People in the neighborhood are crazy, they’re dysfunctional, but they ain’t stupid,” says Aqeela Sherrills, who calls himself a peace advocate and doesn’t believe South LA gangs have the ability or the necessity to use social media for violent threats.
Sherrills adds that the online messages list borders and boundaries which is far too much information any gang member would admit to.
Kevin “Twin” Orange says if the intentions were real, whoever was making the online claim would make themselves known.
“There’s no face to it,” he said. “If somebody was really gonna do a challenge like that, they’re gonna put a face to it, there’s gonna be a name to it and say this is me and we’re about to do that.”
The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) claims to have noticed an increase in social media warnings about gang violence. But they also say there is “no evidence to corroborate the “100 days of violence” threat and shootings had not increased significantly since such rumors began circulating.
Read more at Snopes.