Defendants Include Drill Rappers Who Posted Videos Boasting of Shootings They Committed; Defendants Livestreamed Killing of a Pigeon When They Got 100 views
Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark and New York City Police Commissioner Keechant L. Sewell today announced that 21 men and one teen—alleged members of the RPT organization— have been charged in a 65-count indictment with Conspiracy to Commit Murder, Attempted Murder, Attempted Assault, Criminal Possession of a Weapon and numerous other charges related to multiple shootings in and around the River Park Towers complex in the Highbridge neighborhood of the Bronx.
Another indictment charges seven of the defendants with Attempted Murder, Weapons Possession, and other charges for an incident on August 17, 2020, in which they fired approximately 11 shots into a building vestibule, and barely missed the head of one of the targets. A third indictment is for an incident in a Rikers Island jail on April 25, 2021, when members of the RPT organization and their allies committed a gang assault on a member of the Crips
The defendants are also charged with an Animal Cruelty misdemeanor. They were livestreaming a pigeon that flew into the area and likened the bird to a Crip who wandered into their neighborhood. One defendant said, “If we get a hundred views, we’ll kill it.” They reached that number and beat the pigeon to death with a cane on Facebook live.
District Attorney Clark said, “These defendants allegedly engaged in gun violence, committing six shootings, one which injured a rival gang member. They allegedly fired wildly on the streets without regard for the lives of anyone else. They allegedly possessed a gun used in shootings that they posed with on social media and rapped about the violence. I thank the NYPD for their partnership in this investigation. We are doing all we can to battle the gun scourge, but more must be done to deviate young people from a life of gangs and senseless violence.
“I am calling on rappers from the Bronx to stop using music to encourage shootings and use it to better the community. I am asking to have a summit with aspiring rappers and the rap stars who come from the Bronx, record companies, radio stations and social media so we can find solutions to prevent further violence.”
Commissioner Sewell said, “These long-term, Gun Violence Suppression Division investigations are carefully constructed, precisely focused tools that have a huge impact on eradicating gun violence and improving life for all New Yorkers. They underscore the importance of our mission to protect those who cannot protect themselves, in this case against a violent crew whose members stand accused of multiple shootings, assaults and other crimes, and I want to thank the NYPD case detectives, our officers in the Warrants Section, and the prosecutors in the Bronx District Attorney’s office for working together to achieve the safe and successful outcomes resulting in today’s indictments.”
District Attorney Clark said six of the defendants, Jessie Battice, Shahiem Spencer, Jalias Perez, Jaylen Johnson, Daniel Agyemang, and Ernest Taluy were arraigned before Bronx Supreme Court Justice Judith Lieb on May 20, 2022. For Jalias Perez, bail was set in the amounts of $250,000 cash/$500,000 bond/$500,000 partially secured bond at 10% with a 72-hour examination of surety. The other five were remanded as defense counsel reserved bail applications.
District Attorney Clark said three defendants, Daniel Collins, Lashar Williams, and Sheriff Jarjou, were arraigned May 23, 2022 before Bronx Supreme Court Justice Judith Lieb and all were remanded.
Eight defendants are incarcerated on other charges and will be arraigned in the coming days. The remaining six defendants are still being sought.
According to the investigation by the NYPD Gun Violence Suppression Division and the Bronx DA’s Violent Criminal Enterprise Bureau, from on or about January 2, 2020 to on or about March 16, 2022, the defendants were members or associates of “the RPT organization,” which operated in and around the River Park Towers housing development between the Major Deegan Expressway and the Harlem River.
According to the investigation, the defendants agreed to engage in acts of violence including murder and the assault of members of rival street crews; and to acquire, possess and use firearms According to the investigation, the defendants agreed to engage in acts of violence including murder and the assault of members of rival street crews; and to acquire, possess and use firearms
According to the investigation, around the time of the shootings, members would brag about their acts of violence and their easy access to firearms in their music videos while taunting members of the opposition. They also utilized various social media platforms to recruit and gain a following and would not only taunt rival groups and display firearms on social media, but commit shocking acts on social media for views, including the killing of a pigeon on Facebook live.
The Conspiracy indictment includes seven shootings and eight gun possessions. One of the guns is tied by ballistics evidence to three shootings which they talked about on social media, while holding the distinctive black and tan firearm.
District Attorney Clark thanked the Field Intelligence Officers, Neighborhood Coordination Officers, and Public Safety Officers of the 46 th and 52nd Precincts. District Attorney Clark thanked Captain Vincent Fuca and Investigator Juan Rivera of the Department of Correction’s Correction Intelligence Bureau and Investigator Walter Holmes, Bronx District Attorney Riker’s Island Liaison.
An indictment is an accusatory instrument and not proof of a defendant’s guilt.