Almost two dozen alleged gang members in New York could become jailbirds due to a 65-count indictment on charges related to multiple shootings in the Bronx.

The 23 gang members, all between the ages of 17 and 34, were charged with an animal cruelty misdemeanor for beating a pigeon to death on a Facebook livestream after threatening to kill it if the stream got β€œ100 views." All of the suspects were members or associates of β€œthe RPT organization,” a gang in and around the River Park Towers housing development, according to the Bronx District Attorney's Office.

"I thank the NYPD for their partnership in this investigation," District Attorney Darcel Clark said. "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."


Beyond the death of the pigeon, seven of the defendants were indicted on charges of firing 11 shots into a building in August 2020, barely missing an intended target. Five of the suspects were additionally indicted on charges related to a Rikers Island incident in April 2021 in which members of the RPT organization allegedly assaulted a member of a rival gang, the Crips.

The defendants agreed to engage in acts of violence, including murder and the assault of members of rival street crews, and would brag about their acts of violence in music videos they made, according to the investigation. They also used social media platforms to recruit and gain a following by performing shocking acts for views, such as killing the pigeon.

Clark has asked Bronx rappers to stop using music "to encourage shootings" and instead to use it in a way that helps the community. Clark said he hopes to have "a summit" with rappers from the Bronx to "find solutions to prevent further violence.”


The district attorney's office has not yet responded to the Washington Examiner's request for comment.