Florida law enforcement officers say it’s time to get tough on gang-bangers. Governor Charlie Crist has asked the Florida Supreme Court to convene a statewide grand jury to look into a spike in gang-related crimes.
The grand jury will take testimony on crimes including car jacking, home invasions, extortion, murder, drug trafficking and child exploitation, among others. Florida’s attorney general says the grand jury will be part of the development of a statewide effort to crack down on gang violence.
“It’s the first grand jury to look at gangs since 1991. And they’re all interconnected," Bill McCollum says. "Violent crime is on the rise in our state, it’s a lot of it gang-related, we know that. Gangs are on the rise. Florida over the last 25 years has had the growth of gangs greater than any other state in the Union. We today know that we have a big, serious problem. It isn’t just one area of the state. It’s all over Florida.”
The grand jury will be impaneled for one year and will have the power to return indictments throughout the state.