Outbreak Of The “Gang” Terror In New York City

I’m sure this was a real problem for folks back in 1910, but the pictures of young kids gathered around playing games make them seem so harmless compared to gangs of today. Even the gang names, like the Carpenter Gang and the Tanner Smith Terrors, seem so quaint.

The details are a little more gruesome. The kids weren’t just playing craps on the street corner. They were harassing people, verbally and physically. The article describes the dilemmas of the justice system in dealing with kids at the time. What’s a Judge to do when the number of cases before him means that he has less than five minutes to decide a kid’s fate, and he can’t tell if the kid is really penitent for his crimes or just putting on an act?

OUTBREAK OF THE “GANG” TERROR IN NEW YORK CITY: Who Is Responsible for the Revival of Bands of Young Outlaws in This Town? (PDF)

From August 7, 1910

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