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Gang Violence Measures Pushed

Gang Violence Measures Pushed

GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP/WVOC) - A state lawmaker is calling for reform to the code on gang violence and repeat offenders after a University of South Carolina student was shot.

Greenville County State Representative Phyllis Henderson says she'll push for changes to the state's gang laws and bonding laws upon her return to the Legislature in January.

She's being backed by members of the State Law Enforcement Division and Greenville County Sheriff Steve Loftis.

Greenville County is where Martha Childress is from – the 18-year-old USC freshman paralyzed when a stray bullet struck her October 13th while waiting for a taxi in Columbia's Five Points area.

Among the changes Henderson is considering is one that would update language in the South Carolina Criminal Gang Prevention Act regarding gang member recruitment.

Meanwhile, Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin is pursuing another approach toward battling the gang problem in Five Points and other areas of the city – a court injunction against specific gangs, their members and territories.

Each offense by a gang member then could be viewed as contempt of court, and offenders could be jailed, fined and even ordered to pay monetary damages if the gang is profiting from criminal activity.

 

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