CIVIC CENTER — Rappers Bobby Shmurda and Rowdy Rebel and 13 other members an East Flatbush street gang were indicted Thursday in connection to dozens of shootings, including the 2013 murder of a rival gang member, and operating a drug and gun ring, prosecutors said.
Shmurda, a rising star in hip-hop after his “Shmoney Dance” YouTube video went viral, and his crew were charged with selling crack cocaine to finance the purchase of a cache of weapons. They were involved in 24 shootings since 2013, including the shooting death of a rival 19-year-old gang member in an East Flatbush bodega on Feb. 8, 2013, and a June shooting this year where Shmurda fired into a crowd outside a Clarkson Avenue barbershop, investigators said.
“These are bad people,” Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said during a press conference at police headquarters. “They shouldn’t be celebrated and the fact their music is celebrated, and the so-called dance that they created, I would hope that those that emulate it would effectively understand what the source of it is.”
Police seized 21 weapons, 10 of which they found after arresting Shmurda and seven other crew members at the Quad Recording Studios near Rockefeller Center early Wednesday morning.
Shmurda, whose real name is Ackquille Pollard, was stopped in a vehicle after leaving the studio, where police found two weapons and a small quantity of crack in the car, according to investigators.
In one bizarre incident this past July, Rowdy Rebel, whose real name is Chad Marshall, was driving with crew member Santino Boderick in Boerum Hill when they spotted a rival gang member.
Boderick jumped out the car and fired shots into the rival gang member’s car, missing him, but shattering the window, narcotics prosecutor Bridget Brennan said during the press conference.
Rebel then performed at the Barclays center “hours after that shooting” at a celebrity basketball tournament wearing the same clothes from the shooting, Brennan added.
About a month later, a gun was found under a bed in a room registered to Rebel at the Millennium Hotel in Manhattan. Ballistic tests matched it to the July 27 shooting, Brennan said.
Shmurda’s lawyer said he was targeted because the “government hates rap and by extension hates rappers.”
“If his name was Joe Blow, they’d have given him a desk-appearance ticket or cut him loose from the precinct,” said lawyer Howard Greenberg before the arraignment.
Shmurda was charged with conspiracy, reckless endangerment, criminal possession of a weapon and criminally using drug paraphernalia.
He was held on $2 million bond, which Greenberg said his record label, Epic Records, will pay.
Shmurda’s mother, Leslie Pollard, said after the arraignment, “It’s in God’s hands now."
Rebel was charged with conspiracy, attempted murder, attempted assault, reckless endangerment and criminal possession of a weapon.
Rashid "Rasha" Derissant, 22, was charged with murdering a member of the rival BMW crew in the 2013 shooting. Alex "A-Rod" Crandon, 22, who allegedly accompanied Derissant to the bodega at 803 Clarkson Avenue, was also charged with murder.
The other men charged were Santino “Cueno” Boderick, 21, Brian “Meeshie” Harvey, 23, Nicolas “Montana Flea” McCoy, 20, Javase “Fame” Pollard 22, Deshain “D-Boy” Cockett, 23, Remy “Fetti” Marshall, 19, Devon “Slice” Rodney, 21, Delroy “D-Rose” Edwards and Clevon “Dread” Pearson, 23.
Shmurda is due back in court on Jan. 29.
Bratton also expressed frustration at record labels for looking to make money off music glorifying violence and more broadly at society for embracing it.
“We are celebrating this, we are paying for this, we are glamorizing it,” Bratton said. “Shame on [record labels], shame on us for allowing it to happen.”
A man who identified himself as a representative from Epic Records at court declined to comment.