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NYPD Detective: "Knockout Game" Being Done By Black Youths

PAMELA BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: But you know, one thing is clear here that these suspects and these cases face very severe consequences. In fact in the case with the St. Louis man, he was killed as was mentioned in my piece the suspect in that case was sentenced to life prison. So these kids need to know that this is anything, but a game.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: And they should be facing very serious consequences when something like this happens. Let's talk more about this. Let's bring in former New York City Detective Harry Houck here to help us understand that. What is your take on this? Is this a growing trend? Is this an urban myth or maybe better stated as growing trend or group of isolated incidents?

HARRY HOUCK, FORMER NYPD DETECTIVE: Well, you know, because we all know about it, what's going on, the whole country knows about the knockout game pretty much. All right, so this is definitely a trend. You know, this is no urban myths. Urban myths really don't exist. These attacks exist in everyone's minds, especially those victims.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Is there a concern that by us focusing on it, it will give it more life and more legs. I mean, I think the goal is from law enforcement to the public to shut this kind of thing down immediately.

HOUCK: No, I mean, I think that we have to let the public know what's going on to protect ourselves. That's our job. That's what the police department's job to protect the public. No matter how politically incorrect it might be. All right, it's our job to make sure that people are aware of what is going on out there in the street and how to protect themselves.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Now I get why the cops don't want to attach it to this title because they don't want to glorify the activity. What are you talking about with PC is an important part to make. What are we not hearing here that the police need to focus in stopping these incidents?

HOUCK: Well, I'll tell you. Stopping the incidents are going to be very hard to do. There is no way we can find out an incident is going to occur tomorrow or the day after because these are random attacks on the street with groups of black youths. All right, now, I am asking people who I run into every day what are you doing to protect yourself on the street and basically saying that if they see a group of black youths, they cross the street.

PEREIRA: See now, OK, so that's going to be a problem right there. You know that's going to be a problem because you know niece, nephews, and kids, black kids around don't need to be feel -- made to feel they're a threat simply because they are hanging out with friends. There is a concern. You can see how it will grow.

HOUCK: Not every black kid is doing this. It's very few, but if you are the victim, if you are a potential victim and you are afraid walking down the street, you see a group of black youths, all right, everybody I am talking to says they are crossing the street. They are getting away from them. That's what's happening. The concern is, i bet it's a concern here because the good black kids will be saying when are you crossing the street when I walk by?

PEREIRA: Most of the majority of people are doing this.

CUOMO: Black kids are getting clocked, too, which is, you know, another thing that is going to be --

HOUCK: Sure, that is happening also.

CUOMO: You know, it reminds me, we have this before. It's not new, OK. There was an incident that happened like this in New York City where they actually targeted a kid that was mentally challenged. He was standing there. This guy stood up. He was this renowned prowess for fighting. He knocked the kid out in one punch.

And the videotape hit, but here's what happened. It sparked such outrage, which goes to Harry's point about notifying the public. They found the guy and they punished him. They wanted him arrested.

BOLDUAN: What's different here is that they continue to happen and the people who were behind it -- I mean, there are definitely some folks have been charged but --

HOUCK: Right.

BOLDUAN: Where is the threshold? What do police need to do to kind stem this tide?

HOUC: Well, hopefully, that this trend will just wear out like everything else does and they'll stop doing it. There is extra police patrols on the street, keeping an eye on what's going on, on the street. What we have to do also is we have to charge the other youths. They've got to be charged acting in concert. This isn't just one kid.

What happens is you got a group of four or five kids. They will all talk about who they will attack. They have this guy, that guy. One says I will take the picture. They know they will attack that person. Nobody is going to stop the attack. They were all aware of it.

Like this one kid arrested the other day with several guys here in New York and they released the rest of them, they shouldn't do that. They should all be charged acting in concert. This should be as far as I'm concerned a hate crime because it does follow the law.

PEREIRA: I think that we have also to urge calm too. I don't want people to walk around suddenly in fear. We have to be aware of ourselves. We also don't want to look at scams at every group of kids that walk by.

CUOMO: That is true especially in the guy the ones that got hit for attacking the Jewish guy. He's not a black guy. So it's going to spread in terms of which kids do it. Nobody is immune to stupid. I think why you don't want to be nervous, you want to increase to see something, say something on this.

The way you will anticipate is as it's forming and happening, everybody's got one of these now, right? They want to take video of what they're doing. If you are at a safe distance, you see it. Videotape it. You don't want to get involved because you are dealing with a busy group. People will stop it.

HOUCK: This is creating terror on the streets, i know, people are, as soon as they see black youths. Like I say, everybody who I've been talked to. I know you don't like that. You can understand why they think that way.

PEREIRA: You also can understand.

HOUCK: It concerns me also. It really does. It concerns me also because, you know, you are pointing the finger at kids who would never think of this. You the person walking down the street, you say i don't want to be the next guy who got clocked in the face. You got people who are dead or seriously injured.

(via The Right Scoop)

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