Hot Air

NY gangbanger optimizes opportunities after no-bail release

In yet another tale of New York City’s bail reform efforts seemingly gone awry, we find the story of an alleged member of the Bloods gang in Brooklyn who was arrested on May 20th on attempted murder charges. Through a series of events that remain unclear, he was released without bail the same day while awaiting his next court date. Darrius Sutton, 23, better known as “Blizz Meecho,” decided to make the most of his new-found freedom. According to police, he got back to business, not only taking part in at least three drive-by shootings over the course of the next couple of months, but putting in an appearance in a music video by a local rap group. (More on that in a moment.) While he’s finally back in custody, observers are left wondering how things could have gone so very wrong. (NY Post)

He was set free and allegedly went right back to shooting.

A Brooklyn gang member, released without bail in May on an attempted-murder charge, participated in at least three drive-by shootings after he was freed, federal prosecutors allege.

Darrius Sutton, 23, was initially arrested in connection with a May 16 shooting in the courtyard of an East New York building that left a man seriously injured.

Despite the attempted-murder rap, Sutton was set free without bail the same day of his May 20 arrest.

You can see Sutton in this photo from the Department of Justice. (Second from left in a red bandana and grey sweatshirt.)

The Brooklyn DA is saying that the only eye-witness they had to the shooting in question mysteriously recanted their testimony, so there was insufficient evidence to hold him. If we were only talking about that single incident, that might be a plausible if unfortunate explanation. Prosecutors have to be able to provide reasonable evidence that a suspect could be a danger to society before holding them over for trial.

But was that really the case here? In a separate incident on April 20th, prosecutors claim that Sutton was caught on surveillance footage coming up behind a rival gang member whereupon he “shot him three times from the back in broad daylight.” Is it just me, or might that not have been compelling enough in terms of evidence to suggest that perhaps he didn’t need to be back out on the street?

On top of that, I’ll return to the subject of that music video I mentioned above. As part of my research for this article, I went and dug it up. The artists are two Brooklyn rappers going by the handles of BK Eaz and Billy DntShootEm. In their song “Crime Rate,” the aforementioned Billy DntShootEm pays homage to Sutton (using his alias) by making a gun symbol with his thumb and forefinger and rapping, “Meecho say get him, I got him.”

As I said, I went and dug up this video to verify what was alleged and it’s true. I’ll include it here, but I’ll confess that I almost didn’t finish writing this article because by the time I finished watching it I was was pretty much in shock. I don’t want to be entirely negative here, so I will first say that this music video has shockingly high production values. The camera work, the audio, the lighting… this is some professional-grade work without a doubt.

If you want to check it out for yourself, the Meecho reference comes at the 2:09 mark in the song. But this isn’t the sort of rap you might be used to if you enjoy Drake or Kanye West. This is some of the most hard-core gangster rap imaginable (at least in my admittedly very limited experience with the genre). This video would require more viewer precautions that we would have room for in a single column. If you are offended by the use of the n-word, I’ll just tell you that it comprises probably 10% of all the words in the song. Other expletives abound. The references to violence and the lionizing of crime and criminal behavior are too many to count. So needless to say, you have been warned.

Sutton is now back in federal custody pending his trial for yet another shooting. But we’re still left with the same nagging question. If the police have their hands on a guy who was literally caught on video firing off three rounds into somebody’s back and is being “honored” in music videos like this, is the presumption of innocence still too much of a barrier to overcome? How does the system justify letting someone like that out without bail? I’d write more about this, but after watching that video I may need a stiff drink and it’s not even noon yet.

Leave a Reply