WASHINGTON — The Justice Department announced Wednesday that Attorney General Jeff Sessions will deliver remarks Friday on Long Island to federal, state and local law enforcement regarding the department’s work to combat “violent crime and restore public safety.”
Rising violence on the island rooted in the Salvadoran gang MS-13 caught the attention of Attorney General Sessions, and it will be the first time the AG visited since taking over the Justice Department.
Gang violence on Long Island, particularly in Central Islip and Brentwood, has grown over the last ten years and Suffolk County is seeing a violent trend as well, CBS News New York reported.
Notably, police statistics show, that 34 murders happened in Suffolk in 2016 — a spike of 36 percent from the 25 murders in 2015. Police tied 13 killings in 2016 to gang violence, and eight of those murders happened in Brentwood.
Long Island recently experienced four brutal murders at the hands of suspected MS-13 members and, according to CBS New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a “high intensity gang unit” prior to Sessions visit.
Last October, remains of an 18-year-old MS-13 gang member were discovered in Brentwood.
Last week, Sessions stated the DOJ would clamp down on gangs saying that they, “represent one of the gravest threats to American safety.”
Additionally, New York Republican Rep. Peter King told residents in his district in Suffolk County he plans to hold hearings on the issue, CBS reported.
MS-13, also known as Mara Salvatrucha, has its origins as a Los Angeles street gang in the 1980s composed of El Salvadorans who fled their country for the U.S. during their country’s civil war.