Police, DA prosecute parents of juvenile criminals
BATONR ROUGE - Now that kids are out of school, law enforcement agencies wants to make sure they stay out of trouble. If not, their parents could end up in trouble with them.
Rickey Jones, 18, says he's the leader of a Baton Rouge gang called the "City Boyz". Defending that title sent him to jail, and now his mother is behind bars as well.
It all started last month when police say Jones brought an illegal machine gun to school. Two weeks later his mother, 56-year old Ada Jones was arrested for improper supervision of a minor, and was held in contempt of juvenile court.
But Baton Rouge Police there's not a gang problem in the parish compared to cities of similar size.
"As far as any established gangs in the Baton Rouge area, we don't have it," said BRPD Sgt. Don Stone. "We train our officers to look for certain sighs that are related to certain gangs... certain attire and different tattoos and stuff."
Stone said the extent of the gang problem ends with simply neighborhood youths getting together, coming up with a name and calling themselves a gang.
District Attorney Hillar Moore wants parents to notice the warning signs, and remember they could be held accountable.
"It's important that parents know that there are law and rules that regulate them, but they should be looking out for the best interest of their own child," Moore said.
"If the kid is out of control, and it's a parenting issue and it's criminal, we're going to look at that," promised Stone.