Speaking with the Baltimore Sun, a federal law enforcement official says the 28-year-old man had no known ties to the BGF. Talk of Brinsley’s association with the gang came after he shot two New York City police officers dead “execution style” in Brooklyn on Saturday.
The Huffington Post reports that aside from allegedly posting that he wanted revenge for the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner on social media, not much is known about Brinsley except that he was a suspected gang member from Baltimore.
The New York Daily News stated that Brinsley, who was pronounced dead after shooting and killing himself after attacking the officers, had ties to the BGF. The group formed in 1966 by Black Panther member George Jackson at San Quentin State Prison in California, also goes by the name “Black Family” or the “Black Vanguard.”
Since its creation, the BGF has expanded with chapters in various places ranging from Los Angeles to Kansas City and Detroit. Brown and Garner’s deaths have resulted in a slew of protests nationwide with protestors expressing their outrage over the non-indictment of the police officers who killed the young men.
According to the Daily News, a suspected plot to kill NYPD officers in response to the grand jury’s decision.
“BGF has been talking about getting back at cops for Eric Garner and Ferguson,” a source told the publication.
As it stands now, law enforcement is on alert regarding the BGF. The Sun notes that a memo issued by the Baltimore FBI office on Friday warned that the BGF was targeting “white cops” in Maryland. Based on a contact with a history of giving officials reliable information, the memo stated that the gang’s plan was to target white officers in order to “send a message.”
The BGF’s ties run deep, according to Police Mag, which named affiliations with such leftists groups as the Black Liberation Army, Symbionese Liberation Army, Weather Underground, Red Guerrilla Family, and Chicano Liberation Front.
In addition, the Mag referenced one its stated missions, which is the overthrow of the U.S. government. Tattoos and symbols including the letters “B-G-F,” as well as corresponding numbers of the alphabet 2-7-6, a crossed machete and rifle, and a black dragon climbing a San Quentin prison tower are known identifiers of BGF gang members.
The BGF is structured on a paramilitary ranking system as members communicate using the Swahili language.
The power of the BGF was felt last year as Baltimore officials cracked down on the gang for taking over the Baltimore City Detention Center. Members, who were aided by corrections officers, allegedly extorted people, intimidated witnesses and dealt drugs.
The ongoing racketeering conspiracy case has resulted in five corrections officers, two inmates, and a kitchen worker currently going on trial.