Local gang dealt blow in court fight - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Local gang dealt blow in court fight

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

Police have the green light to keep members of a notorious Charlotte gang off the streets.

A judge sided with the city today over a new state law allowing officers to fight gang violence. Authorities say the Hidden Valley Kings have committed gun and drug crimes for decades.

The loudest defense came outside the Mecklenburg County Court House.

Wendell McCain Sr. says his son Wendell Jr. is not part of any organized gang. The younger McCain calls himself a business man who runs a record label.

"I'm the leader of Icee Money. I started Icee Money," he said. "That's what I'm the leader of. The Hidden Valley Kings. I've never been a part of Hidden Valley Kings."

CMPD is basing part of its case on the Icee Money rap videos.

Court documents connect McCain, Kevin Funderburk, and Cordell Blair, and according to investigators the performances link rappers and known gang members.

Mark Newbold is CMPD Attorney who brought the suit.

"It came to our attention that the Hidden Valley Kings were beginning to heat back up and move into that area."

Gun running and marijuana sales were at the heart of CMPD's argument.

However,  defense attorney Bree Laughrun who represents Kevin Funderburk says the only thing her client is guilty of is being in the music business.

"That creates, produces rap music. A particular kind of rap music gangster rap music," she said.

Judge Richard Boner took the city's side. "I will issue a preliminary injunction."

The city considers it a victory for the residents of Hidden Valley.

"They get to breathe a little easier and they make sure that people are watching and they can get out in their neighborhood. And enjoy it a bit more like most people can do," Newbold said.

Robert Thomas, an 18 year resident of Hidden Valley, agrees the injunction is needed.

"You wanna stay, have your family somewhere it's comfortable," he said. "So yeah, it's definitely a good thing."

But Joe Jones, another long time resident, is quick to point out the Kings do not represent the entire neighborhood.

"I will not agree that it is Hidden Valley," he said. "They took on a name that original group. They took on a name but it does not represent this entire neighborhood."

CMPD lawyers are expecting an appeal in the case, because of First Amendment concerns.

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