Still on YouTube, the violent ‘drill’ videos blamed for murder
DISTURBING ‘drill’ rap music videos blamed for a savage gang murder of a college student are still available to watch on YouTube.
The menacing footage, which glorifies drug-dealing and threatens violence against rivals, was shown during the trials of eight men who were this week jailed for murdering 18year-old Sait Mboob in Manchester.
Clips with titles including Breaking Bad and Supplying feature boasts about the city’s ‘Gunchester’ nickname as youths in masks and balaclavas brag about their criminal lifestyle.
Yet they remain free to view on the Google-owned video-sharing site – complete with adverts for British companies including a window firm, a life insurance provider and a card reader service. Almost 90,000 people have viewed them, with some posting slurs on rival gangs, illustrating how such clips can fuel inner-city violence.
Now campaigners against gangto land violence have called for YouTube to remove the videos.
The row comes after fellow social media giant Facebook was slammed by Britain’s top police officer, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick, for failing to do more to assist investigations.
Patsy McKie, who set up Mothers Against Violence after her son Dorrie was shot dead in 1999 and who has been supporting Sait’s mother, said: ‘It would be a good thing if YouTube removed these videos.
‘We are all influenced by what we see and hear, and I worry that if vulnerable young people watch them too much, they could start live the things that they show.’ Officers in London have successfully applied to have dozens of violent ‘drill’ videos removed by YouTube, but many more remain online, prompting major advertisers to pull out of using the site.
Sait, a talented footballer who friends say was not involved in street gangs, was hunted down, hit with a stolen car and then stabbed eight times with machetes by a ten-strong masked mob last August. The brutal killing in the Moss Side area of Manchester came just six days after one of the videos was put on YouTube by members of the 7M gang, based in nearby Ardwick.
Following Sait’s death, his former girlfriend, Dominique Samuels, a politics student at York University, said: ‘Because of what’s happened to Sait, some people will stereotype. But he wasn’t a gang member. I think it was being in the wrong place at the wrong time.’
Andrew Thomas QC, prosecuting, told the court: ‘These are young men who are clearly trying to use the videos to establish their status as a Manchester gang.
‘They shared the common purpose of using deadly violence against them with the weapons which they were carrying. The violence they used was extreme. They did not care whether their victims lived or died.’
All the killers denied murder and wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm but all were found guilty and jailed for life.
Laif Morgan, 23, was ordered to serve 19 years while Lequornne Morgan, Requan Brown, Ryan Isaacs and Husam Ghazanfar, all 19, were each ordered to serve 18 years. Shayne Stewart, 16, and Kiahus Baddoo, 17, were ordered to serve 14 years.
Emil Bell, 17, was ordered to serve a minimum of 17 years at an earlier hearing.
In a statement to the court, Sait’s mother, Ellen Berry, said: ‘We are shocked and paralysed by grief and pain and it rips me apart every day. I will never see Sait grow into a man, get married or have children.’
YouTube said it had policies ‘to help tackle videos related to knife crime in the UK’ and worked with police and the Home Office to take action on gang-related content. Greater Manchester Police declined to comment on the videos.
‘Influenced by what we see’
Violence: The 7M gang’s drill video, which was posted online six days before the murder
Victim: Sait Mboob, left, and another still from the 7M gang’s Breaking Bad drill video