We had cliques in high school. There were the jock clique and the student newspaper clique and the band clique and the nerd clique. Like that. One thing they all had in common was that they didn't kill people. On the other hand:
Federal and local law enforcement agencies have joined together to form a special unit to suppress gang violence in the city, the Fort Wayne Police Department announced Tuesday.
The announcement marks a change in the department lingo, as in the past some officers have shied away from using the term “gangs” in favor of cliques.
“I think it's a matter of semantics,” Fort Wayne Police Chief Rusty York said. “The fact of the matter is, we've got gangs of young people with violent tendencies, and a significant number of the homicides this year can be attributed to gang violence.”
Our story says seven or eight of the 15 homicides this year can be traced to the groups -- WANE-TV says nine; either way, "gangs" seems the most appropriate term. Words matter, because they signify attitudes. Remember the gangs back when nobody wanted to admit we had a crack epidemic in Fort Wayne?