.- Claims that the number of violent lesbian gangs across the country is on the rise are unfounded, according to a recent article published by the Southern Poverty Law Center's Intelligence Report.
According to journalists Susy Buchanan and David Holthouse, the claims made by Fox News crime analyst Rod Wheeler on the O’Reilly Factor on June 21 do not correspond with the information they gathered from law-enforcement officials.
Wheeler told the program’s three million viewers there is “this national underground network” of lesbian and gay gangs that are “recruiting kids as young as 10 years old in a lot of the schools in the communities all across the country… And they actually carry a number of weapons. And they commit a number of crimes."
The children who are recruited, he said, are indoctrinated into homosexuality and forced into performing sex acts. Wheeler said there are more than 150 of these gangs in the Washington D.C. area alone.
However, authorities disagree with Wheeler’s claims. Buchanan and Holthouse reported that Detective Patrick Word, president of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Gang Investigators Network, said there is no evidence whatsoever of a lesbian gang epidemic in his region.
The network is an intelligence-sharing organization of 400 criminal justice professionals in Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Virginia. "Our membership reports only one lesbian gang," Word told the Intelligence Report.
Sgt. Brett Parson, a member and former commander of the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department's Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit, also questioned Wheeler's numbers.
"We have 150 to 175 total gangs in the D.C. area, and out of those only nine where the predominance of members are female," Parson was quoted as saying. "You simply can't make the jump that they are lesbians. I think it is fair to talk about violence and female gangs. But to sensationalize or marginalize a community by making a statement like that seems irresponsible."
When approached by the Intelligence Report, Wheeler was allegedly unable to specify a law enforcement agency, police report, media account or any other source he relied upon for his claims.
However, he defended his position, saying: “These organizations don't lay it on the line because they don't know what is going on on the streets. This is a serious crisis and the so-called experts are missing it."