Rival gang members banned from making YouTube rap videos in landmark court ruling

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Two notorious city gangs have been banned from making YouTube music videos that promote violence in a landmark court ruling.

Eighteen members of rival Birmingham groups ‘Burger Bar Boys’ and ‘Johnson Crew’ have been slapped with the UK’s biggest ever gang injunction at Birmingham Crown Court.

Twelve of those handed the two-year ban are serving jail terms over violence and drugs offences.

The men, who are aged between 19 and 29, have also been barred from huge swathes of Birmingham, including the city centre, and are not allowed to associate with one another, even in prison. 

The ruling also bans the men from participating in music videos that may promote or support gang-related violence.

Banned: Naasir Francis, Akeem Ivey-Foster, Ravelle Hutchinson, Tesfa Bernard-Wheeler, Rayani Sutherland, Omarni Bernard-Sewell (West Midlands Police)

One member Reial Phillips, 21, was convicted for his part in shootings over the turf war which left eight people dead after boasting about gun crime in rap videos.

Phillips, of Musgrave Road, Winson Green, pleaded guilty to possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life, possessing a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence, and possessing ammunition, and conspiracy to supply cocaine and heroin. 

He was jailed for 27 years over the offences.

Landmark case: Lawrence Morgan, Jerome Jones, Jerome Christie, Ushane Jeffers, Kayne Robinson, Ashai Grey (West Midlands Police)

The injunctions were granted last month after more than 80 witnesses gave evidence at Birmingham Crown Court and also allows police to restrict the vehicles and mobile phones they use.

Police and the council previously secured interim injunctions following a spate of gun and drug-related crime in the city during 2015.

Detective Sergeant Ian Comfort, lead detective from the force’s CID prevent team, said: “We set out to disrupt and curtail gang activity following around 20 firearm offences involving Birmingham gangs during the summer of 2015 and into the start of 2016.

Exclusion zone: The men have been banned from huge swathes of Birmingham (West Midlands Police)

“We have been working closely with Birmingham City Council and other agencies to secure these injunctions and we will continue to work with these men if they wish to turn their back on a gang lifestyle.”

Those handed the ban include Naasir Francis, 19, from Nechells, Baboucar Huma, 19, from Handsworth, Akeen Ivy-Foster, 20, from Springhill, Ravelle Hutchinson, 20, from Winson Green, Tesfa Bernard-Wheeler, 21, from Hockley, Rayani Sutherland, 21, from Aston, Omarni Bernard-Sewell, 21, from Selly Oak. 

Lawrence Morgan, 21, from Nechells, Jerome Jones, 21, from Erdington, Jerome Christie, 21, from Nechells, Reial Phillips, 21, from Winson Green, Ushane Jeffers, 23, from Newtown, Kayne Robinson, 23, from Springhill, Ashai Grey, 23, from Walsall, Jacob Brown, 24, from Handsworth, Cash Wallace, 24, from Winson Green, Ishmail Lee, 29, from Wolverhampton, and Isaac Duffus, 28, from Erdington, have also been hit with the injunction.

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