Crips

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Crips
Crips tag.jpg
Crip graffiti tag in Olympia, Washington
Founded by Raymond Washington and Stanley Williams
Founding locationLos Angeles, California,
United States
Years active1969–present
TerritoryUnited States [1]
EthnicityMostly African American [1]
Membership (est.)30,000 to 35,000 in 2008 [2]
Criminal activitiesDrug trafficking, robbery, extortion, murder, burglary, racketeering, illegal gambling, theft [1]
Allies Folk Nation [3]
Gangster Disciples [4] [5]
Tiny Rascal Gang [6]
La Raza Nation [1]
Black Guerrilla Family [7]
Juggalos [8]
Asian Boyz
D.C. Blacks
Rivals Bloods
United Blood Nation
Pirus
Piru Street Boys
Sureños (certain sets)
Norteños
Latin Kings [3]
People Nation
Ñetas
Tree Top Pirus
Avenue Piru Gang

The Crips are a gang based in the coastal regions of southern California. They were founded in Los Angeles, California in 1969 mainly by Raymond Washington and Stanley Williams. Once a single alliance between two autonomous gangs, they are now a loosely connected network of individual "sets", often engaged in open warfare with one another. Its members traditionally wear blue clothing, a practice that has waned somewhat due to police crackdowns specifically targeting gang members. Historically, members have been primarily of African-American heritage.

A gang is a group of associates, friends or members of a family with a defined leadership and internal organization that identifies with or claims control over territory in a community and engages, either individually or collectively, in illegal, and possibly violent, behavior. Some criminal gang members are "jumped in", or they have to prove their loyalty and right to belong by committing certain acts, usually theft or violence. A member of a gang may be called a gangster, a gang banger, or, less specifically, a thug.

Southern California Place in California, United States

Southern California is a geographic and cultural region that generally comprises California's southernmost counties, and is the second most populous urban agglomeration in the United States. The region is traditionally described as eight counties, based on demographics and economic ties: Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Santa Barbara, and Ventura. The more extensive 10-county definition, which includes Kern and San Luis Obispo counties, is also used and is based on historical political divisions.

Raymond Washington American gang member

Raymond Lee Washington was an American gangster, known as the founder of the Crips gang in Los Angeles, California. Washington formed the Crips as a minor street gang in the late 1960s in Los Angeles' South Central area, becoming a prominent local crime boss. In 1971, Washington formed an alliance with Stanley "Tookie" Williams, establishing the Crips as the first major African-American street gang in Los Angeles, and served as one of the co-leaders. In 1974, Washington was convicted of robbery and received a five-year prison sentence, during which his leadership and influence in the Crips declined.

Contents

The Crips are one of the largest and most violent associations of street gangs in the United States. [1] With an estimated 30,000 to 35,000 members in 2008, [2] they have been involved in murders, robberies and drug dealing, among other crimes.

The Crips have a long and bitter rivalry with the Bloods.

Bloods Street gang founded in Los Angeles, California

The Bloods, also known as Original Blood Family (OBF), are a primarily African-American street gang founded in Los Angeles, California. The gang is widely known for its rivalry with the Crips. They are identified by the red color worn by their members and by particular gang symbols, including distinctive hand signs.

History

Stanley Tookie Williams met Raymond Lee Washington in 1969, and the two decided to unite their local gang members from the west and east sides of South Central Los Angeles in order to battle neighboring street gangs. Most of the members were 17 years old. [9] Williams discounted the sometimes cited founding date of 1969 in his memoir, Blue Rage, Black Redemption. [9] Gang activity in South Central Los Angeles has its roots in a variety of factors dating back to the 1950s and '60s, including post-World War II economic decline leading to joblessness and poverty, racial segregation leading to the formation of black "street clubs" by young African American men who were excluded from organizations such as the Boy Scouts, and the waning of black nationalist organizations such as the Black Panther Party and the Black Power Movement. [10] [11] [12] [13]

Black Panther Party Black revolutionary socialist organization

The Black Panther Party (BPP), originally the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, was a political organization founded by Bobby Seale and Huey Newton in October 1966 in Oakland, California. The party was active in the United States from 1966 until 1982, with chapters in numerous major cities, and international chapters operating in the United Kingdom in the early 1970s, and in Algeria from 1969 until 1972.

By 1978, there were 45 Crips gangs, called sets, operating in Los Angeles. They were heavily involved in the production of PCP, marijuana and amphetamines. On March 11, 1979, Stanley Tookie Williams, a member of the Westside Crips, was arrested for four murders and on August 8, 1979, Raymond Washington was gunned down. Washington had been against Crip infighting and after his death several Crip sets started fighting against each other. The Crips leadership was dismantled prompting a deadly gang war between the Rollin' 60 Neighborhood Crips and Eight Tray Gangster Crips which began causing nearby Crip sets to choose sides and align themselves with either the Gangster Crips or Neighborhood Crips waging an all out war in South Central and other cities. The East Coast Crips and the Hoover Crips directly severed their alliance after Washington's death. By 1980, the Crips were in turmoil, warring with the Bloods and against each other. The growth and power of the gang really took off in the early 1980s when crack cocaine hit the streets. In the early 1980s, Crips sets began distributing crack cocaine in Los Angeles. The huge profits from distribution of crack cocaine induced many Crips to establish new markets in other cities and states. As a result, Crip membership grew steadily and by late 1980s it was one of the largest street gangs in the country. [14] [15] In 1999, there were at least 600 Crips sets with more than 30,000 members transporting drugs in the United States. [1]

Crack cocaine Form of the drug cocaine

Crack cocaine, also known simply as crack or rock, is a free base form of cocaine that can be smoked. Crack offers a short but intense high to smokers. The Manual of Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment calls it the most addictive form of cocaine. Crack first saw widespread use as a recreational drug in primarily impoverished inner city neighborhoods in New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, and Miami in late 1984 and 1985; its rapid increase in use and availability is sometimes termed as the "crack epidemic".

Etymology

Some sources suggest that the original name for the alliance, "Cribs", was a name narrowed down from a list of many options, and chosen unanimously from three final choices, which included the Black Overlords, and the Assassins. Cribs was chosen to reflect the young age of the majority of the gang members. The name "Cribs" evolved into the name "Crips" when gang members began carrying around canes to display their "pimp" status. People in the neighborhood then began calling them cripples, or "Crips" for short. [16] A Los Angeles Sentinel article in February 1972 referred to some members as "Crips" (for cripples). [1] Another source suggests "Crips" may have evolved from "Cripplers", a 1970s street gang in Watts of which Raymond Washington was a member. [17] The name had no political, organizational, cryptic, or acronymic meaning, though some have suggested it stands for "Common Revolution In Progress", a backronym. According to the film Bastards of the Party directed by a member of the Bloods, the name represented "Community Revolutionary Interparty Service" or "Community Reform Interparty Service". Williams, in his memoir, further refuted claims that the group was a spin-off of the Black Panther Party or formed for a community agenda, the name "depicted a fighting alliance against street gangs—nothing more, nothing less." [9] Washington, who attended Fremont High School, was the leader of the East Side Crips, and Williams, who attended Washington High School, led the West Side Crips.

Watts, Los Angeles Neighborhood of Los Angeles in California, United States

Watts is a neighborhood in southern Los Angeles, California. It is located within the South Los Angeles region, bordering the cities of Lynwood and South Gate to the east and southeast, respectively, and the unincorporated community of Willowbrook to the south.

A backronym, or bacronym, is a constructed phrase that purports to be the source of a word that is an acronym. Backronyms may be invented with either serious or humorous intent, or they may be a type of false etymology or folk etymology.

Bastards of the Party is a 2005 documentary film produced by Alex Demyanenko and directed by former Bloods gang-member Cle Sloan. The film explores the creation of two of Los Angeles’s most notorious gangs, the Crips and the Bloods, from the perspective of the Los Angeles community. The film also denounces gang violence and presents meaningful solutions from former gang-members to stop this problem.

A Crip gang signal Crip handsign.gif
A Crip gang signal

Williams recalled that a blue bandana was first worn by Crips founding member Buddha, as a part of his color-coordinated clothing of blue Levi's, a blue shirt, and dark blue suspenders. A blue bandana was worn in tribute to Buddha after he was shot and killed on February 23, 1973, which eventually became the color of blue associated with Crips. [9]

Membership

The Crips have over 800 sets with 30,000 to 35,000 members and associate members, including more than 13,000 members in Los Angeles.[ when? ] The states with the highest estimated number of "Crips sets" are California, Texas and Oklahoma and Missouri . Members typically consist of young African-American men, with some members being white, Hispanic, Asian, and Pacific Islander. [1]

In 1992 the LAPD estimated 15,742 Crips in 108 sets; other source estimates were 30,000 to 35,000 in 600 sets in California. [18]

Crips have served in the United States armed forces and on bases in the United States and abroad. [19]

Crip on Crip rivalries

The Crips became popular throughout southern Los Angeles as more youth gangs joined; at one point they outnumbered non-Crip gangs by 3 to 1, sparking disputes with non-Crip gangs, including the L.A. Brims, Athens Park Boys, the Bishops, The Drill Company, and the Denver Lanes. By 1971 the gang's notoriety had spread across Los Angeles.

By 1971, a gang on Piru Street in Compton, California, known as the Piru Street Boys, was formed and associated themselves with the Crips as a set. After two years of peace, a feud began between the Piru Street Boys and the other Crip sets. It would later turn violent as gang warfare ensued between former allies. This battle continued and by 1973, the Piru Street Boys wanted to end the violence and called a meeting with other gangs that were targeted by the Crips. After a long discussion, the Pirus broke all connections to the Crips and started an organization that would later be called the Bloods, [20] a street gang infamous for its rivalry with the Crips.

Since then, other conflicts and feuds were started between many of the remaining sets of the Crips gang. It is a popular misconception that Crips sets feud only with Bloods. In reality, they fight each other—for example, the Rolling 60s Neighborhood Crips and 83 Gangster Crips have been rivals since 1979. In Watts, Los Angeles, the Grape Street Crips and the PJ Watts Crips have feuded so much that the PJ Watts Crips even teamed up with a local Blood set, the Bounty Hunter Bloods, to fight against the Grape Street Crips. [21] In the mid 1990s, the Hoover Crips rivalries and wars with other Crip gangs caused them to become independent and to refrain from using the Crip name, calling themselves the Hoover Criminals instead of Hoover Crips.

Alliances and rivalries

Rivalry with Bloods

The primary rival of the Crips is the Bloods street-gang. The rivalry dates back to the 1960s when Raymond Washington and several other Crips confronted Sylvester Scott and Benson Owens, students at Centennial High School. In response to the attack, Scott, who lived in Compton, established the Piru street-gang, the first "Bloods" street gang. Owens established the West Piru street-gang. The Bloods street-gang was initially formed to provide members protection from the Crips. [22] In late 1972, several gangs that felt victimized by the Crips due to their escalating attacks joined the Piru Street Boys to create a new federation of non-Crip gangs which would later become known as Bloods. Between 1972 and 1979, the rivalry between the Crips and Bloods would grow, accounting for a majority of the gang-related murders in southern Los Angeles. Gang members of the Bloods and Crips occasionally fight against each other and are responsible for a significant portion of gang-related murders in Los Angeles. [23]

Alliance with Folk Nation

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, as many Crip gang members were being sent to various prisons across the country, an alliance was formed between the Crips and the Folk Nation in Midwest and Southern U.S. prisons. This alliance was established as a means of protecting gang members incarcerated in state and federal prison systems. This alliance is strongest within the prisons however, and is less effective on the outside. The alliance between the Crips and Folks is known as "8-ball". A broken "8-ball" would indicate a disagreement or "beef" between Folks and Crips. [14]

Practices

"BK" ("blood killer") graffiti, Alexandria, Virginia BK graffiti.jpg
"BK" ("blood killer") graffiti, Alexandria, Virginia

Some practices of Crip gang life generally include graffiti and substitutions and deletions of particular letters of the alphabet. The letter "b" in the word "blood" will be "disrespected" among certain sets and written with a cross inside it because of its association with the enemy. The letters "CK", which stand for "Crip killer", will be avoided and substituted with a double "cc", and the letter "b" will be replaced. For example, the words "kick back" will instead be written as "kicc bacc". Many other letters are also altered due to symbolic associations. [24] Crips traditionally refer to each other as "Cuzz", which itself is sometimes used as a moniker for Crip. "Crab" is the most disrespectful epithet to call a Crip, and can warrant fatal retaliation. [25] Crips in prison modules during the 1970s and 1980s would sometimes speak in Swahili to maintain privacy from guards and rival gangs. [26]

See also

Related Research Articles

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Stanley "Tookie" Williams III was an American gangster, known as one of the original founders and leaders of the Crips gang in Los Angeles, California. In 1971, Williams and Raymond Washington formed an alliance establishing the Crips as the first major African-American street gang in South Central Los Angeles. Williams became the de facto leader and the prominent crime boss in South Central in the 1970s. In 1979, Williams was convicted for the murder of four people during two robberies, and was sentenced to death. The highly publicized trial of Williams and extensive appeals for clemency sparked debate on the status of the death penalty in California.

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The Grape Street Watts Crips is an African-American Crips subset based in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles. They're known for being the first original Crip set in Watts. The majority of the gang's members were located in the Jordan Downs Housing Project, and they were named after a north-south street in Watts near 103rd street.. The gang's rivalry with the Bounty Hunter Bloods has been described as being "the most violent and long lasting feud between two gangs that are in the Watts area."

References

Footnotes

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 U.S. Department of Justice, Crips.
  2. 1 2 "Appendix B. National-Level Street, Prison, and Outlaw Motorcycle Gang Profiles - Attorney General's Report to Congress on the Growth of Violent Street Gangs in Suburban Areas (UNCLASSIFIED)". www.justice.gov. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
  3. 1 2 "Los Angeles-based Gangs — Bloods and Crips". Florida Department of Corrections. Archived from the original on 2002-10-27. Retrieved 2009-06-21.
  4. "Crips". Gang Prevention Services. Archived from the original on 2009-05-12. Retrieved 2009-06-21.
  5. "Black Gangster Disciples". Gang Prevention Services. Archived from the original on 2011-02-05. Retrieved 2009-06-21.
  6. Los Angeles Gangs and Hate Crimes, Police Law Enforcement Magazine February 29, 2008
  7. "Major Prison Gangs(continued)". Gangs and Security Threat Group Awareness. Florida Department of Corrections. Archived from the original on 2010-03-12. Retrieved 2009-06-21.
  8. "Juggalos: Emerging Gang Trends and Criminal Activity Intelligence Report" (PDF). Info.publicintelligence.net. 15 February 2011. Retrieved 11 December 2017.
  9. 1 2 3 4 Williams, Stanley Tookie; Smiley, Tavis (2007). Blue Rage, Black Redemption. Simon & Schuster. pp. xvii–xix, 91–92, 136. ISBN   1-4165-4449-6.
  10. Stacy Peralta (Director), Stacy Peralta & Sam George (writers), Baron Davis et al. (producer), Steve Luczo, Quincy "QD3" Jones III (executive producer) (2009). Crips and Bloods: Made in America (TV-Documentary). PBS Independent Lens series. Retrieved 2009-05-15.
  11. "Timeline: South Central Los Angeles". PBS (part of the "Crips and Bloods: Made in America" TV documentary). April 21, 2009. Retrieved May 15, 2009.
  12. Sharkey, Betsy (2009-02-06). "Review: 'Crips and Bloods: Made in America'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 16, 2009.
  13. Cle Sloan (Director), Antoine Fuqua and Cle Sloan (producer), Jack Gulick (executive producer) (2009). Keith Salmon, ed. Bastards of the Party (TV-Documentary). HBO. Retrieved May 15, 2009.
  14. 1 2 "Gangland". google.co.in.
  15. "Black Los Angeles". google.co.in.
  16. "Los Angeles". Inside. National Geographic Channel. Archived from the original on August 4, 2009. Retrieved June 21, 2009.
  17. Dunn, William (2008). Boot: An LAPD Officer's Rookie Year in South Central Los Angeles. iUniverse. p. 76.
  18. Covey, Herbert. Crips and Bloods: A Guide to an American Subculture: A Guide to an American Subculture. p. 9.
  19. "Gangs Increasing in Military, FBI Says". Military.com. McClatchy-Tribune Information Services. 2008-06-30. Retrieved 2009-06-21.
  20. Capozzoli, Thomas and McVey, R. Steve (1999). Kids Killing Kids: Managing Violence and Gangs in Schools. St. Lucie Press, Boca Raton, Florida, p. 72. ISBN   1-57444-283-X.
  21. "War and Peace in Watts" Archived 2007-04-16 at the Wayback Machine (2005-07-14). LA Weekly . Retrieved 2007-05-04.
  22. "Gangland". google.co.in.
  23. "Black Los Angeles". google.co.in.
  24. Smith, Debra; Whitmore, Kathryn F. (2006). Literacy and Advocacy in Adolescent Family, Gang, School, and Juvenile Court Communities. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. ISBN   0-8058-5599-8.
  25. Simpson, Colton (2005). Inside the Crips: Life Inside L.A.'s Most Notorious Gang. St. Martin's Press. p. 280. ISBN   978-0-312-32930-3.
  26. Simpson, Colton (2005). Inside the Crips: Life Inside L.A.'s Most Notorious Gang. St. Martin's Press. pp. 122–124. ISBN   978-0-312-32930-3.

General

  • Leon Bing (1991). Do or Die: America's Most Notorious Gangs Speak for Themselves. Sagebrush. ISBN   0-8335-8499-5
  • Yusuf Jah, Sister Shah'keyah, Ice-T, UPRISING : Crips and Bloods Tell the Story of America's Youth In The Crossfire, ISBN   0-684-80460-3
  • Capozzoli, Thomas og McVey, R. Steve (1999). Kids Killing Kids: Managing Violence and Gangs in Schools. St. Lucie Press, Boca Raton, Florida, side. 72 ISBN   1-57444-283-X
  • National Drug Intelligence Center (2002). Drugs and Crime: Gang Profile: Crips (PDF). U.S. Department of Justice. Retrieved 2009-06-21. Product no. 2002-M0465-001.
  • Shakur, Sanyika (1993). Monster: The Autobiography of an L.A. Gang Member, Atlantic Monthly Pr, ISBN   0-87113-535-3
  • Colton Simpson, Ann Pearlman, Ice-T (Foreword) (2005). Inside the Crips : Life Inside L.A.'s Most Notorious Gang (HB) ISBN   0-312-32929-6
  • Smith, Debra; Whitmore, Kathryn F. (2006). Literacy and Advocacy in Adolescent Family, Gang, School, and Juvenile Court Communities. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. ISBN   0-8058-5599-8.
  • Stanley Tookie Williams (2005). Blue Rage, Black Redemption: A Memoir (PB) ISBN   0-9753584-0-5