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The Watts Gang Task Force (also known as the WGTF) is a community-based group that was created to reduce gang related crime in the Watts, Los Angeles, California area.
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 members of criminal gangs are "jumped in", or 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".
In December 2005, over a 31-day period, violence in the Watts community escalated. There were 18 gang related shootings, seven of which were homicides. Los Angeles Councilwoman Janice Hahn called a meeting of community leaders, the Los Angeles Police Department, school representatives, service providers, gang intervention workers, and city departments and facilitated by the City of Los Angeles Human Relations Commission, to see how, together, they could stop the violence. This was the beginning of the Watts Gang Task Force. Since that first meeting in January 2006, the task force has met every Monday in Councilwoman Hahn's Watts office, and facilitated by the Human Relations Commission.
Homicide is the act of one human killing another. A homicide requires only a volitional act by another person that results in death, and thus a homicide may result from accidental, reckless, or negligent acts even if there is no intent to cause harm. Homicides can be divided into many overlapping legal categories, including murder, manslaughter, justifiable homicide, killing in war, euthanasia, and capital punishment, depending on the circumstances of the death. These different types of homicides are often treated very differently in human societies; some are considered crimes, while others are permitted or even ordered by the legal system.
Janice Kay Hahn is an American politician serving as the member of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors from the 4th district since 2016. A member of the Democratic Party, she was a U.S. Representative from California from 2011 to 2016, elected in the 36th congressional district until 2013 and later in the 44th congressional district. She was previously a member of the Los Angeles City Council, representing the 15th district from 2001 to 2011. From 1997 to 1999, she served as an elected representative on the Los Angeles Charter Reform Commission.
The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), officially the City of Los Angeles Police Department, is the police department of Los Angeles, California. With 9,988 officers and 2,869 civilian staff, it is the third-largest municipal police department in the United States, after the New York City Police Department and the Chicago Police Department. The department operates in an area of 498 square miles (1,290 km2) and a population of 4,030,904 people.
The greater Watts area has one of the highest concentrations of gangs within Los Angeles County. LAPD estimates that there are at least 59 known and active gangs in the Southeast Division. Specifically, the Watts/Southeast GRYD contains an estimated 14 known and active African American and Latino gangs, of which three are Blood cliques, eight are Crips cliques, and three are Latino cliques. The most active gangs in the GRYD according to law enforcement are African American gangs, due to the longstanding rivalries between the Bloods and the Crips, and the dominant gangs within the public housing developments.
|Crip Gangs||Blood Gangs||Latino Gangs|
|Pee Jay watts Crips||Bounty Hunter Bloods||Watts Varrio Grape Street|
|East Coast Crips||Hacienda Village Boys||Morton Town Stoners Watts|
|Back St Watts Crips |
Front St Watts Crips
|Miller Bloods||5th and Hill|
|Nut Hood Watts Crips||Bebop Bloods||Watts Varrio Locotes 13 ||Elm Street Wattts |
Morton Town Watts
|Twilight Zone Crips||Athens Park||Elm Street Watts|
|112th Neighborhood||Circle City Piru||Ivy Street|
|Avalon Gangster Crips||Village Boys|
|120th St Hustlers Crips||Family Swan Bloods||Suicidal|
|Grape Street Watts Crips||9 Deuce Bishops||Colonia Weigand|
|118 Holmes st crips||Southside Watts|
|92 hat gang||Krazy Mexican Town KMT|
|7 STR watts||Nut Hood Watts 13|
|99 watts mafia||Hickory st watts 13|
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.
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.
Venice 13, abbreviated as V13 or VX3, is a Mexican American street gang based in the Oakwood neighborhood of Venice, a section of Los Angeles, California. It has a substantial presence in East Venice as well as the Culver City/Los Angeles border, especially around Washington Blvd.
The Rollin 60's Neighborhood Crips is a street gang based in Los Angeles, California, originally formed in Los Angeles in 1976 from the Westside Crips and have since spread to other cities in the United States. Membership is estimated to be between 6,000 to 8,000 people, making it one of the largest gangs in the Los Angeles area.
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.
The Watts truce was a 1992 peace agreement among rival street gangs in Los Angeles, California, declared in the neighborhood of Watts. The truce was declared in the days just before the 1992 Los Angeles riots, and although not universally adhered to, was a major component of the decline of street violence in the city during the 1990s, 2000s and 2010s.
KBLA is a radio station that is licensed to Santa Monica, California, United States and serves the Greater Los Angeles area. The station airs a religious radio format in Spanish as "Radio Esperanza 1580 AM". KBLA broadcasts with a power of 50,000 watts day and night. Most of the station's signal is dumped over the Pacific Ocean to avoid interfering with KQFN in Phoenix, Arizona; prior to 2015, that station had operated with 50,000 watts day and night as authorized by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Consequently, the station is heard on a regular basis in Hawaii, via AM nighttime skip. However, neither KBLA nor KQFN is considered a clear-channel station because they are classified as Class B using directional antennas.
The Pirus, also known as Piru Street Family and Piru Gangsters (PG), are a Los Angeles street gang alliance based in Compton, and also present in the cities of Carson, Sacramento, Hawthorne, San Diego, Fresno, Santa Barbara and Watts. Piru sets make up most of the original Blood Alliance in Los Angeles. The main colors of Pirus are red and burgundy.
Gangs in the United States include several types of groups, including national street gangs, local street gangs, prison gangs, motorcycle clubs, and ethnic and organized crime gangs. Approximately 1.4 million people were part of gangs as of 2011, and more than 33,000 gangs were active in the United States.
Crime in Los Angeles has varied throughout time, reaching peaks between the 1970s and 1990s.
Santa Monica 13 or SMG is a Mexican-American street gang located in Santa Monica, California, United States. They reside mainly in the Pico neighborhood of Santa Monica, which is said to be one of the last remaining ghettos of Santa Monica. Even though Santa Monica 13 is a Sureño gang, they wear their traditional black bandanas. The acronym SM17 refers to Santa Monica 17th Street, which is the gang's primary subset or "clique". They write up "SMG" or "Santa Monica Gang" to show solidarity.
Crips and Bloods: Made in America is a documentary by Stacy Peralta that examines the rise of the Crips and Bloods, prominent gangs in America. The documentary focuses on the external factors that caused African-American youth to turn to gangs and questions the political and law enforcement response to the rise of gang culture.
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."
Imam Mujahid Abdul-Karim is an African-American convert to Islam, who is best known for his involvement and "spearheading" of the April 26, 1992 Watts Gang Truce between the four influential rival gangs— Watts Hacienda Village Bloods, Grape Street Watts Crips, Bounty Hunter Watts Bloods, and PJ Watts Crips. He is imam of Masjid Al Rasul mosque in Watts, Los Angeles and the leader of The Imam Mahdi Movement.
Project Wildfire was a nationwide, multi-agency investigation of various transnational criminal gangs in 2015 that resulted in the arrests of 976 individuals, representing 239 different organizations, in 282 cities in the United States mainland and Puerto Rico. Eighty-two firearms, 5.2 kilograms of methamphetamine, 7.8 kilograms of marijuana, 5.6 kilograms of cocaine, 1.5 kilograms of heroin, $379,399, counterfeit merchandise with a suggested retail price of $547,534 and five vehicles were also seized.
The Varrio East Side Longo 13 or ESL13, also known by Longos, is a Mexican American gang that was formed in Long Beach. Their enemies are all Asian gangs, the Crips and the Fresno Bulldogs, Longos identify the color grey, blue and black they may use the sports team Raiders. The gang was formed on Anaheim Street in the east of Long Beach, California.
James Hart Stern is a civil rights activist, speaker, and author from Los Angeles, California. He is most well known for his work defusing gang violence through a series of summits in the 1980s and 1990s and for his incarceration with Edgar Ray Killen, the former KKK leader who was convicted of the 1964 Mississippi Burning murders.