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General Gang Information

Where are gangs found?

Odds are that there are criminal gangs in our community, your schools, and your work places. Your jails and prisons almost certainly have prison gangs and probably gang members who have been incarcerated and have not yet joined a prison gang. And finally, perhaps, parents have gang members living in their own home and do not recognize the problem.


We suggest that you eliminate this term from your vocabulary.

“We don’t have gangs in our community” is a phrase that is too often uttered by the city fathers, the police, the chamber of commerce, or the tourist bureau in many communities. This is often followed by, “All we have are a bunch of wannabes.” By calling gangs and gang members “wannabes,” a community is telling its citizens that it has nothing to worry about.

The inference here is that since the gangs in your community didn’t originate in Los Angeles or Chicago, they are not the dangerous gangs of New York, the Chicago street gangs or the Los Angeles street gangs – therefore, they aren’t real gangs. Nothing could be further from the truth. If a group of youths in your community have banned together and call themselves by a particular name, whether the name is a local street, a local neighborhood, or the Bloods, Piru Bloods, Crips, Latin Kings, Mara Salvatrucha, or Gangster Disciples, and if they use signs, symbols and or colors; and if they are committing crimes; they are a gang regardless of what members of the community say.

Gang Identification

It is also easy to understand how parents fail to recognize the gang identifiers, such as graffiti, signs and symbols, tattoos, or particular styles of clothing, worn or used by their son or daughter. How does this happen? They simply do not take the time to become aware.

It is extremely important to realize and understand that not everyone who wears a particular color, or who has a tattoo, is a gang member. Bloods wear red, Crips wear blue. There are thousands of gangs in the U.S. and most identify with one or more colors of every description. Today’s youth, just like the youth of past generations, like to be “faddish.” To some, wearing colors and sagging pants is cool.

Traditional Gangs

  • Exist in specific geographical areas for a long period of time.
  • Have established set of rules, regulations, signs, and symbol.
  • Members are usually older, young adults.
  • Highly structured and sophisticated.
  • Very Loyal.
  • Can have regional or national ties.
  • Easy to recognized


Some Crip Identifiers

  • Colors blue, gray, orange, and purple
  • 6 pointed Star of David
  • C’s up and B’s down
  • Blue, gray, orange or purple bandana’s or wave caps
  • Crip Walks
  • B’s crossed out
  • The number 6

Some Crip Phrases

  • BK (Blood Killa)
  • Loc (Love Only Crips)
  • C-ya
  • Slobs (derogatory toward Bloods)
  • C’s Up Cuz
  • What’s cracking?
  • Refer to each other as cousins


Some Blood Identifiers

  • Colors red, black, brown
  • B’s up, C’s down
  • MOB = Member of Bloods
  • Dog paws made up of three dots
  • CK Crip Killa
  • 031/021
  • Red, black or brown bandanas and wave caps
  • The number 5
  • The 5 pointed crown

Some Blood Phrases

  • Blatt Blatt
  • “What dat red be like?” – a greeting
  • Refer to each other as dogs
  • DAMU = Brother/Blood
  • DAMUETTE = Sister Bloodettes Ruby Red
  • Blood Love
  • What’s popping?