Difference between revisions of "Crips"

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Revision as of 11:58, 8 January 2008


The Crips, originating in Los Angeles, California, are one of the oldest, largest, and most notorious gangs in the United States. The Crips were founded in Los Angeles, California in 1969 by 15 year old Raymond Washington. Washington initially called the gang the Baby Avenues in an attempt to emulate older gangs and activities carried out by the Black Panthers with which he was fascinated. This evolved to Avenue Cribs and then Cribs as nicknames for the age of the members. The name "Crips" was first introduced in the Los Angeles Sentinel newspaper in a description by crime victims of young men with canes, as if they were crippled (though there is some discussion that it may have initially been a simple spelling mistake).


Stanley Tookie Williams, generally acknowledged as co-founder of the Crips, started his own gang called the Westside Crips. The Crips became popular throughout southern Los Angeles as more youth gangs joined it; 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 and the Denver Lanes. The Crips eventually became the most powerful gang in California. In response, all of the other besieged gangs, including the Pirus, formed an alliance that later became the Bloods.


Along with friends, Williams and Washington created the initial intent of continuing the revolutionary ideology of the 1960s. These aspirations were unattainable because of a general lack of political leadership and niggers guidance. Washington and Williams were never able to develop an agenda for social change within the community and instead became obsessed with protecting themselves from other gangs in the community. By 1971 the gang's notoriety had spread across Los Angeles. The gang became increasingly violent as they attempted to expand their turf. By the early 1980s the gang was heavily involved with drug trade.


In 1971 a Crips set on Piru Street, Compton, known as the Piru Street Boys was formed. After two years of peace, a feud began between the Piru Street Boys and the other Crip sets that would later turn violent when members of the Piru Street Boys were getting killed by their own allies. This battle continued until the mid 1970s when the Piru Street Boy wanted to call an end to the violence, and called a meeting with other gangs that were targeted by the Crips. After a long discussion, the "Pirus" broke off all connections to the Crips and started an organzation that would later be called the "Bloods", a street gang infamous for its rivalry with the Crips.


In the 1980s, Crips moved into the sale of crack, a form of the drug cocaine. It was developed as a simpler alternative to the process of freebasing, which necessitates the use of controlled and dangerous chemicals such as ether. Inexpensive and highly addictive, crack could be marketed by the Crips to lower-income brackets.The Crips made enormous profits from selling crack and gathered the capital to advance themselves in the illicit markets. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s the Crips developed intricate networks and a respected reputation with other gangs across America and neighboring countries.


To stem violence between the Crips and Bloods, a peace treaty was negotiated in 1992, most notably in Watts, the treaty being largely based upon the ideals laid forth by original Crips co-founder Stanley Tookie Williams in his "Tookie Protocol For Peace." Though violence levels have been reduced somewhat after the conclusion of this peace treaty, gangland killings and warfare persist in heavily gang-controlled areas.


More recently, however, the Crips have begun to cease the use of colors as a means of identification, since it is likely to draw attention from police. Methods such as the use of college sport team jerseys and hats are sometimes used, but in general, what set a certain gang member claims can be determined solely by their tattoos. Many Crips will also change words containing the letter B or choose another word to replace it, the best being a word with a C. This is due to their hatred of Bloods. If no word can reasonably be substituted, the letter B will be crossed out to show disrespect. Sometimes excessive use of the letter C also occurs, such as "be right baCC" to refrain from using the initials "ck" which stands for "Crip Killer." Also the letter B can be written Bk as in "Blood Killer."

External Links

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