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Gangs 101 for School Personnel

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About Robert Tornabene

He is a police officer working with the Niles Illinois Police Department. In his career he has worked in patrol and investigations and is
presently serving in the capacity of School Resource Officer/Community Policing Officer.

Certification & Training

State Certified Gang Specialist, State Certified Juvenile Specialist, State Certified Evidence Technician, State Certified Breathalyzer
Operator, State Certified Truck Enforcement Officer, State Certified Designer Drug Instructor, Nationally Certified Police Cyclist ,
Nationally Certified School Resource Officer, Trained by Federal Bureau of Investigations in Domestic and International Terrorism,
Trained in both basic, Advanced Reid Interview and Interrogation Techniques, Communications Tactics, Gang Prevention and
Suppression Techniques, State Certified, Crime Prevention Officer, Street Survival Spanish, De-escalation Strategies for Street Survival,
Counseling Parents of Juvenile Delinquents, Emergency Operations Center Coordinator, Community Emergency Response Team
Trainer, Terrorism Awareness ITOA 2002, First Responders to Critical Incidents, Haz-Mat Awareness, Landlord Training Program,
Cops In Schools, School Violence Issues: Protecting Our Schools In Illinois, Rave/Club Drug Awareness Seminar, Terrorism
Intelligence Specialist. Explosive Recognition: Bomb and Security Planning,

Awards & Achievements

Awarded 2004 Police Officer of the Year by the Niles Chamber of Commerce
Recipient of Frederic Milton Thrasher Award 2001, by National Gang Crime Research Center for Outstanding Intervention
Efforts in dealing with gangs.
Recipient of Frederic Milton Thrasher Award 2001, by the National Gang Crime Research Center for Exemplary Prevention
Recipient of Gang Investigator of the Year, 1998 by Midwest Gang Investigators Association Illinois Chapter.
Creator and Developer of the Gang Awareness Training Education Program (G.A.T.E.)
First School Resource Officer in the Departments history
First Bicycle Patrol Officer in the Departments history
First Community Policing Officer in the Departments history.
1 Chiefs Award of Merit
o For Community Policing efforts to reduce crime and improve quality of life issues in the officers COPS beat.
3 Distinguished Duty Declarations
o Arrest of suspect in possession of controlled substance and loaded firearm resulting in class X felony.
o Identifying suspects and recovering proceeds from Residential Burglary based on confidential informants.
o Recognition for officers efforts to reduce and prevent gang activity.
35 Performance Reports

Public Speaking
Presented at the National Gang Crime Research Center Conference 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004
Illinois Crime Prevention Association 2003 Conference
Illinois School Resource Officers Association Training Conference 2004
Training of Niles Police Officers, 4 - Hour Gang Identification Course 2002.
Terrorism Preparedness in the Workplace 2004
Terrorism Preparedness in Educational Institutions 2004
Child Abduction Awareness 2003.

Successfully wrote grants

Illinois Law Enforcement Alarm System Grant, $150,000 to be used for Joint Interoperable Communications Equipment for
Niles, Park Ridge, Skokie, Morton Grove, Des Plaines and Lincolnwood.
Identified issued in a newly identified Community Policing Program which identified lighting as an issue about quality of life.
This ultimately led to a $225,000 grant for lighting awarded to the Village of Niles.
Illinois Citizen Corp Grant, from the Department of Homeland Security, for creation of an Community Emergency Response
Team, totaling $22,000.
Employment History
Police Officer, Forest Park Police Department 4/1993-12/1993
Police Officer, Niles Police Department 1993 to Present, serving as School Resource Officer/Community Policing Officer.
Association Membership
Midwest Gang Investigators Association
Member of National Gang Crime Research Center Board
Member of the National School Resource Officers Association
Member of the Illinois School Resource Officers Association Board Member/Webmaster
Member of International Police Mountain Bike Association
Member of the Illinois Crime Prevention Association Regional Board Members
Articles Published.
Journal of the National Gang Crime Research Center Training Symposium, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004.
U.S. Conference of Mayors, 2004 Best Practices in Community Policing and Homeland Security.

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Homeland Security The Role of Every Law Enforcement Officer

School Advisory System, Illinois Emergency Management Agency
The Ultimate Terror Attack To Cripple A Nation.
Gangs, Terrorism and The Threat to America, MGIA National Bulletin.

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Chapter I
Gang Overview

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Street Gangs Overview

Street gangs date back to as early as the 1600s when bands of roving peasants attacked
villages and travelers in the English countryside. These early gangs had special symbols and
hand-signs to identify themselves as their present day counterparts do also. Modern day street
gangs did not appear on the scene in the United States in any great degree until the 1950s.
However, it should be noted that the first municipal police force in the United States was formed
in New York because of a street gang galled the White Rabbit Gang.

Present day street gangs formed originally in the ethnic neighborhoods along the
neighborhood lines. Most neighborhoods were divided by ethnic groups, i.e.; Italian, Jewish,
Irish, German, Polish, etc. As a result many of these immigrant neighborhoods had problems that
the inhabitants did not want to take to local authorities. Many neighborhoods started block clubs
and small bands of youths grouped together to protect their neighborhood. At times, the residents
still clung to old world traditions of solving issues using someone from within the community.
As times changed, these groups began to delve into criminal activities. These groups have
committed robberies, armed robberies and burglaries to commercial trucks, burglaries to
businesses and eventually drug trafficking and drug sales.

Gangs in Chicago

The gang problem in Chicago dates back at least to the early 1900s (originally appearing
as athletic clubs). Some significant changes came after World War II, when membership in
Chicago gangs became younger and more nonwhite. Sometime during the 1960s, the super
gangs - People and Folks - emerged. In Chicago, the gangs were formed in the prison system to
protect each other in prison. These modern day super gangs, which are known as Latin Kings,
Gangster Disciple, Vice Lords, Black P Stones, El Rukns and Latin Disciples were formed. The
leaders of these gangs realized immediately that money could be made from drug sales. The
Gangster Disciples, Vice Lords, El Rukns, Latin Kings and Black P Stones all began to sells
drugs like cocaine, heroin, marijuana, LSD and Crystal Methamphetamine. When crack made its
debut in the 1980s many street gangs saw an increase in drug sales. As they began to fight with
each other over this lucrative drug market many gang members began to be killed. Add into that
the Gangster Disciples experienced a feud internally causing two other groups to split from the
GDs forming the Black Disciples and Black Gangsters. This break brought numerous deaths
over drug sales, turf struggles and is still ongoing to this date.

Gangs began showing up in the suburbs in noticeable numbers from the 1970s on.
Originally settling in the larger suburbs such as Aurora, Elgin, Waukegan and Rockford,
traditionally following urban sprawl, such as the search for cheaper more affordable housing and
higher paying jobs. With this mobility the gangs realized that drug profits could be increased ten
fold. Soon, many new sets of the gangs were found in rather large numbers in these
communities. Weekly, gang members made the trip by car to meet with their counterparts to
bring drugs up to their suburban counterparts and return the profits home.

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As these gangs began to see profits increase they began to branch into many suburbs
along the major travel corridors out of the city of Chicago. Up I-294 and I-94 to Waukegan and
Milwaukee, west I-290 to Dupage County, west on I-90 to Elgin and Rockford, Southwest I-88
to Aurora, and South on Route 57 to Kankakee. Suburbs that were along these routes saw an
increase in lower middle class population as they exited from Chicago in search of cheaper rents
and higher paying jobs. Some of these people who moved to the suburbs were gang members.

What is a street gang?

In order to understand and classify gang members one must understand what a gang is
and what the definition of a gang member is. According to (Spergel and Curry, 1990) a gang is
a group or collective of persons with a common identity who interact in cliques or sometimes
as a whole group on a fairly regular basis and whose activities the community may view in
varying degrees as legitimate, illegitimate, criminal or some combination thereof. What
distinguishes the gang from other groups is its communal or fraternal, different, or special
interstitial character.

A street gang is defined as a group or collective of persons engaged in significant

illegitimate or criminal activities, mainly threatening and violent.

A traditional street gang is defined a youth or adolescent gang and often to the youth
sector of a street gang. Such a group is concerned primarily with issues or status, prestige and
turf protection. The youth gang may have a name and a location, be relatively well organized
and persist over time. The gangs often have leadership structure (implicit or explicit), codes of
conduct, colors, special dress, signs, symbols and the like. The gang may vary across time in
characteristics of age, gender, community, arc/ethnicity, or generation, as well as in scope and
nature of delinquent or criminal activities.

In order to better understand, how to classify a gang related activity or crime the definition under
Illinois law of what a gang is must be outlined. The definitions listed below were taken directly
from the Illinois Combined Statutes, Street Gang Terrorism Omnibus Prevention Act, and
ILCS 147/10

Street Gang, means any combination, confederation, alliance, network, conspiracy,

understanding, or other similar conjoining, in law or in fact, of 4 or more persons with an
established hierarchy that, through its membership or through the agency of any member engages
in a course or pattern of criminal activity.

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Street Gang Member, means any person who actually and in fact belongs to a gang, and any
person who knowingly acts in the capacity of an agent for or accessory to, or is legally
accountable for, or voluntarily associates himself with a course or pattern of gang-related
criminal activity, whether in a preparatory, executory, or cover-up phase of any activity, or who
knowingly performs, aids or abets any such activity.

Gang-related, means any criminal activity, enterprise, pursuit, or undertaking directed by,
ordered by, authorized by, consented to, agreed to, requested by, acquiesced in, or ratified by any
gang leader, officer or governing or policy-making person or authority, or by any agent
representative or deputy of any such officer, person or authority:

(1) with intent to increase the gang size, membership prestige dominance or control in
any geographical area; or

(2) with the intent to provide the gang with any advantage in or any control or
dominance over any criminal market sector.

(3) with the intent to exact revenge or retribution for the gang or any member of the gang;

(4) with the intent to obstruct justice, or intimidate or eliminate any witness against the
gang or any member of the gang; or

(5) with the intent to otherwise directly or indirectly cause any benefit, aggrandizement,
gain, profit or other advantage whatsoever to or for the gang, its reputation, influence or

Gang Proliferation, indicates the increase in communities reporting the existence of gangs and
gang problems.

Gang Migration, the movement of gang members from one city to another.

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In order to understand the gangs themselves one must understand that most gangs fall underneath
an umbrella group called a Nation. These Nations show a loose alliance between individual
gangs. This alliance is supposed to show affiliation and solidarity to the gangs within these
individual Nations during times of strife and conflict. However, as has been seen many of these
gangs under the same Nations have had disagreements that have resulted in violent outburst.
Nationally many of the gangs listed in this manual fall under either the People Nation or the Folk
Nation. However, each year new gangs spring up or are transplanted into other areas of the
country as a result these affiliations expand. Members of the California Crips and Bloods have
aligned themselves with the People and Folk Nation as well as Surenos and Nortenos Prison
Gangs have also began to appear nationally as well. As a result once known affiliations have
branched out dramatically. In the Midwest the Folks/People alliance is extremely strong most
gangs will fall under this alliance. Traditionally, Asian street gangs will not fall under this
alliance, as they tend to be Neutrals. However, in the recent past the Asian street gangs are
picking up the subculture of the Nation sets and have now started to identify under People or
Folk Nations in graffiti and literature as well as gang members identifying gang affiliation by
saying People or Folk.

People Nation

The People Nation was loosely formed in prison in order for the gang members who were
separated from their own gang during incarceration to have a way to protect themselves from
rival gang members. People Nation gang members when asked or told to represent themselves
will state Im People. Clothing and other identifiers like jewelry and bandannas are worn to
the left or on the left side of the body. An earring in the Left ear, a Left pant leg rolled up, a
strap of a pair of coveralls dangling to the Left side, a cap distinctively tilted to the Left, a
bandanna hanging out of the Left pocket, or wrapped around the Left leg. The People Nation ride
under the 5 pointed star. They use a slang term All is Well, as a disrespect to the Folk Nation
they show pitchforks pointed downward. In their graffiti and writings they will display Crowns
and Pyramids. The gangs in the people nation have a strong Islamic influence in the Black
ethnic gangs. Nationally they are aligned with the Bloods street gangs. Some of the gangs that
are represented in the People Nation are Ahkros, Bishops, Black P Stones, Cullerton Dueces, El
Rukns, Freaks, Gaylords, Insane Dueces, Insane Unknowns, Kents, Latin Counts, Latin Kings,
Latin Lovers, Latin Saints, Mickey Cobras, Pachuchos, P.R. Stones, Red Scorpion Gangsters,
Spanish Lords, Vice Lords.

Folks Nation

The Folks Nation was loosely formed in prison in order for the gang members who were
separated from their own gang during incarceration to have a way to protect themselves from a
rival gang member. Folk Nation gang members when asked or told to represent themselves will
state Im Folks. Clothing and other identifiers like jewelry and bandannas are worn to the right
or on the right side of the body. An earring in the Right ear, a Right pant leg rolled up, a strap of
a pair of coveralls dangling to the Right side, a cap distinctively tilted to the Right, a bandanna

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hanging out of the Right pocket, or wrapped around the Right leg. The Folks Nation ride under
the 6 pointed star, or the Star of David. They use a slang term All is One, as a disrespect to the
People Nation they show crowns and pyramids pointed downward. In their graffiti and writings
they will display Pitchforks and the Star of David. The gangs in the Folks Nation have no
Islamic influence in the Black ethnic gangs. Nationally they are aligned with the Crips street
gangs. Some of the gangs that are represented in the Folks are Ambrose, Asian Dragons (Crazy
Angels), Black Disciples, Black Gangsters, Campbell Boys, Gangster Disciples, Harrison Gents,
Imperial Gangsters, La Raza, Latin Disciples, Latin Eagles, Latin Souls, Orchestra Albany, Party
People, Satan Disciples, Simon City Royals, Spanish Gangsters, Two-Sixers and Two-Two
Boys. Nationally they are aligned with the Crips.


The gangs that fall under the Neutral status sometimes called as Neutrons. According to the
National Gang Crime Research Center the Neutrons came into being because some juvenile
delinquents that are not in a gang must basically identify themselves as being Neutrons or
Neutrals. We run across these in all communities that have gangs. They usually have a hard
time in custody, as in a war; the neutral parties are sometimes the first to face injury. In
juveniles detention centers, jails, and prisons, when the gang density rises to above 50 percent
the Neutrons are usually in a lot of trouble. They usually have to pay protection money or
provide other favors to some gang just to live.


The Crips are essentially from the West Coast of the United States. Starting in the 1960s in Los
Angeles, poorer neighborhoods such as South Central LA, this gang proved to be quite
formidable for the L.A.P.D. The Crips like their Midwestern counterparts branched out into
other communities and across the country in search of more lucrative drug markets. The Crips
have been known almost from their appearance on the gang scene as an extremely violent group.
Where the name Crip actually came from is hard to pin down. Several stories include borrowing
the name from the popular horror TV show Tales from the Crypt, from the word Kryptonite.
One gang member alleged that the name Crip is an acronym for Common Revolution in

Crip street gangs are not highly structured or organized as Folks/People Nation gangs, they run
under a more spur-of-the-moment, with leadership being assumed by different members
depending upon who was present during a criminal act, his status in the gang, and his access to
transportation, weapons and so on.

Crips have a serious in-fighting problem as well, with other Crip gangs attacking each other
depending on what the feud is about. The Crips will show disrespect to their rivals the Bloods
by calling them Crab; their colors are Royal Blue and Black. Crips tend not to use symbols
like Midwestern gangs, they prefer to use acronyms, such as West Side Rolling Sixty Crips =
WSRSC in displaying graffiti. Crips will wear any clothing with the Royal Blue and Black
colors, as well as Champion Gear, LA Dodgers, and Seattle Mariners, University of North
Carolina. They will wear any jewelry with the Letter C.

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At present Illinois does not have a large number of Crip gangs appearing, primarily because of
the strong foothold that the People/Folk Nation have in Illinois. However, there are Crip gang
members in Illinois and they have aligned themselves with various streets gangs in Chicago and
the suburbs in an attempted to increase drug profits and secure new markets themselves.


The Bloods formed during the late 1960s. The actual term Blood and where it came from
including how it became identified as a gang is unknown. Some sources suggest it originated
from the color red, which is the primary identifying color of a Blood Gang member. Bloods
originated in Compton in LA. As years passed on the Bloods began growing breaking off into
factions, including the West Side Pirus, Compton Piru, Mob Piru etc.

The California street gangs do not have quite the organization as their Midwestern counterparts
but they are just as very dangerous, perhaps even more deadly. Bloods street gang members
prefer using fully automatic weapons, shotguns and military weapons such as grenades, and M-

Bloods are heavily into selling of narcotics, including Crack Cocaine and Heroin. The Bloods
whole driving force is to make money, selling narcotics meets that purpose. Bloods have spread
out from LA into many states across the country including some in Illinois. All though because
of such a strong People/Folks representation in Illinois the Crips and Bloods never got a
foothold. However, what they did do, is make alliances with the People/Folk gangs for drug
trafficking and profit purposes.

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Street Gang Color & Alliance Summary

People Gangs (To Left) Folk Gangs (To Right)

Bishops (Black/Brown) Ambrose (Black/Light Blue)

Black P Stones (Black/Red) Black Disciples (Black/Blue/Red)
Cullerton Deuces (Gray/White) Black Gangster (Black/Grey)
El Rukns (Blue/Red) Campbell Boys (Red/Blue)
Freaks (Brown/Lt. Blue) Gangster Disciples (Black/Blue)
Gaylords (Black/Gray) Harrison Gents (Black/Purple)
Insane Deuces (Black/Green) Imperial Gangsters (Black/Pink)
Insane Unknowns (Black/White) La Raza (Red/White/Green)
Kents (Black/Gray) Latin Disciples (Black/White)
Latin Counts (Black/Red) Latin Eagles (Black/Gray=)
Latin Kings (Black/Gold) Latin Souls (Black/Red)
Latin Lovers (Red/Yellow) Orchestra Albany (Brown/Gold)
Latin Saints (Black/Blue) Party People (Black/White
Mickey Cobras (Black/Red) Satan Disciples (Black/Yellow)
P.R. Stones (BLACK/Orange) Simon City Royals (Black/Royal Blue)
P.R. STONES (BLACK/ORANGE) Spanish Gangsters (Black/Lt Blue)
Spanish Lords (Black/Red/Maroon) Two Sixers (Black/Tan)
Vice Lords (Black/Gold) Two Two Boys (Black/Blue)

Use of the 5 pointed Star Use of the 6 pointed star

Common Phrase All is One Common Phrase All is well

Throw Pitchforks Down Throw Pitchforks Up

Crowns/Pyramids Up Crowns/Pyramids Down

Strong Islamic Influence In Black Gangs No Islamic Influence

Largest Gangs Largest Gangs


National Alliance National Alliance

Bloods, Nortenos Crips, Surenos

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Gang and Supporting Team Clothing

Atlanta Braves People Initial "A" for Almighty
Boston Celtics Spanish Cobras Colors: Green/Black
British Knights Crip Initials "B" & "K" for Blood Killers
Burger King Crip Initials "B: & "K" for Blood Killers
Charlotte Hornets 4 Corner Hustlers Initials "C" & "H"
Charlotte Hornets Imperial Gangsters Colors "Black/Pink"
Chicago Bulls Vice Lords Colors Black/Red
Latin Counts
Mickey Cobras/Cobrastones
Black P Stone Nation "Bulls" stands for "Boy You Look Like Stone
Chicago Blackhawks Vice Lords Colors: Black/Red: Pitch fork Scar
Chicago Cubs Spanish Cobras Initial "C"
Cincinnati Reds 4 Corner Hustlers Put a "4" next to the "C:" and an "H" inside of the "C"
Colorado Rockies Simon City Royals They place a white "S: in front of the "C:
Columbia Knights Bloods Initials "C" & "K" for Crip Killer
Converse All-star People Five point Star in the Logo of Label
Dallas Cowboys People Five point Star
Denver Broncos Black Disciples Switch "DB" for initials "BD"
Detroit Lions Folks Initial "D" for Disciples
Detroit Tigers Gangster Disciples Colors: Black/Blue
Duke Folks Colors: Black/Blue: "Duke"-
"Disciples Utilizing Knowledge Everyday"
Duke Folks Crown going down "Disrespect" to Kings
Georgetown Folks Initial "G" for Gangster
Georgetown Hoyas Gangster Disciples Colors Black/Blue; "Hoyas" stands for
"Hoover On Your Ass"
Georgia Tech Folks Initial "G" for Gangster
Kansas City Royals Folks Colors Black/Blue
Kansas City Royals Simon City Royals "Royals"
LA Dodgers Gangster Disciples Initial "D" for Disciples
LA Kings Latin Kings Kings"
LA Kings People "Kings" stands for "Kill Inglewood Nasty
LA Raiders Folks "Raiders" stands for "Ruthless Ass Insane
Disciples Running Shit"
LA Raiders People "Raiders" stands for "Raggedy Ass Iced Donuts
Everywhere Running Scared" Used to Disrespect
LA Raiders Gangster Disciples Colors: Black
Maniac Latin Disciples Colors: Black
Louis Vitton Cap Vice Lords Initials "LV" reversed.
Miami Hurricanes People Colors: Orange
Miami Hurricanes Future Stones Colors: Orange
Michigan Surenos/Mexican Mafia Initial M 13 letter of Mexican Alphabet
Michigan MLDs Initial "M" for Maniac Latin Disciples
Minnesota MLDs Initial "M" for Maniac Latin Disciples

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Gang and Supporting Team Clothing

NY Yankees Gangster Disciples Colors: Black/Blue/White

N. Carolina Tar Heels Folks Colors: Black/Blue
Nike Folks Colors: Black/Blue
Oakland A's Ambrose Initial "A" for Ambrose
Oakland A's Orchestra Albany Initials "O" & "K"
Oakland A's Spanish Cobras Color: Green
Orlando Magic Folks "Magic" stands for "Maniacs and Gangsters in Chicago"
Colors: Black/Blue-represents many "Folks" gangs.
Philadelphia Phillies People Initial "P" for "People"
Phoenix Suns Black Peace Stone Colors: Initials "P" & "S"
Pittsburgh Pirates People Initial "P"; Colors: Black/Gold for Latin Kings
Bloods Initial "P" for Piru (Bloods)
San Francisco Giants Folks Switch initials for "Super Gangster Folk"
San Francisco Giants Future Stones Initials "S" & "K" spelled backwards
San Francisco (any) Stone Freaks Initials "S: & "F"
Seattle Mariners Surenos Color Blue, Letter M
St. Louis Cardinals Spanish Vice Lords Basic red color hat.
Starter Symbol Folks Crack the five point star to disrespect the
Starter Symbol People Five Point Star
Tampa Bay Lightning Gangster Disciples Colors: Black/Blue
Texas Rangers People Initial "T" looks like pitchfork going down
University of Illinois Folks Initials "U" & " I" together appear to be a pitchfork
being thrown up
University of Indiana Imperial Gangsters Initials "U" & "I" overlapping
Folks appear to make the shape of a pitchfork showing
"Folks" affiliation
UNLV Vice Lords Colors: Red/Black "UNLV" backwards
stands for "Vice Lords Nation United.

The above information details current ways in which gang members are using popular sports
clothing to represent individual gangs. Both professional and college teams are represented . It
should be noted that the sporting of clothing does not always signify gang affiliation. This list
was compiled to make the reader ware of possible gang involvement.
Source: Chicago Crime Commission report on Street

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Chapter II
Identifying Gang Members

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Gangs Characteristics of Potential Gang Members

Gang members seem to possess many common features and attributes that made them
susceptible to gang recruitment efforts.

At-Risk characteristics that contribute to a youth's vulnerability to gang influence are:

1. Male gender (males outnumber females 20 to 1); brought up to identify strictly with rigid masculine

2. Family member, friend, boyfriend or girlfriends are members; parents have disregard for obeying laws.

3. Alcohol or other drug used frequently in the home.

4. Living with a single parent or grandparents (simply because one parent is less effective in supervising a
child than two)

5. Poor academic performance records

6. Having poor to nonexistent job prospects, lack of opportunity, unemployment, or underemployment.

7. Fighting and aggression in early adolescence, chronic delinquency.

8. Poor living conditions or poverty.

9. Lack of community involvement, socially isolated from neighbors and peers or parental rejection.

10. Basic needs that have been neglected or are unable to be filled. (including love, affection, praise and

11. Marital discord (in the family is often associated with a child's behavior problems and related to juvenile

12. Abuse that creates a cycle of violence. (Violence produces more violence or causes a youth to leave home
to escape the violence.

13. Puts tattoos on self.

14. Has friends who are gang members

15. Frequent contact with the police

16. Dresses in traditional gang attire or in gang colors.

These are not absolutes. Some gang members display all of these traits others may have only but
a few. However, it is obvious that even if they child does not get involved with gangs that they
will need prolonged care to keep them out of a criminal lifestyle.

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Many new educators have asked, How do I know if someone is in a gang or a wannabe. The
term Wannabe should be stricken from the dictionary of educators and law enforcement officers.
If someone wishes to portray himself as a gang member, by dress, expressions, attitude or other
means, then they should be treated as such and dealt with accordingly. We should not use the
term they are just wannabes.

There are several reasons why this should not be handled casually and with a label as such. First,
with todays young people it is almost a matter of defiance. Oh so you think I am a wannabe!
Well I will show you! This places the young person in a challenge mode that you do not take
them seriously, regardless of how you believe there behavior is in appropriate. This is not to
suggest that you give credibility to their behavior, but to be dismissive can be equally dangerous.

Next students all to frequently, students behavior all though mimicking in manner is an outcry
for other problems that are occurring, most likely in the home. This can include domestic abuse,
marital issues, health issues and financial issues.

Lastly, if the person wishes to portray themselves as a gang member then they should be
considered a gang member. In particular because our primary goal is to educate and protect
young people, and to have a subject in school that wishes to place not only themselves at risk but
other students and teachers places all in jeopardy. Therefore it important that if a student is
openly demonstrating gang like behavior that as an educator in the school someone sits down
with the student and informs them of consequences. Including possible suspension, expulsion
and criminal charges if behavior is observed or acts are committed on grounds. Additionally, this
may set the ground work for the student to understand that they may be heading down a path
which they do not control and in turn reach out for help.

Early warning signs include but are not limited to:

Drug Use
Decline in grades at school
Change of friends
Keeping late hours
Having large sums of money or expensive items which cannot be explained.
Threatening other students or staff
History of impulsive behavior such as Bullying.

Tell Tale Signs:

Gang graffiti on books, notebooks or clothing
Wearing of gang colors or gang identified jewelry and clothing.
Use of hand signs.
Having photographs showing gang names, slogans, insignia or activities.
Gang Tattoos, even those drawn with pen ink.
Disclosure of gang membership.
Witnesses connecting the individual to gang activity.

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Female Gang Members

Only a small percentage of gang members are females. Estimates in various studies place actual
female gang members between five (5%) and nine (9%) percent of the total gang population.

Typically in the past females who were involved with gangs were a girlfriend, a mule (for
carrying drugs or guns) or a go-between for business transactions or drug deals.
Many male gangs allow females to join their ranks, but other gangs are exclusively female.
Female gangs are a rapidly growing segment of the gang subculture, some times even more
violent then their male counterparts.

Female gang members may join a gang for some to these reasons:

Cure loneliness and secure warmth and affection.

Satisfy the need to belong to a group, fulfilled in part by the dress codes and traditions
imposed by gang membership as a sign of solidarity
To express anger and frustration encountered daily in a life filled with poverty and
joblessness and devoid of hope.

There are no known gangs with female only membership in Chicago. Female gang members
associate with their existing male counterparts. In essence, the females are an extension of the
gang and exist under the direction and whim of the male leaders.

It should be noted that two females riding in a car with two males giving the look of couples is
less suspicious to police and rival gang members. One of the most noted acts of violence
committed by female gang members was the set up murder of two Latin Kings by female Latin
Disciples. The two females lured two Latin Kings in Latin King territory into a bathroom in
Humboldt Park, and then shot to death both Latin Kings. The reason was to avenge the killing of
another Latin Disciple.

Note to Officers: The searching of females who are with gang members should not be overlooked.
Frequently, they are holding or carrying drugs or weapons for the male gang members in the group. Do not
look at females who associate with male gang members as weak or non-threatening.

The following female factions have been identified in various police districts in Chicago:

Female Gang Male Counterpart Affiliation

Cobretts (Mickey Cobras) People
Mobites (Blackstones) People
Latin Queens (Latin Kings) People
GD Queens (Gangster Disciples) Folks
Lady Two-Six (Two Six) Folks
Sisters of the Struggle (Black Gangsters) Folks

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Levels of Gang Membership

Level 1
Potential Members: Ages 7-11. Potential members are at-risk youth know gang members and
usually live near gang areas. They are deciding whether or not to join a gang.

Level 2
Claimers or "Wanna-bes": Ages 10-13. Claimers associate with gang members and copy them
in dress and attitude.

Level 3
Fringe Members: Any Age. Fringe or Marginal Member associate with gang members
occasionally for social status and recognition but are not officially members. They do not live
their daily lives for the gang.

Level 4
Regular Members: Ages 14-17. Regular Members are officially gang members. They have
passed the initiation and life for the common goals of the gang.
Their entire lives revolved around gang activity.

Level 5
Hard-core Members: Ages 14 and Up Hard-core members entire lives and days
revolve around gang activity with or without gang approval. These gang members have their
own goals for the gang as a whole. They are leaders and are likely to deal drugs as a means of


Leaders are typically the oldest members of the gang. These individuals have extensive criminal
backgrounds and charismatic personalities. Leaders have gained the respect of the other
members of the gang through there past criminal behavior. The success of their leadership is
measured by how they capture the attention of the membership, while directing the course of the
gangs criminal activity.

As in other segments of society, the leader surrounds him with trusted and knowledgeable
advisors. A leader strives for conformity within the membership. The recruitment of new
members is vital to the continuing success and longevity of the gang.

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As previously shown, most street gang rely on Marginal members or juveniles to comprise over
50% of their membership. Therefore, public and private areas in our community that provide
services to or involve juveniles are the same areas most prone to gang recruitment. Schools are
the most vulnerable of our public institutions because they contain both the largest groups of
gang recruiters and potential recruits. Recruitment occurs in all areas of a school, most likely
where there is least amount of supervision (i.e. vacant bathrooms, gymnasiums, classrooms, or
hallways.) Schools will see the highest concentration of gang recruitment occurring in the spring
quarter of the school year. Gang members annually attempt to increase and build the size of their
gang in preparation for summer recess.

Determining Gang Affiliation

Affiliation may be determined by what clothing and jewelry items that are worn by gang
members. Clothing items, especially athletic jackets and baseball caps in the color scheme of
the gang have become popular. Gangs have used these popular clothing items to disguise their
gang colors. Jewelry items bearing a five-point star, pyramid, six-point star, etc. have been
recognized as having gang significance.

Tattoos on various parts on various parts of the body are viewed as extensions of gang graffiti
and indicate a permanent allegiance to the gang. An oral admission of membership is also
recognized as proof of gang membership during court proceedings. See department form for
actual qualifiers.

Discretion and good judgment must be exercised when documenting gang membership. It is
obvious that persons other than gang members wear popular athletic apparel. For that reason an
investigator must look for other indicators of gang affiliation such as jewelry items, tattoos and
oral admissions.

All gang affiliation indicators must be documented in official reports. A description of the
jewelry item worn or a description of the tattoo as well as the location on the body must be
incorporated in the reports. A statement made by a gang member may be described as made by a
self-admitted member of a particular gang.

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Initiation into a gang can take on a variety of activities. This is just a short list of some of those
types of activities a perspective member will have to undergo to join.

1. Blessed In This type of initiation most commonly occurs when other members of the
juveniles family are involved in a gang or juvenile is well known to the gang members.
There must be a high level of trust between the gang and the recruit. Before the ceremony
the juvenile is taught the meanings of the signs, symbols, codes, laws, prayers, and
philosophies of the gang. The juvenile is required to study and memorize the literature until
they feel confident and able to recite all of the material. During the ceremony, where high
ranking gang members are present, the juvenile is orally tested on their knowledge and
understanding of the material. This type of initiation usually occurs in a private setting as the
ceremony takes a long period of time.

2. Jumped In, Beat In, Vd In, The Gauntlet: More juveniles are initiated into
gangs this way, probably because most juveniles do not grow up with family members who
are already in street gangs. The juvenile attends the ceremony and is placed in the center of a
group, the size of the group varies but is usually kept under 10 members. The group, made
up of gang members, is directed by a ranking gang leader to assault the juvenile for a
designated time period. It is the juveniles responsibility to fight back and defend his or
herself during this time period. This ritual takes place to show the gang the juveniles ability
to endure pain and his or her capability to the ceremony can be finished in as little as 30-60
seconds. Many times this ceremony takes place in backyards, city parks and even school

3. Placing of Tres: This is a practice that is done with New Breed gang members. They will
place their hand in the gang hand symbol upon the gang members forehead while reciting the
gang prayer. Once it is done they are now full members of the gang and will be expected to
do nation work and pay dues.

4. Commission of Criminal Acts. Lastly a combination of the first two initiation methods and
the commission of an additional criminal act can lead to full-fledged gang membership. This
can include drive by shootings, robberies, assault on police officers, thefts, auto-theft and

5. Sexed In, Rolling the Dice: Females who wish to join a male gang or an all girls gang
may be required to have sex with male or female gang members. The number of gang
members required to have sex with is determined by Rolling the Dice, which ever number
comes up is the number of gang members that the initiate has to have sex with. This may be
unprotected sex as well.

6. Payment of Dues: Attending meetings and interacting with all gang members in order to
gain acceptance. Typical dues are $5 per meeting.

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Making Rank

Once accepted into the gang, an ambitious member can advance through the membership by
participating in criminal acts of a violent nature. This advancement is commonly known as
making rank. Making rank is important to new members as they try to impress and influence
their leaders. AS they gain recognition, they are given more responsibility in the day to day
operation of the gang activity and are eventually promoted to higher positions. Rank can be
attained by exhibiting strong leadership qualities, by demonstrating the ability to turn greater
profits from narcotic sales or simply being one of the toughest of in the group. Typically gang
members cannot hold rank in a gang until they have completed Nation work for a period of time.
In some gangs this is about 6 years.


The leadership and fellow members will violate members who violate the code of conduct for the
gang. A member can catch a V by informing on another members, running from a fight, losing
a gang gun or narcotics to the police, stealing money from the gangs drug operation or wanting
to leave the gang. Violations are meted out by the seriousness of the transgression. The
following are examples of violations of various Chicago street gangs.

> Paying a fine to gang

> Reduction of rank
> Pumpkin Head being beaten about the head and face by one ore more members
> timed beatings of varying duration
> beating with no cover-up (not allowed to defend self)
> Put on Wall or Wall Time, beaten by several members
> Walking the line (the gauntlet) while being beaten by gang members
> encircled by gang and then beaten unconscious
> burnt with hot curling iron
> single gun shot to the thigh
> expulsion for the gang (Pulling flag)
> Death by Execution

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Nicknames/Street Names

Most gang members are known by a nickname or several nicknames. It is not unusual for other
members of the gang to know each other only be nickname. Nicknames appear in gang graffiti
and tattooing. It is important for law enforcement officers to properly identify and document
individuals by the nickname or nicknames for intelligence purposes.

Hand signs

Hand signals are used by gangs as a means of communicating gang affiliation and or to challenge
rival gangs, or to flush out rival gangs, false flagging.

Gang members employ several means of non-verbal communication to acknowledge their gang
or to challenge rival gangs, including hand signals or throwing signs, flagging.

These signals or signs are made by forming letters or numbers with hands and fingers to depict
the gang symbol or initials. By using these signals, the gang can show which gang he or she
belongs to and issue challenges to other gangs in the vicinity.

Most common use of hand signs by gang members is the throwing down of a rival gangs

This throwing down of a rival gang sign is a common motive for todays drive by shootings.

Note If you can get a consent to photograph a gang member, also get them to display
themselves showing their gangs sign. This has a two folded meaning. First, it gives you valuable
intelligence on new gang hand signs, but secondly if you need to identify this gang member in
court, a photograph displaying him or her showing their hand signs is hard for a defense attorney
to counter in court or for a parent to say that their child is not involved in a gang.

False Flagging

False Flagging is throwing a sign or shouting out a gang slogan to induce or trick a rival gang
member into representing his affiliation. As an example; a member of the Latin Kings People
might represent Gangster Disciple Folks by throwing up the pitchfork hand sign or shouting
G.D. Love to a suspected Disciple gang members. When this suspected gang member represents
back by throwing up the pitchfork or responding by shouting G.D. Love, he may become the
target of a drive-by shooting or the victim of a beating by the offending gang. False Flagging
accounts for several homicides every year as a result of drive-by shootings.

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Stacking is method of using hand signs and symbols to show respect for ones own gang. This is
done by using an elaborate form of throwing signs or flagging by using hands and fingers to
depict gang symbols, numbers, letters or names of the gang and its leaders.

Stacking is used in some gangs as part of the initiation process where a member will have to
employ all the signs of the gang.


One of the first indications that gangs are being formed within a community is the appearance of
graffiti (markings of names or symbols on a wall or other surface.)

Some people think graffiti represents the defacement of property by thoughtless vandalism and
pranks. However to the street gang, graffiti is a clear marking of territory associated with a
particular gang and serves as a warning and challenge to rival gangs. Additionally, graffiti can
range from the simple to the elaborate. It can include, but is not limited to the drawing of
symbols, numbers, gang names and street names of gang members. Gangs use paint, markers, or
chalk to place graffiti on any available space.

Most often it is observed on bridges, overpasses, garages, fences, buildings, schools and public

If graffiti is not promptly removed, a rival gang can deface it. This is usually done by the
original graffiti being crossed out and opposing gang graffiti written over or next to it. A rival
gang can also degrade other gangs graffiti by writing the original graffiti upside down.

The Village of Niles Ordinance about graffiti removal sets a seven- (7) day time limit on property
owners removing the graffiti. The Village of Niles will remove the graffiti free of charge and
liability if the property owner signs to appropriate waivers, see attached forms.

Before removing any graffiti have the graffiti photographed for intelligence purposes.

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Alpha Numeric Codes

Street gangs sometimes utilize an alphanumeric sequence to represent and communicate. As an

example, the numbers 4,7,11, represent the fourth, seventh and eleventh letters of the alphabet
(G.D.K.). These numbers written in sequence stand for Gangster Disciple Killer. This simple
code is most often seen as graffiti or in coded messages sent or passed among gang members.

Common Replacement alphanumeric Code

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26

Locations by Nick Name

Gang members and criminal types refer to certain areas within the Chicago land area by using
nicknames. This nickname could be simply the name of the housing complex they live in or the
street or something completely different. By recognizing the names you will pick up valuable
clues as to the origin of the person whom you are interviewing.

Suburban areas

D Block Dee Road, unincorporated Cook County (Latin Kings)

Pimp City (Latin King) is of Palatine near Country Glen apartment complex on Lake
Cook Road and Route 53. (Un-incorporated Cook County).
P-Town (Latin King) area of Palatine near Country Glen apartment complex on
Lake Cook Road and Route 53. (Un-incorporated Cook County).
Ironwood (Gangster Disciple) street in Un-incorporated Cook County near Golf
Road and Dee Road.
Boxwood (Satan Disciple) street in Mount Prospect off of Dempster street.
Carlisle Carlisle apartment building near Dee and Ballard in Un-incorporated Cook
County. Now the Park Ridge Commons
The Wood reference by Vice Lords to Maywood Park.
The Keyhole refers to Wentworth & 12th in Chicago Heights (Gangster Disciple)
Hell Zone refers to 16th-Cermak 50th Court (Gangster Disciple)
Gangster City refers to 48th and Union (Spanish Gangster Disciple)
E-Town Evanston
The Jungle Area of Apartments in Franklin Park which is a known gang hangout.
Near Grand and Mannheim Roads

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Chicago areas

Gangster Disciple
The Valley Vincennes to Cottage Grove from 49th to 51st.
The Darkside Langley to King Drive from 60th to 63rd
Death Rhodes Rhodes from 63rd to 67th
Murdertown 67th to 71st from Stony Island to Dorchester
Paxtown 67th to 73rd from Yates to Stony Island
Death Row 100th and Michigan
Rag Town 115th to 199th from Halsted to Morgan

Black Gangsters
The Pocket 69th to 71st from Woodlawn to Kenwood
G-Town 63rd-71st Halsted to Dan Ryan Expressway
Murder City Elm & Larabee
Nightmare City Elm & Hudson
H Town 20th-Cermak, Federal to State
Hooverville 44th & Federal
Rag Town 53rd & Union /53rd & Emerald

Maniac Latin Disciple

The Zone Division to North Avenue, Western to California
Dogpatch North Avenue to Armitage from Milwaukee to Noble
Logan Square Belmont to Diversey from Elston to Kimball
K/B Kedzie and Barry
T/W Bloomingdale to North Avenue from Maplewood to California

New Breed
The Village C.H.A. A.B.L.A. Homes between Roosevelt to 16th street from Racine to
Two Six
Darkside 26th Street to Cermak from Central Park to Kostner

K-Town (Two Six, Unknowns and Vice Lords) streets beginning with the letter K,
west of Pulaski to Cicero in the 010th, 011th and 025 Districts.

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Things you say or never do in front of a gang member.

Never insult or show disrespect for a gang member, particularly in front of their gang peers.
Gang members are proud to be part of the gang subculture, and that subculture dictate that no
insult shall go unanswered. This mentality, taken together with the inherent machismo of
some individuals, creates a volatile mixture easily ignited under any circumstances, but
particularly when peers look on.

This admonition should not be misunderstood as suggesting that gang members must actually
be respected, or that they must be treated in different fashion. It is simply a safety warning
that when dealing with gang members a showing of disrespect invites violent retaliation.
Most gang members ill not feel disrespected if they are treated in a professional, firm but
fair manner.

Never show disrespect for gang clothing, slang, tattoos, jewelry, hand-signs, rap music,
graffiti or other indicia of the gang subculture. This will be perceived as disrespect for the
gang member and the gang.

Never confront gang status, only behavior.

Never cross out gang graffiti. This is one of the ways in which a rival gang may show
disrespect and issue a challenge. This does not mean that you totally paint over or remove
graffiti. While this is still a challenge, it is a less direct one and one from a more acceptable
and predictable source, the property owner or the community. Always photograph graffiti
before removing it. Graffiti is the gangs newspaper of the streets and may contain
information of value to the police.

Never confront a gang member in the presence of their peers. This invites resistance in
normal society, let alone in the gang subculture.

Never mimic gang activity by, e.g. effecting a gang stance or throwing a gang hand-sign.
The gang member may perceive this as disrespectful, or even as a direct challenge. You may
even be mistaken for a rival gang member.

Never call a gang member a wannabe. This is dismissive, disrespectful term and may
induce the individual to prove that you have underestimated them.

Never place rival gang members together unsupervised. The need no excuse for violence.

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Never assume you are safe because you are encountering a gang member in a school, mall or
other public place even in custody. Gang members respect no neutral ground. No location
is off limits. The presence of witnesses may even encourage a display of bravado.

Never physically confront a gang member.

Never underestimate the threat from a young, small or female gang member. The need to
prove themselves may make them all the more dangerous.

Never assume anything.


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Gang Interview Tips

When questioning a witness, you are conducting an interview. When questioning a suspect,
you are conducting an interrogation. Properly done, an interview or interrogation is a form of
art. What works well for one practitioner may miserably fail when applied by another. A
number of well-established techniques exist, with dozens of books debating the virtues of each.
The following tips are offered to increase the likelihood of your success when the objet of your
interview or interrogation happens to be a gang member.

Most gang members are proud of their affiliation and will readily admit it if you simply
ask them. However, in the last few years this has changed, some of the more hard core
members or veteranos refuse to identify themselves for because of recent Federal RICO

Many gang members will show you their tattoos, demonstrate their hand signs and draw
their gang symbols. Once the gang member becomes used to speaking with you about
things they deem to be non-threatening, it will become easier for you to move on to more
sensitive subjects.

If appropriate, consider questioning a gang member in a setting where paraphernalia from

other gangs is displayed. This may induce a sense of competition in your subject, making
them want to discuss their gang and maybe even contribute some of their paraphernalia to
your collection.

Consider leaving a gang member alone in a room with blank paper and pen before
interviewing or interrogating them. Many gang members, particularly younger ones, are
so proud of their gang affiliation that they will have irresistible urge to draw gang
symbols or graffiti while awaiting you. This not only creates some proof of gang
affiliation, but also creates a topic of discussion with which the subject will feel
comfortable. You can build rapport before going on to more serious matters.

While many gang members would rather die than be thought of as n informant, they may
readily share with you information they think harmful to a rival gang. The reverse may
be true if the person you are questioning, or a rival gang, via a drive-by shooting, for
example has victimized their gang. Under such circumstances, the gang mentality
dictates that the victim gang retaliates and not has the authorities interfere with that

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Generally speaking, you will not be successful interviewing gang members in front of
other gang members. It is their natural inclination to defy authority and to be seen
defying authority. If necessary, find some subterfuge by which to get a gang member
aside before questioning. When finished, give no indication to the other gang members
that the individual you questioned has been cooperative. Caution: Your safety is more
important than the success of any interview or interrogation.

Gang members uniformly demand respect, whether they deserve it or not. Respect
does not necessarily mean that the gang member must be treated in a deferential fashion,
unless that is a conscious ploy on your part to appeal to a particular subject. One must
handle them in a professional, firm but fair manner. Neither the gang member, nor
their gang, should be demeaned in any way if you expect success. Confront behavior; not
gang status. State consequences; do not threaten.

Many gang members know each other only by their street names or monikers. They may
be truthful when they claim not to know any individuals given name or surname.

Dont try to use gang slang during questioning unless you are adept at doing so. Even if
adept, some gang members will perceive you as being patronizing. You may have more
success with your subject if you use language and a manner that they believe to be
consistent with your profession and authority. If you do not understand a term your
subject uses, ask them to explain. Admissions of ignorance can gain respect even in the
gang subculture.

If you are forced to use a foreign language interpreter, confirm the interpreter is familiar
with the subjects dialect and slang. Presumably, your interpreter will be a trusted
individual who will give you an accurate translation of what the subject says. Be
sensitive to indications that the interpreter might be intimidated by the gang member, or
even threatened by the gang member while in your presence. Consider tape recording the
interview for later translation by a second interpreter.

Many gangs form along ethnic or racial lines. Acknowledge of your subjects cultural
differences will be of extreme value. In some cultures a smile is not always a smile and a
nod does not always mean yes.

Never lie to a gang member unless you are sure you can get away with it. It is legal to
induce a confession by misrepresenting the quality of evidence you have against the

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If you have a choice consider picking the youngest, least experienced member of the
gang to approach first for information. This individual may be more inclined to speak to
you, and may provide enough information for you to sound credible as you start to ascend
the pecking order of gang members.

Officers and others dealing with gang members are so used to hearing denials that they
fail to report them. Initial responders, transporting officers and custodial personnel
frequently hear and dismiss claims of innocence. Often claims of innocence are
accompanied by hastily concocted alibis. If recorded and passed on to the investigating
officer, these false claims may lock the suspect into a story that later proves inconvenient
for them. A simple follow-up investigation can prove the suspect a liar. The lie may be
used to bolster probable cause if a search or an arrest warrant is later sought, or may be
used to discredit the suspect in front of a jury.

Do not overlook the fact that the persons claims of innocence may be true. Do not
allows early presumptions, misconceptions and disrespect for the suspect create a double
injustice, i.e., the prosecution of an innocent individual and the escape of the real culprit.

Generally, many successful interview/interrogation techniques suggest that a single

interviewer/interrogator be alone with the subject. Many subjects are more inclined to
give information to a single person than to a group of people.

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Chapter III
Street Gangs

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18th Street Gang



Colors Blue

Alliance: Surenos

Racial Makeup Hispanic

Emblems 18, XVIII, XV3, 666

18 Street has been around since the 1930s. This gang reached out to over 30 states and Native
American lands. The membership of 18th Street in California is estimated at more than 30,000.
18th street gangs are heavily involved in auto theft, carjacking, drive-by shootings, drug sales,
arms trafficking, extortion, rape, murder for hire and murder. 18th Street is known as the
Childrens Army due to its recruitment of elementary and middle- school aged youth. The gang
specializes in early indoctrination to the rules of the gang with these young members, who are
told that leaving the gang will result in their death or deaths of their loved ones.

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Hand signs:

Colors: Light Blue and Black

Alliance: Folks

Emblems: Plumed Helmet with spear, letter A, Oakland As cap

Racial makeup: Mexican, White and Puerto Rican


Originally formed in the early 1960s as a softball team in the Chicago Pilsen community, the
Ambrose evolved into a social athletic club and eventually into a street gang. Members readily
identified themselves as Ambrose members and are usually attired in clothing denoting their
affiliation. This gangs leadership has remained within the same family since its inceptions,
passing from brothers to cousins.

The Ambrose A: breaking up the five-pointed star is an example of the Ambrose opposition to
street gangs belonging to the People alliance.

Area of Operation
Chicago PD Districts 8,10,12
Villa Park

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Akrhos Acros - Akhros

Flip City Kings

Hand signs:

Colors: Red & Black

Alliance: People (tentative)

Emblems: Three Dots and Letter A Left wrist, AKP

Racial makeup: Philiphino, Mexican, pacific islanders some white


Originally known as the Flip City Kings this street gang was formed in the late 1970s early
1980s as a way of protecting the Philiphino community from Vietnamese and Korean Street
gangs. They aligned themselves with the Latin Kings in the city of Chicago. As the Philiphino
families moved from Chicago they transplanted the Flip City kings in numerous suburban
communities. In the early 1980s the Flip City Kings made a split becoming the Ahkros and the
Red Scorpion Gangsters. Recently in the 1990s numerous problems occurring between the
Ahkros and the Red Scorpion Gangsters have caused distrust and incidents of fights.

Both of these gangs have access to firearms and will openly display them in photographs. They
tell their parents that they are just in dance club or a break dance club to in case their parents find
out. At present there is a strong opposition between the Ahkros R.S.G.s and the Asian
Dragons. In addition, in fighting among Ahkros from Chicago and the suburban factions occur

Area of Operation
Chicago (Waveland
Glendale Heights

Acronym F ilipino
E quals
A sian
R oyalty

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Almighty Asian Dragons

Crazy Angel
Hand sign:


Alliance: Alliances Changes frequently

Emblems initials AD


Very little is known in regards to this gang. They have a rather large membership in the
Glenview, Niles, Morton Grove area. This gang traditionally has been extremely violent and
have been known to carry large caliber firearms. The Asian Dragons and Crazy Angel Faction
traditional have been all Asian (Vietnamese, Korean, Chinese), their main rival gang are the Red
Scorpion Gangsters and Ahkros. There is a long-standing cultural hatred between traditional
Asians and Pacific Islanders (i.e.: Filipinos). At present, it is believed that they have aligned
themselves under the People Nation as some of their graffiti has shown 5 point stars and down
turned pitchforks. However, recent incidents involving Gangster Disciples and Latin Kings have
shown an involvement with the Asian Dragons siding with the Gangster Disciple because of a
recent homicide involving a Gangster Disciple.

Area of Operation
Park Ridge
Des Plaines
Morton Grove

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Arab Posse
The Arab Posse

Hand sign

Colors: White and Red

Alliance: None

Emblem: Four Point Star

Ethnicity Mostly Middle Eastern, Assyrian

This group was formed as a way for young Middle Eastern males to protect themselves from
other groups and racial prejudice as they moved into the southwest and northwest suburbs. In
recent years this group has not been very active and may be dormant at this time.

Area of Operation
99th & Ridgeland, Oaklawn
Orland Park

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Black Disciples

Hand signs

Colors Black ,Blue & Red


Rivals Gangster Disciples, Black P Stones, Mickey Cobras, Vice Lords

Racial Makeup Black

Emblems BDN, BD,2 and 4

The Black Disciples were an off shot of the original Devil Disciples before Larry Hoover took
over the Gangster Disciples. Originally the Devil Disciples under the leadership of King
David Barksdale was the leader. At that time the Devil Disciples comprised the Black
Gangsters, Gangster Disciples and the Black Disciples. In 1974 King David was killed, and that
left a leadership void within the Devil Disciples. In 1978 the Devil Disciples split up into the
Black Gangsters, Gangster Disciples and the Black Disciples.

The splintering of these groups from the parent Devil Disciples is due to the individual leaders.
As a matter of fact, the Black Disciples are controlled by Shorty Freeman. There is rivalry for
drug sales and turf that the Black Disciples, Gangster Disciples and Black Disciples.

The Black Disciples collect dues (approximately $5.00), about 2 times a month. The Black
Disciples are considered by its membership to be a nationwide drug operation. The represent
their sets by calling them Dynasties. There is a female faction called the Daughters of
Universal Star. Members do not have to be beaten in or sexed in to join. They are instead
initiated at birth by members placing treys on the forehead of the infant child to be initiated
into the gang.

Members of the Black Disciples have been known to shot at members of the Gangster Disciples
over drugs and turf. A misconception among law enforcement is that the Gangster Disciples,
Black Disciples and the Black Gangster Disciples are all the same. That has cost several inmates
their lives as they have been mixed in with Gangster Disciples mistakenly in prison blocks and
subsequently been killed.
Area of Operation
Nation wide

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Black Gangsters
AKA New Breed

Hand signs

Colors Black and Grey

Alliance Strong alliance with Vice Lords and Four Corner Hustlers

Rivals Black Gangster Disciples, Black Disciples, Black Souls

Emblems Georgetown Sportswear (means G-town), Square with Circle in

center with and L in Upper left corner, L in Lower left corner and
L in lower right corner. The three Ls stand for Life, Loyalty and

Racial Makeup All Black

The Black Gangsters, AKA New Breed is a renegade gang defying classification along the
folks/peoples gang alliance system. They are an all Black gang in mortal combat with the single
largest folksgang", the Gangster Disciples. The Black Gangsters are an off shot of the Devil
Disciples street gang. After David King David Barksdale was killed, there were three leaders
who separated into the Gangster Disciples, Black Disciples and Black Gangsters.

The Black Gangsters do not consider themselves members of the 5 or 6 star. Rather they
consider themselves riding under the four star or square. The Black Gangsters are well
organized and heavily into drug sales.

Area of Operation
Milwaukee Wisconsin

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Black Gangster Disciples

Gangster Disciples and Brothers of the Struggle

Hand signs

Colors: Blue and Black

Alliance: FOLKS

Racial Makeup: 99% Black, Some White

Emblems: Six pointed star: Heart with horns and Devils Tail with upward
crossed pitchforks; Heart with Flames; Imperial Crown with six
pointed star; Heart with wings.


The Disciples formed and developed in the early 60s and were arch rivals of the Blackstone
Rangers. During the gangs early days, there were constant altercations with the Blackstone
Rangers and the rapidly growing Vice Lords over territorial boundaries.

Unlike the Vice Lords and now the Black P Stones with their organized close knit organization
building a powerful coalition of various gangs and leaders. The loose-knit structure of the
disciples is the main reason for much of the in fighting that has been associated with the Black
Gangster Disciples, even to this day.

The obvious symbol of the separation is the use of the six (6) point Star of David and the letters
G and D.

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Area of Operation
Nation Wide
Argo, IL East St. Louis Skokie
Arlington Heights Elgin University Park
Aurora Elk Grove Village Fort Wayne Indiana
Bloomington Evanston Grand Rapids Michigan
Blue Island Montgomery Jackson Mississippi
Bolingbrook Mount Prospect Minneapolis Minnesota
Bristol Normal Nebraska
Calumet City Oswego New York
Carpentersville Palatine Ohio
Chicago Heights Peoria Texas
Cicero Riverdale Virginia
Decatur Robbins Seattle Washington
DeKalb Rockford Tacoma Washington
Dixmore Romeoville Kenosha Wisconsin
Dolton Round Lake Dear Love Cove

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Black P Stone

Hand sign

Colors: Black, Green, Red

Alliance: PEOPLE

Emblem: Pyramid with five pointed star; crescent moon with

five pointed star: letters B.P.S.N.


This gang evolved from the Blackstone Rangers in the late 1960s. Jeff Fort took control of the Blackstone Rangers
and formed a nation of many street gangs now knows as the Black P Stone Nation. After Forts incarceration in
the early 1970s, the gang took on a new identity under the name El Rukns.

Although they use the same identifying colors and symbols, the Black P Stone Nation and El Rukns are separate and
distinct. The gang uses the crescent moon with the five-pointed star as identifiers. The street nicknames of the
B.P.S.N. are Stones and Rockboys The gang is aligned with the Vice Lords and Mickey Cobras of the People
Alliance. They are opposed to all Folks: gangs.

Area of Operation
Chicago Pd District 2 Hoffman Estates
Evanston (Dodge/Howard) Little Rokc Arkansas
Aurora Atlanta Georgeia
Bolingbrook Gentucky
Decatur Jacksonville Florida
Joliet Milwaukee, Kenosha,
Kankakee Madison, & Racine
Maywood Wisconsin
Bellwood Cleveland & Columbus Ohio
North Chicago Indiana
Peioria Iowa
Robbins St. Louis, Missouri
Justice Mississippi
Ford Heights Houston Texas
Harvey Virginia

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Hand sign:

Colors: Red

Racial makeup Multi-racial

Alliance: PEOPLE

Emblems: Letter B , Piru, CK

There is little known about the blood activity in the Chicago land Metropolitan area. The activity
that has resulted typically comes from passing through gang members from other states and does
not appear to have created a local gang presence.

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Hand sign:

Colors Green, Red and White

Alliance: FOLKS

Racial Makeup: White and some Hispanic

Emblem: Dollar Sign $


The gang has been around for about twenty (20) years but have not been found in the system as
a highly organized group. C-Notes have been know to commit crimes, from drug dealing to
armed robbery, typically they are a nuisance gang in the 16th, and 25th districts in the City of

Area of Operation
Chicago PD District 16, 13, 25
Jefferson Park
Harlem & Addison
Hutchinson & Lockwood

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Colors Blue

Alliance Folks

Racial Makeup Multi Racial

Emblems Letter C


The Crips presence in the Chicago land area can be traced back to the early 1990s. As urban
legend goes, a group of Crips attempted to move into an area that was heavily controlled by Vice
Lords in the hopes of opening a Midwest drug operation. The Vice Lords did not take the Crips
setting up shop in their turf lightly and quickly introduce themselves. As a result several Crips
were killed and hospitalized and ever since then the Crips have aligned themselves with Folk
Nation Gangs. The Crips like the Bloods do not have the hierarchy organization like the
Folk/People Nation gangs, therefore they tend to be less formalized. There entire operation
revolves around drug sales and the profits they can make.

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Familia Stones
Future Stones

Hand sign:

Colors: Black and Orange

Alliance: People

Racial Makeup Mostly Latino, white

Emblems: 5 point star, letters FS, Pyramid with 21 bricks

The Familia Stones were a branch of the Future Stones, in the early 1990s they branched off and
then grew to be the main set of the PR Stones to date.

Area of Operation
Mt. Prospect
Des Plaines
Mount Prospect
Atlanta, GA

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Imperial Gangsters

Hand sign:

Colors: Pink and Black

Alliance: Folks

Racial Makeup: White, Hispanic and Black

Emblems: Imperial Crown with crossed pitchforks, Pink Panthers the

latter IG, Mexican Flag.

This gang originally formed approximately twenty (20) years ago. The membership was
predominantly Mexican, however, today it is inter-racial mixed with white, Latino and Black
members. This gang has an alliance with Folks and appears to align with members of the
United Latino Organization (ULO) on the inside. However, the Imperial Gangsters main rivals,
on the streets are the Latin Disciples who also affiliate with the Folks This inter-alliance
rivalry has caused the Imperial Gangsters to utilize the crossed pitchforks in a downward fashion
show disrespect to the Latin Disciples. This has been a long-standing feud between those two
gangs and has recently surface in a series drive-by shootings and homicides.

They still maintain the classic rivalry with the Latin Kings and other gangs from the People

Area of Operation
Chicago Pd Districts 13,14,25
Des Plaines
Franklin Park
Crystal Lake
Beaver Dam, Kenosha, & Appleton Wisconsin
Miami, Orland & Tampa Florida
New Jersey

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Insane Deuces

Hand sign:

Colors: Black and Green

Alliance: Folks

Racial Makeup: Mostly Hispanic

Emblems: Spade with 2 dots above it with deck of playing cards, with 2 of spades
emphasized. Graffiti could also be the number 2 with two dots over it.


Areas of Operation
Oakley to Honore, Roscoe to George
Hamlin Park
21st & Washtenaw (Cullerton Dueces)
39th, 47th Halsted to Normal Spade Town
Villa Park
Del Rio Texas
Houston Texas
Appleton Wisconsin

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Insane Popes

Hand signs

Colors: Black and Baby Blue

Alliance: Folks (North)

People (South)

Emblems: Cloaked or hooded figure with cross on the chest.

Cross with knife behind

Racial Makeup: White

The Insane Popes started about twenty (20) years ago as a Greek street gang. Over the years the
members moved north and another moved southwest. Although these two factions use the same
name and same racial makeup, they have no other common traits. The north-side faction
affiliates with Folks and the south side with People. The north-side faction is the older of
the two factions.

Both groups of Popes use the hooded robed figure in their graffiti. This same figure has been
used by the Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacy groups. This gang itself was founded on
anti-Hispanic platform and these hooded robed figures show that aspect of this gang. This gang
has not been actively involved in any physical acts of violence relative to hate crimes as of yet,
but many of their members preach a Nazi, KKK, white supremacy philosophy.

Area of Operation
Niles, Glenview, Chicago PD District 16,17

Popes is an acronym for P rotect

O our
P eople
E liminate
S pics or scum

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LA Raza

Hand sign:

Colors: Red, White and Green

Alliance: Folks

Emblems: The letters LRZ the Mexican Flag, the Mexican Eagle and
logos associated with the Folks alliance.

Racial makeup: Mexican


The La Raza street gang was formed in the late 1970s primarily by illegal aliens who were tired
of being the brunt of violence by street gang members. A translation of the name LaRaza is the
race, which reflects their ethnic pride. As LaRaza evolved, it expanded to include legal aliens,
as well as second and third generation Mexican-Americans. Members of LaRaza are closely
allied with members of the Party People street gang. Members of LaRaza, particularly the older
ones, will not readily admit their affiliation as this gang was originally designed to be secretive
in nature. LaRaza founders had this in mind when they selected the colors of the Mexican Flag
as their gang colors and often wear a shirt with this flag on it to signify their gang affiliation.

Area of Operation
Harding & Waubansia
Cicero Grant Works
Glen Ellyn 7 Blocks (Spook Town)
Leipisic & Ottawa, Ohio

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Latin Counts

Hand sign:

Colors: Red and Black

Alliance: People

Emblems: Knights helmet, the letters LC

Racial Makeup: Mexican, some white and Puerto Rican


The Latin Counts were formed in the mid-1960. Original members are still seen on occasion in
Latin Count turf and they consider themselves as family.

In August of every year, the Latin Counts have a large picnic/reunion, which is attended
religiously by active and inactive members. It is believes that besides renewing of relationship
policy and rules are decided and dictated during this meeting.

Area of Operation
Chicago PD Districts 10,12
Villa Park
Chicago Heights
Calumet City
Hoffman Estates

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Latin Disciples
Maniac Latin Disciples

Hand sign:

Colors: Blue and Black

Alliance: Folks

Racial Makeup: Hispanic, white and black

Emblems: Heart with tail of devil and horns; pitchforks

MLD or swastika in center


The Latin Disciples have been in existence for approximately 25 years. It is the largest Folk
Hispanic Street gang. They call themselves Latin Disciples, Maniac Latin Disciples, and YLO
(Young Latino Organization) Disciples.

In their logo, a backward swastika signifies honor to the original leader whose street name was
Hitler and was killed in 1970 by the Latin Kings. The swastika is placed backwards so the
gang will not be mistaken for a white supremacist gang.

Area of Operation
Chicago PD District 14,19,25

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Almighty Latin King Nation

Latin Kings
Latin Queens

Hand sign:

Colors: Black and Gold

Alliance: People

Racial Makeup: Hispanic, White and Black

Emblems: Three or five pointed crown, five pointed star, five dots, cross
kings head with crown known as the master.


The Latin Kings are the oldest and largest street gang in Illinois. Approximately 25 years ago
this gang originated. Later, additional factions developed in almost every Hispanic Community.

This gang developed as a traditional street gang to protect their neighborhoods or turfs. The
Latin Kings developed a reputation as a very violent street gang.

The Latin Kings have followed a five-point crown and three-pointed crown. Most Mexican
factions of the Kings will follow the five-pointed crown while most Puerto Rican factions follow
the three-pointed crown. Another identifier of this gang is the Kings head with the five pointed
crown commonly referred as the Master.

The colors of yellow and black have along been associated with this gang. However, it has been
found that Latin Kings west of Illinois use the colors of black and silver. Both groups use the
LA Kings Jackets and Hats.

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Area of Operation
Chicago and Suburbs
Stone park
Central Stickney
Dee Road (Des Plaines)
Michael Todd (Glenview)
Des Plaines (Mannheim Road)
Chicago Heights
San Francisco
Indianapolis, Indiana
Las Vegas, Nevada
New York City
Delavan, Beloit, Janesville, Lake Geneva, Milwaukee, Waukesha, Madison Wisconsin
Puerto Rico
Grand Rapids & Holland Michigan

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Latin Lovers

Hand sign:

Colors: Red and Yellow

Alliance: Folks

Emblems: LL, pitchforks up, heart with wings

Racial Makeup: Hispanic, White and Black


The Latin Lovers have been in existence for about 16 years. The original Latin Lovers were
former Spanish Cobras and Latin Disciples.

Area of Operation
Chicago PD District 14

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Mara Salvatrucha
MS 13


Colors: Blue

Racial Makeup: Salvadorian

Emblems: Letters MS, 13, The words Salvadorian Pride. Letter M

This gang began as a result of people feeling El Salvador as a result of a civil war. Refugees fled
to the United States and some had connections to La Mara, a street gang in El Salvador. Some of
the immigrants had once belonged to groups auch as the Farabundo Marti National Liberation
Front and were trained as guerilla fighters. These Salvadoran guerrillas were known as
Salvatruchas Here in the United States, as a result of prejudice of Hispanic gangs, they formed
the Mara Salvatrucha (MS) gang.

he gang, commonly referred to as MS-13 enforces an extensive hierarchy. Each local gang is
divided into cliques, which are further divided into smaller groups.

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Nortenos / Fourteens

Hand sign:

Color: Red

Alliance: No Known Alliances

Emblems: Catorce, XIV, X4 14, N,

UNLV Clothing (Us Nortenos Love Violence)


The Nortenos started out in Northern California. Norteno translates into Northerner. The
number 14 as used by Hispanics is synonymous with Nortenos and also indicated the gangs
origin in Northern California. In 1960s the Hispanic prison population began organizing into
gangs in the prisons. As the 13s got started by aligning themselves with the Mexican Mafia the
14s did the same by aligning themselves with La Nuestra Familia. N is the fourteenth letter in
the alphabet and signifies the Nortenos.

The Nortenos are not well organized and do not have a good network for communicating across
the country. They are not well represented in Illinois, but are mentioned here because they are
known rivals for the Surenos. The Nortenos are typically Hispanic and come from American
born Hispanics usually not from illegal aliens and immigrant population.

Area of Operation

La Salle County
West Chicago
Dupage County

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Orchestra Albany

Hand sign:

Colors: Brown and Gold

Alliance: Folks

Racial Makeup: Mostly Latino

Emblems: Initials O/A


This gang has been in existence for about 17 years. The O/As began as a musical group. One
of its members was the victim of a gang murder in the middle 1970s as a result they formed a
street gang. Due to the small size of this gang, it has developed an alliance with all folks
gangs against the Latin Kings.

Area of Operation

Chicago Pd District 14,17

Diversey & Harding
Hamlin & Wellington
Spaulding & Schubert
Sawyer & Emmett

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Red Scorpion Gangster


Hand sign:

Colors: Red

Alliance: No Known

Racial Makeup: Filipino, Vietnamese

Emblems: RSG, Cigar Burn on web of hand.


Starting off as an off shot of the Acros the RSGs have evolved into a full-fledged gang dealing
in methamphetamine and contract hits. The gangs recent activity has including using crash
type pads in multilevel apartment complexes, which are used for drug sales, mostly
methamphetamine. Chicago PD recently made numerous drug arrests against Filipino subjects
who then contracted with the RSGs to hit the narcotics officers who made the arrests.

RSGs have also been responsible for home invasion style takeovers in order to get large sums of
cash from business owners. They typically pray on Asian victims in these takeovers.

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Sin City Boys

Spanish Gangsters

Hand sign:

Colors Black & Baby Blue

Alliance: Folks

Racial Makeup: Mostly Latino

Emblems: Hooded Bunny, smoking a blunt a sward with two lines, two dots and a
heart and club

These two gangs merged several years ago.

Area of Operation
West Chicago
Carol Stream
Austin Texas

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Spanish Cobras
Insane Cobras


Colors: Green and Black

Alliance; Folks

Racial Makeup: Puerto Rican, Black, and White.

Emblems: Coiled King Cobra Snake, S/C and ISC


The Spanish Cobras were formed in the early 1970s. Originally , this gang was the Maniac
Latin Disciples. A disagreement resulted and some members formed what is now the Spanish
Cobras. Today, the cobras are closely aligned with the Maniac Latin Disciples. The Spanish
Cobras are part of a coalition called the United Latino Organization (ULO) comprised of the
Maniac Latin Disciples, the Latin Jivers and the Imperial Gangsters.

Recently members of the Spanish Cobras have been moving into un-incorporated areas of Des
Plaines and openly recruiting people to sell cocaine in these areas.

Area of Operation
Chicago Pd Districts14, 25
Un-incorporated Des Plaines
Waukesha & Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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Satan Disciples

Hand sign:

Colors: Canary Yellow and Black

Alliance: Folks

Emblems: Pitchfork and or the devil and logos associated with the
Folks alliance

Racial Makeup: Mexican, Puerto Rican, White and Black


The Satan Disciples were formed in the 1960s. Senior members of the Disciples, for the most
pat, are not as active as their counterparts in the other predominantly Mexican gangs. The Satan
Disciples are closely allied with members of the Ambrose street gang and have joined them in
their current war against the Two Six, La Raza, and Party People street gangs. All of the gang
involved in this war are allied as Folks

Area of Operation
Mount Prospect (Boxwood Drive)
Chicago Pd Districts 8,9,10,12,17,25
Calumet City

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Spanish Gangster Disciples

Spanish Gangsters

Hand sign:

Colors: Black and Blue

Alliance: Folks

Emblems: Six pointed Star, heart with horns and top and crossed
Pitchforks in an upward fashion

Racial Makeup: Predominately Hispanic

The Spanish Gangsters were formed in the early 1980s in the South Chicago area of the 4th
District of Chicago. They were established by Mexican youths residing in the Trumbull Park
Housing Project at 106th and Bensley. They controlled a small portion of this housing project,
but their center of activity was in the area of 87th and 90th street, between Baltimore and
Commercial Avenue.

The Spanish Gangsters gained control of street sale of cocaine in the area of 88th and Baltimore.
The police conducted numerous narcotic operations in this area, which lead to the arrest and
conviction of this gangs leadership. As a direct result of loss in leadership, gang membership of
the Spanish Gangsters in the 4th District declined to the point that it is considered a minor street

In the 23rd District the Spanish Gangster Disciples are in opposition to the Latin Eagles and the
Latin Kings. Members hangout in the area of Cuyler and Broadway and the Walt Disney
Elementary School yard.

The Spanish Gangster Disciples are active in Mount Prospect, Wheeling and areas west of Cook

Areas of Operation
Chicago Police Districts 4, 23, 24, 25 Wheeling
Berwyn 21st and Ridgeland Mount Prospect
Blue Island Un-incorporated Cook County
Burbank Kane County
Cicero Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Oak Lawn
Rock Island
East Chicago Indiana
Miami Florida
El Paso , San Antonia Texas
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Simon City Royals

Hand sign:

Colors: Blue and Black

Alliance: Folks

Emblems: The initials SCR RS or rabbit head with bent ear, hat
with crossed shotguns and a cross.

Racial Makeup: White and Hispanic


The Simon City Royals are one of the oldest white gangs in Chicago. The gang was formed in
the early 1960s There were formed to stop the Hispanic Street gangs from moving into their

In the late 1970s and early 1980s this gang was very active in burglaries in Chicago and nearby
suburbs. The Simon City Royals have strong ties with the Black Gangster Disciples. In some
areas, the Simon City Royals have dropped the name Simon City and refer to themselves as

Area of Operation
Chicago Pd Districts 14,16,17,19,25
Park Ridge
Arlington Heights
Franklin Park
Fort Lauderdale, Miami Florida
Boomville, Mississippi
Ponca City, Oklahoma

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Surenos / Sur 13/ Thirteens

Hand sign:

Colors: Blue

Alliance: None Known

Emblems: Letter M, 13, XIII, X3,3ce, Trece, Michigan University Hat


The Surenos started out in the Los Angeles Area of California. Sur is the Spanish word
meaning Southerner. Sureno literally means one from the south or southerner. The
number 13 as used by Hispanics is synonymous with Sur or Sureno and also indicated the gangs
origin in Southern California. In 1960s the Hispanic prison population began organizing into
gangs in the prisons. The Mexican Mafia was also referred as La Me, which is Spanish for the
letter M. Since the letter M is the thirteenth letter of the alphabet, the Mexican Mafia members
use the number thirteen synonymously with the letter M.

As Law Enforcement began to see the violence that surrounded this gang increased pressure
began to bear down upon the Sureno gang members. As a result several went to prison but
others turned informers for the police. As a result, La Eme Leaders sent word down to its street
gang counterparts that any aid to the police meant immediate death. Many of the Sureno gang
members decided that they should leave southern California. As a result the Midwest has seen
an influx of Surenos gang members.

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Surenos are not as organized as Chicago area Street Gangs. Leadership is not very strong, and
there is no network to communicate with their fellow gang members in other states. However,
they are extremely violent and known to carry firearms regularly. Typically Surenos come from
immigrant or illegal alien Mexicans and Hispanics. However, at the present time they are
accepting white and black members in Illinois.

Area of Operation
Arlington Heights
Carol Stream
Carpenters Ville
Des Pines
Hanover Park
Melrose Park
Mt. Prospect
Rolling Meadows
Round Lake Beach
Villa Park
West Chicago

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Two Sixers

Hand sign:

Colors: Tan and Black

Alliance: Folks

Emblems: Playboy bunny with cocked ear wearing fedoras and glasses
a pair of dice with two dots on one and six on the other
tattoos using three dots and the initials TSN

Racial Makeup: Hispanic, white


The Two Six street gang originated as the Two Six Boys in the 1970s. At its inception of the
Two Six was primarily a white street gang with a small minority of Mexican members. As the
racial makeup of the area changed is did the Two Six. Today, the Two Six has evolved into one
of the largest and most dominate street gangs in Chicago.

Area of Operation
Chicago Pd Districts 10,9,8
Hanover Park
Oak lawn
Orland Park
Schaumburg (G-Town)
Rock Island
Albuquerque, New Mexico

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Two Two Boys

Hand signs:

Colors: Black and blue & Brown and Beige

Alliance: Folks

Emblems Two dice with two dots showing on each dice

A crest or shield with two lion guarding the dice reflecting
the number two

Racial Makeup: Mexican and White


The Two Two Boys originated in the Late 1970s. During this period the gang found it difficult
to compete with the more organized larger street gangs in the area such as the Two Sixers and
the Latin Kings.

Area of Operation
Chicago Pd Districts 9,10
Boling Brook
Franklin Park
Kenosha, Wisconsin

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Vice Lords

Hand signs:

Colors: Black and Gold and Red

Alliance: People

Emblems: Pyramid with crescent moon, the initial V/L top hat with cane
and gloves, pair of dice, martini glass, Playboy bunny head, crescent
moon with five pointed star and dollar sign.

Racial Makeup: Black


The Vice Lords are the oldest street gang in Chicago dating back to the late 1950s. There were
formed in the Illinois State Training School for Boys in St. Charles, Illinois. The gang has also
expanded its territory into many suburban areas surrounding Chicago.

Each Vice Lord faction has leadership and membership separate and distinct from other Vice
Lord factions. Although each faction uses the name Vice Lords, each indicated their
independence by using their own gang faction name in their graffiti.

Name of factions:

Conservative Vice Lords Renegade Vice Lords

Cicero Insane Vice Lords Horner Home Vice Lords
Traveling Vice Lords Four Corner Hustlers
Unknown Vice Lords Insane Vice Lords
Rockwell Garden Vice Lords Undertaker Vice Lords

Area of Operation
Chicago and Suburbs

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Four Corner Hustlers

Vice Lords

Hand signs:

Colors: Black and Gold and Red

Alliance: People

Emblems: Pyramid with crescent moon, the initial V/L top hat with cane
and gloves, pair of dice, martini glass, 50
Playboy bunny head, crescent
moon with five pointed star and dollar sign.

Racial Makeup: Black


The Vice Lords are the oldest street gang in Chicago dating back to the late 1950s. There were
formed in the Illinois State Training School for Boys in St. Charles, Illinois. The gang has also
expanded its territory into many suburban areas surrounding Chicago.

Each Vice Lord faction has leadership and membership separate and distinct from other Vice
Lord factions. Although each faction uses the name Vice Lords, each indicated their
independence by using their own gang faction name in their graffiti.

Area of Operation
West Aurora
Carrier Mills
Chicago Heights
Gary, Inidiana
Topeka, Kansas
Madison, Milwaukee & Racine Wisconsin

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Chapter IV
Basic Body
Mark Identification

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In the 1990s, tattooing has become very popular and is viewed by many as body art. In the
gang subculture however, tattoos are viewed as an extension of gang graffiti and identify the
wearer as a member of a particular gang. The permanent nature of tattoo signifies that the bearer
will be a gang member forever. As in the case of graffiti, tattoos will usually include initials or
symbols of the gang.

Tattoos may include the faction or area to which the gang member belongs or the name of a
fallen fellow gang member. Deceased gang leaders have been eulogized by having the gang
leaders nickname tattooed on surviving gang members bodies, next to the letters RIP (rest in

There is no rule for determining the number, size or degree of ornate ness of the gang members
tattoos. While some appear professionally drawn, many tattoos are homemade. Tattoos are not
confined to any particular part of the body and may be found on the face, scalp, neck, chest,
hands, fingers, legs or back.

Several Asian gangs such as Red Scorpions and Loco Bloods burn round scars in the web of
their left hand. These gang members use cigars and cigarettes to brand themselves between the
thumb and index finger as a form of identification and representation.

This section is meant as a reference only, at the end there is a listing of all known tattoos some
may be extensions of graffiti and others may be acronyms for a particular gang.

Photographing or providing a detailed description of any tattoo a gang member may be wearing
is essential for identification purposes. Especially when the particular tattoo is unique or
extremely elaborate. As in later investigations a description of a tattoo maybe all that you have
to start an investigation, the better documented the easier it is to identify a suspect.

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Mi Vida Loca
My Crazy Life

This tattoo has various meanings and is not always

associated with gang membership. However, if seen
on a person, it may be an indicator of gang
membership. Typically worn by Hispanic and
Asian gang members. There is a Vietnamese
translation of The Crazy Life and that is called
"toi o can gi ca." The three dots also fall under the 26s and means to
them murder, mac and money.


The Pachuco is another tattoo that is not always an indicator of gang

affiliation or membership but it is usually a good first indicator that
they are being recruited or wish to be involved in gang membership.
Although first time recipients tend to get this particular tattoo, it is
still not exclusively gang related but it does imply dappling. This
tattoo dates back to early Hispanic street gangs in California and is
usually the first tattoo a Hispanic gang member may display. It
translates to father, son, holy ghost.

Tear Drop

The teardrop has a variety of meanings depending on the gang that

is using it. A teardrop that is not filled in may indicate that a
comrade has been killed and not yet avenged. A filled in teardrop
can indicate that the members committed a retaliation murder for a
fallen comrade. Some say the number of teardrops times ten
indicates the number of years the person has been imprisoned. This
tattoo is a definite sign of gang membership.

Theatre Masks

The Theatre Masks are an expression in the gang culture of living

life now, because they will not be happy later. It is supposed to
reflect the craziness of the gang lifestyle. The term they use is
Happy Now, Cry Later

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Asian Street Gangs Body Markings

Single Cigarette Burn
Does not indicate a particular gang affiliation, but does indicate willingness to engage in criminal
activity. Most often seen on males on the back of the hands or lower arms. On females it is seen
most often on feet or ankles, but occasionally shows up on arms or hands. It may relate back to
an old custom of Buddhist monks who used to burn a mark in their forehead for every year they
are a monk. May mean with such a mark is sending a signal that he or she might be willing to
associate with a gang for some period of time, usually for some specific purpose such as the
opportunity to commit crimes for economic gain. It is an indication that the subject is part of the
criminal subculture, although may not be a member of a specific gang. Gang members looking
for accomplices to commit criminal activity will approach these marked individuals first. The
gang members to identify those whom they can trust often use the burn as a signal.

AB or ABZ or ABS Tattoo or Scar

Stands for Asian Boys or Asian Boyz. There are a number of Southeast Asian gangs that have
adopted this name. The Vietnamese gang using this name would twist coat hangers into the
letters. ABS:, heat them up, and then burn the letters into their upper arms in the same manner
as branding. The Cambodian gang using this name uses the letters in tattoos.

ABH Tattoo
A variation of the Cambodian Asian Boys gang, this stands for Asian Brotherhood. It is an
attempt by the gang to increase membership by appealing to all Asians, not just Cambodians.

Tattoos with variations such as TR or RG in tattoo form.

Tiny Rascal Gang or Tiny Rascal Gangsters.

Started as primarily Cambodian gang it now recruits among all of the Asian populations. Use of
TR for Tiny Rascal or RG: for Rascal Gangster is done in an attempt to conceal gang
affiliation from law enforcement. In an attempt the disguise the true meaning of the tattoos the
TR or RG will be identified by the gang members as initials of a friend, family, or girlfriend.

Oriental Boyz or Oriental Bad Boyz,

a mixed Asian gang. OB has been identified with Orange Boyz, a primarily Vietnamese
gang from the Orange County area.

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Asian Street Gang Body Markings

Flying Eagle Tattoo.

The Eagles wings and claws must be outstretched to associate this tattoo with gangs. Orginally
used by the Chinese gang called the Wah Ching. It was a symbol of that gang and was used as a
form of non-verbal communication. Members entering a business would expose the tattoo and
the Chinese merchants would often expose the tattoo and the Chinese merchants would often
offer goods at no cost without the gang members ever having to verbally extort the merchant.

Black Panther Tattoo

When dealing with tattoos of any animal on a person from Southeast Asia, great care must be
taken not to incorrectly label it as a gang tattoo. Tattoos of animals were often used in the
various cultures of Asia to impart the characteristics of that animal to the person.

Dragon Tattoo
This is not an indicator of gang affiliation as many Asians in the community use the dragon
tattoo as a symbol of luck or power. This is an especially common tattoo among those involved
in the martial arts. There are some gangs that use the dragon as a gang symbol.

KB Tattoo or Scar
Used by two gangs, Korat Boys, a subset of members of the Korat People that associate with
Asian Boyz out of Long Beach. The Korat are a separate ethnic people from the country of

Five Cigarette Burns or Five Tattooed dots in a dice pattern

Not an indicator of a specific gang, but it does indicate the subject is part of the gang subculture.
Dots refer to the Vietnamese words Tu (For)-upper left dot, Hai (All directions)-lower right
dot, Giai (Group)-upper right dot, Huynh (Friends)-lower left dot and De (Brothers)-the
center dot. A general meaning is A group of good friends (Usually the gang or thr criminal
band). Other subjects have identified the pattern as the center dot representing themselves, and
the surrounding dots the world, as in me ( or my friends) against the world or all alone in a
world against me. As with the three dots pattern the five dots represent the individuals or
groups feeling of being rebels from society, of not needing to conform to societys laws or

Scorpion Tattoo
The Red Scorpion Gangsters uses a red scorpion tattoos signify their gang. It usually appears on
the left up arm near the Deltoid Muscle.

Swastika Tattoo
A Buddhist religious symbol, it is not a gang tattoo among the Southeast Asian gangs. The
Buddhist swastika is not offset at an angle, and the prongs run in the opposite direction from the
Nazi type swastika.

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Asian Street Gang Body Markings

Casket with Candles tattoo

Born To Kill gang out of New York, primarily Chinese and Vietnamese gang. One of their
specialties is contract killings. The tattoo is most often found on the back.

Also used by the Born To Kill. These letters are primarily found on wrists and fingers.

Born To Violence, a phrase used to identify the female associates of BTK. Never seen as a
tattoo on a female it is often found drawn on clothing or papers.

AC or Asian Crips
Asian Crips gang out of San Diego. Primarily Vietnamese

XKE or XI KE Tattoo
The Vietnamese word for marijuana. A subject with this tattoo may not be identified gang
member, but he is definitely in the criminal subculture.

Tattoo of a Scorpion
Scorpions, a gang out of the Midwest area of the U.S. The tattoo is often found on the lower
arm area. Primarily Vietnamese, this is centered around Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Texas,
and Iowa area.

Asian Pride
A prison tattoo starting to be adopted by Asian inmates, it usually indicates this inmate will back
any Asian in any conflict with any non-Asian. Some of the inmates are more selective and have
taken to the Vietnamese Pride Cambodian Pride Chinese Pride. These inmates will only
back that ethnic group. The inmate does not necessarily have to be of that ethnic descent. The
inmate does not necessarily have to be of that ethnic descent. Whites and Hispanics who run
with Asian Gangs have been found with Vietnamese Pride and Asian Pride tattoos.

Theater Masks showing Happy and Sad faces as a tattoo or drawing.

Many different gang members to indicate a philosophy common to many of the Asian gangs use
not an identifier of any particular gang, this tattoo. It is the concept of live now and pay the
consequences later. Or a better explanation is that the gang members live for today and have no
concern over what tomorrow brings. It is this lack of concern for the consequences of their
actions that make many Asian gang members so dangerous. This tattoo has also shown up in
Hispanic gangs as well

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Latin King

The Tattoos depicted below are usually associated with the Latin Kings. The Letters LK, or
the letter L next to a 3 or 5 pointed crown followed by the letter K. 5 Dots which appear to
be in the shape of a, 5 pointed star. A lions head, sometimes known as King Lion. A Kings
head, depicting a human head profile with a 3 or 5 pointed crown on top of his head. The amount
or degree to which the individual gangs member is tattooed, in some cases is personal

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Gangster Disciples

The Gangster Disciple Nation had in the past had a large number of their membership displaying
tattoos. However, in the last 10 years the GDs have reduced those numbers in an attempt to
hide their involvement in the gang in an attempt to further the involvement in alleged legitimate
enterprises. For example: Growth and Development and 21st Century Vote.

However, as to be expected some of the tattoos that may appear are standard as shown below.


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Vice Lords

The Vice Lords have so many different factions within the main gang that several of these tattoos
maybe displayed with regular street type tattoos. A close examination of these tattoos should be
made for other identifiers.

Vicey Louie



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26 Gang

2 6 Gang members may have the three dot tattoo as well as a playboy bunny with one ear bent.
The bunny may have three diamond shape dots on one ear of the bunny looking something like
an earring.

MS -13 Gang members tend to be heavily tattooed all over their body, including their head, back,
arms and face. Single tattoos are typical only in the very young. Below is just one example of
their tattooing.

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This Hispanic street gang will have several different tattoos. They typically are heavily tattooed
the more active they are in the street gang. They will have tattoos such as Trece, which is the
number 13 in Spanish. The numeral 13, X3, or XIII. They will also have non-gang related
tattoos such as things like our lady of Guadalupe or praying hands shown below.

This tattoo is popular among the

Hispanic culture. It is not
exclusively to any one gang.

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Chapter V
Gangs and
the Internet

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Gangs on the Information Superhighway

Street gangs just like any other culture in our society have recognized that the Internet is a
valuable tool to be used. They are now all to frequently using the internet as a way to recruit
new members, represent their gang, boast, threaten, sell drugs and a whole host of other

If you do a Google search on the Internet for gang based street gangs you will find hundreds of
actual gang websites created to bolster gang activity as well as thousands of profiles in AOL,
Yahoo, MSN and Netscape that individuals have created under their email monikers promoting
their preferred gang. As young people do searches on the internet they get drawn into these
websites just like sexual predators and adult website attempt to draw in young people through the
use of web bots, spiders and meta tags.

As early as 1996 an alert was put out regarding gangs on the Internet by the Emergency Net
News Service at www.emergency.com. The websites talked about gang recruitment drug use,
posted threats, as well as representation for the gang, that resulted initially in the users website
being shut down. However, these young people were so quick that they were able to get it placed
on a Web server in New Zealand and they were unable to remove the content because legislation
in that country did not prevent them from doing so.ENS

Limited Access
These gang sites include secure sections where gang members can go online and pass
information back and forth, preventing law enforcement from logging on to those websites and
observing activity. Because of this limited access gang members can log on into a private
conference chat room and can hold a meeting without ever leaving their house, eliminating the
possibility of being identified by law enforcement.

Crimes, can be planned and executed through the internet as well. Asian street gangs long ago
became involved in credit card fraud and check kiting schemes. Because most young people are
computer knowledgeable they can get credit card numbers from a confederate at a restaurant or a
business, log on line and make a purchase and have it delivered to a static address such as a Mail
Boxes Etc, or U.P.S. store with little fear of being caught.

Web access.
Lets not forget that the two members of the trench coat Mafia in Littleton Colorado posted
threats on the school website that they ran for the school weeks before the event occurred.

The internet is a tool, it can be used to educate, investigate crimes or commit them. We must be
vigilant if we have knowledge of gang content on a website or on a profile or we see information
while we are at school that it is reported to the appropriate authorities.

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Gang Slang Glossary

The vast majority of the slang in this glossary are based on Midwest gang slang. There is a cross over between West
Coast gangs and East Coast gangs as well. This is in no way a complete list.

To kill some, California penal code for murder, appears in

Black P Stone Graffiti
13 sureno
911 police
"got you faded" "I'm going to kill you"
"Whats you about?" What gang do you belong to
"You straing?" you selling drugs
shouted by rivals when attacking or disrespecting gang, ie-
(any name) killer
king killer
(any name) Love shouted by members of gang during an attack on a rival
24-24 dope spot open for business 24 hours a day
24-7 Twenty four hours a day, seven days a week
7-7 Dope spot open for business seven days a week
8-ball eighth ounce of cocaine or heroin
AK AK47 assault rifle
All that in possession of all good qualities
angel dust PCP
an attack on a rival gang (usually a drive by to commemorate
anniversary roll
the anniversary of the death of a slain gang member.
ar-15 AR 15 Assault rifle
audy Cook County Juvenile Center
B.K. Blood Killer
B.O Burned out, sold out of dope, need another pack
baby teeth crack cocaine
bag package bags of narcotics for street sale
bag up to laugh real hard at something
bang gang bang, being involved in gang activity
banger gang banger, gang member
base head person hooked on cocaine
beef complaint, ongoing dispute
bend the block drive around the block
bill gram of heroin or $100
bird kilogram of cocaine
bishop rank in gang
blade knife
blessed female performs sex acts with male members in order to be
accepted into the gang.
Blob Crips derogatory term for a blood
Blood member of LA street gang
blow heroin
blue coat uniformed police officer
blunt reefer, cigar that is hollowed out and marijuana placed inside
bogart to con or trick
bogus fake, phony or counterfeit
Bolt or Break Run
bone to have sexual intercourse
book run, get away, leave

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Boy Heroin
breakdown Shotgun
brick kilogram of cocaine
bricks term used by Blackstones to putdown Gangster Disciples
bud marijuana
Bullet one year in county jail
bumpin titties to fight with
put down of Two Six members, who use rabbit head as gang
bunnies or bunny
burbs suburbs
burn bag bogus narcotics
burn out cloned cellular phone
bust, bust a cap shoot or fire a gun
Buster youngster trying to be a gang member, fake gang member
C Spanish Cobra gang member or Conservative Vice Lord
C.K. Crip Killer
cabbage cash money
call the shots give the orders
camarada friend
candy $10 bag of cocaine
cap to shoot at
catch a V punishment for breaking a gang rule or code of conduct
caught a case arrested for criminal offense
cellie person who shares cell with another inmate
chale no
chavala little girl
chief gang leader
chingasos fighting
chingate fuck yourself
chiva heroin
chivero heroin addict
chota police
chrome marijuana
claim announce your gang affiliation, represent
clica Spanish slang for gang
clique synonymous with gang
clone cloned cellular phone
Cluck Cocaine Smoker
coke cocaine
colors specific color scheme used by the gang to represent
contract an ordered homicide
Controzza Con
Sotoas Gang hood or gang territory
cop buy dope
county county jail
Courting In initiation into a gang
Courting out initiation out of a gang
crank mentally unstable person
crib house or apartment
crossed out eliminated from the gang
crown Latin King gang member

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cut house location where dope is weighed and packaged.

cuz cousin, close friend
cuzz Crip
D Disciple gang member
deck street location where drugs are sold
deep many, number of persons riding with
demos $10 bag of heroin
deuce and a half .25 semi-automatic
deuce five .25 caliber automatic
deucy deucy .22 caliber handgun
dime $10 bag of narcotics or cannabis
dis disrespect for someone, putdown
dissed out given disrespect or no respect
Dog term used to address someone
dome shot shot to the head, execution style
don leader of the New Breed
donkey donuts putdown of Gangster Disciples
double duece .22 caliber handgun
Double I Imperial Insane Vice Lords
Down for the hood loyal to the neighborhood
drive by shooting from a passing vehicle
drop a dime to inform on someone
drop the flag to leave the gang.
dubs $20 bags of heroin
e ricketts enemy, Crips
egg ounce of cocaine
eight ball 1/8 ounce of cocaine
el jale the job
elite rank of the Vice Lord hierarchy
Eme Spanish letter M, Mexican Mafia
ends money
enforcer gang members who punishes violating members.
ese Hey man
Ese Hey Man (Spanish)
ese vato hey dude
false flagging representing oneself as a rival gang member.
FBI police, plainclothes police officer
field marshal rank in Black Gangster hierarchy
Five-O police, plainclothes police officer
flag handkerchief in the color of the gang
flake nerd or geek
flake cocaine
change gang allegiance, testifying against fellow gang
flying your color wearing colors of your gang.
folk Chicago Based street gang nation
forks pitchforks, Disciple gang members
four five .45 caliber handgun
four four .44 caliber handgun
free air released from jail or prison
from womb to tomb blood 4 life

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front-in talk about someone, embarrass

FTW fuck the world
fugly extremely ugly
G Gangster Disciple gang member
game criminal activity
gang bang fight a rival gang member, participate in gang activity
gang banger member of gang
gansta gang member
gansta rap music that extols the gang lifestyle.
gapped up armed with handguns
gaps guns
gat gun
gauge shotgun
get down fight
get free get high from drugs
ghost town Bronx, NY
gig gang gathering
girl cocaine
governor rang in gang
g-ride stolen vehicle
gump homosexual
gunned up armed with handguns
gunner shooter from the gang
half bird half kilo of cocaine
ham sandwich derogatory term for Muslims
happy stick marijuana laced with pcp
heads up to fight someone one on one
heat up draw attention to.
hit attack a rival gang member
hit ya call you later
hoe put down of a moe (Black P Stone)
holdin carrying narcotics or weapons
homeboy friend from neighborhood, fellow gang member
homie friend from neighborhood
hood neighborhood
hoodie hooded sweatshirt.
hook up to meet up with
hooks Vice Lord gang member
hornets Robert Horner CHA housing project
house arrest home confinement
in the wind on the run, on the move
inca Leader of the Latin King
jack rob someone
jammy dope spot
jets housing projects
joint hand rolled marijuana cigarette
juice power of influence
junior new gang member
K kilogram of cocaine
key kilogram of cocaine or heroin

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kick back hang out, relax

kickin hanging out with, relaxing, chilin
kite a letter
kite in the wind letter sent or received by an inmate
knock him out of the
box to kill someone
knockin boots having sex
las wimp or whiner
leaf marijuana cigarette saturated with PCP
lick quantity (bags) of narcotics packaged for street sale
lieutenant rank in gang
increased security within prison system, increased locked at
lock down
mac mac 10 machine pistol
mad dog hard stare
marshal rank in Black Gangster hierarchy
midget young gang member
minister rank in Black Disciple hierarchy
missile handgun
mob the gang
moe Black P Stone member
mufti enforcer within the Blackstones hierarchy
mule person that transports narcotics or guns
my bad my fault
narc plainclothes police officer
nation the gang, gang membership
drug profits from one day a month are set aside for bond
nation days money and attorney fees for gang members with criminal
neutron neutral, person not associating with a street gang.
nickel $5 bag of narcotics or cannabis
nine 9mm handgun
O.G. original gangster (older gang members)
old girl or O.G. mother
on deck on the dope spot selling narcotics
on the line working selling dope on the street for a drug operation
on the square on the dope spot selling narcotics
onion one ounce of cocaine
OZ ounce of cocaine
pack quantity of narcotics, individually packaged for street sale
pack man individual that deals pack to dope spot
package quantity of narcotics
paper cash money
payback retaliation for gang violence (shooting or murder)
paying tribute giving a certain percentage or fixed amount from drug profits
to incarcerated gang leaders
peace out bye
peace-n not looking for trouble
pedo fight
pee wee new gang member, young gang member
peel a cap fire a gun

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Peope Chicago Based street gang nation

Phat incredible
PHD pumpkin head deluxe
piece handgun, firearm
pipe gun
Piru Blood red down LA street gang
pitch sell drugs
pop a cap shoot a gun, fire a shot
por vida forever (p/v)
powder powder cocaine
power rank or control within a gang
prince rank in Black P. Stone or Black Gangster hierarchy
product narcotics sold on the street
beating a gang member as the result of committing a
pumpkin head
punk coward
raid search warrant
rank hold position or status within the gang
rap talk
rat partner close friend
regent rank in Gangster Disciple hierarchy
renegade splinter group of original gang
rep reputation
represent identifying oneself as a gang member
ride car
ride with to associate with a particular gang
RIP rest in peace
rip to steal to rip off
rock boy member of Black P Stones
rock house location where rock cocaine is cooked up or sold from
rock star cocaine prostitute or user
rocks crack or rock cocaine
roll drive by shooting, attack rival gang in retaliation
ruka gang chick
rules controls gang, controls certain neighborhoods
run the gauntlet initiation or used as a form of violation
runs it controls gang, controls certain areas
safe house dwelling that does not contain narcotics or weapons, or
where individual feels safe
section faction of the gang that congregates in a certain area.
security lookouts for police at dope spots
serve sells drugs
set party or particular gang
set particular gang sub group
set neighborhood gangs, terms used for a gang by members of
street gangs.
set tripping to jump from one gang to another
sexed in female performs sex acts with male members in order to be
accepted into the gang.
shake house location where dope is weighed and packaged.
shank knife

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shanked knifed
sherm sticks marijuana cigarette laced with PCP
shooter gang member that will shoot or has shot rivals
shortie new gang member, young gang member
shorty police
slab kilogram of cocaine or heroin
slick boys plainclothes police officer
slinging rocks selling rock cocaine
Slob Crips derogatory term for a blood
smoke some dope smoke rock cocaine
snakes members of the cobras
snitch informant
snort ingest cocaine or heroin through nasal cavity
soda cocaine
soldier foot soldier, gang member without rank
solid term used by Four Corner Hustlers and Traveling Vice Lords
meaning together or united.
spot street location where drugs are sold
stack em kill em
stack up save up money
stash hidden money or narcotics
static conflict
steel handguns
stole on me hit me, punched me
straight alright, good
straight up that's the truth
strap gun
monies paid by drug dealers to the gang in order to work a
street tax
certain area.
strip where the gang hangs out or sells dope
strips bags of narcotics taped to adhesive strip for street sale.
sur southern or southside
tecato heroin addict
varrio neighborhood
V'd out violation out of gang, usually by beating
veterano veteran gang member
violation punishment for breaking a gang rule or code of conduct
weed marijuana
weight large quantity of narcotics
whack attack or kill
What up?" greeting among fellow gang members or can be construed
as a challenge to rivals.
Whites white bricked buildings in Cabrini-Green, currently influenced
by the Gangster Disciples
wickey stick marijuana cigarette laced with PCP
wire up appraise or inform
work the spot sell narcotics or provide security at a drug location
work the spot drug stash, quantity of narcotics ready for street sale
x'ed out eliminated from the gang
young blood new gang member or young gang member

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This is a sample of a good addition to any school student manual.

Gangs and Secret Societies

The East Maine School District will Maintain conditions on school property, which are safe for
students and staff in accordance with the law, and the standards set by the State Board of
Education. In meeting this commitment, the Board prohibits the presence and activities of gangs
on or near school property. A gang is defined as any non-school sponsored group with selective
membership standards other than academic.

The following findings with respect to gangs and gang related activities are presented:
1. Groups which initiate or advocate activities which threaten the safety and well being of
persons or their possessions anywhere on or near school property and are harmful to the
educational purposes of the East Maine School District will not be tolerated.
2. The use of hand signals and or the presence of any apparel, jewelry, accessory, books,
objects, or manner of grooming which, by virtue of its color, arrangement, trademark,
symbol or any other attribute, denotes membership in a gang or creates a clear and
present danger of the commission of unlawful acts on school premises, the violation of
lawful school regulations, and/or the substantial disruption of the orderly operation of
school, will not be tolerated.
3. Gang incidents involving recruitment, initiation, fighting, assault, establishment of turf,
on school property or at school functions and school-related activities and are likely to
cause bodily dangers, physical harm or personal degradation or disgrace resulting in
physical or mental harm to students will not be tolerated.

Students who initiate or participate in gangs or secret societies as stipulated above will be
disciplined in a manner which may include, but not be limited to, detention, removal from extra-
curricular activities, suspension and/or expulsion. In addition, the police department may be

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Legal Issues

n the following pages, information is listed regarding specific court cases, which impact
an information exchange between schools and law enforcement. Because of these
specific court cases, it allows certain information to be exchanged between schools and
law enforcement when it indirectly or directly involves the safety and well being of a
student, students, or staff at the school.

The actual court cases will not be cited in their entirety but will be briefly touched upon
as to their impact on schools. Individuals should consult with legal experts in their
communities and home states to determine what affect these particular cases may

Searches and Seizures

New Jersey V. T.L.O. (1985) 105 S Ct. 733

This cased addressed three specific areas that are problems in school laws.
1. Legal Technicalities Impending Sound Action
2. Incompatible Theory i.e.; In loco parentis
3. School Safety

The United States Supreme Court ruled that;

1. Schools may investigate, interrogate and search students based on reasonable
suspicion, a greatly reduced standard than probably cause.
2. No school official ever needs a search warrant
3. Miranda rights do not apply in situations in which school officials are pursuing school
disciplinary policy, even if the questioning is likely to reveal criminal activity which
will be reported to the police.
4. In Loco Parentis is not necessary to an understanding of school discipline. The
schools right to maintain safety, order and discipline derives directly from the
constitutional right of the student to an education.

Tennessee V. Garner (1985) 105 S Ct. 1694

Covered unreasonable search and seizures

Medlin V. Bass (1990, NC) 398 SE 2d 460

Stoneking V. Bradford Area School District (1989, CA3) cert den 110 S Ct. 16
(1990, CA 10) 894 F2d 1176

Covers deliberate indifference to the safety and civil rights of children is that there may
be no duty to intervene in a dangerous situation, but to ignore it altogether may be

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When one recognizes a danger to a juvenile in ones charge, the person or persons in
control must;
1. Give proper warning of the danger to the juvenile
2. Take reasonable steps to protect the juvenile from harm.
3. Institute action to avoid repetition of the problem
4. Document thoroughly

In re Boykin A juveniles (1968) 237 N.E. 2d 460

Established a precedent for educators to utilize the services of a police officer when
safety demanded it.

New York V. Overton (1967) 20 NY 2d 360

Law enforcement officers summoned to the school and searched a student prior to the
principal asking him to search. The principal stated that he works with these officers
frequently as partners and as a result was going to ask them to search the student

Hughes V. Caddo Parish Schools (1945) 65 Ct. 562

Secret Societies is any non-school sponsored group with selective membership
standards other than academic. Prohibited activities include any group meeting or
practice on campus, any recruiting on campus and any retribution or pressure exerted
on campus in furtherance of any group recruiting activity or other function. Supreme
Court ruled that such laws were constitutional and that they did not have to be enforced
in a court of law, being enforceable by means of school policy with suspension or
expulsion being possible penalties.

Katz V. U.S. 389 U.S. 347

Daniels V. Williams (1986) 106 S Ct. 662
Threshold rule, the waiver rule.
1. Conspirators, gang members can be treated differently from other persons without
the disparate treatment to discrimination
2. Extra suspicion attaches to a gang members already suspicious activity just
because of gang membership
3. Individual suspicion as to one gang member extends to other conspirators.
4. All gang members should be assumed dangerous.

Off Campus activity

Augustus V. Escambia County, Florida Schools (1989) 361 F2d 383

Students wanted to badger the school principal without becoming subject to discipline,
so they organized noisy demonstrations across the street from the school. Punishment
by the school was upheld.

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Law Enforcement Officer Assigned to Schools

In situations in which a law enforcement officer is regularly assigned to the campus, there needs
to be a written agreement covering the entire school session. It is important to clearly spell out
the conditions under which the officers operate, leaving room for discretionary action in times of

In order to satisfy most state laws regarding the protection of students information and how it is
disseminated from school, agreements should be adopted.

These agreements are between the police department and the school district or school. They
allow for the two-way exchange of information between each agency when it involves students.
Examples of this would be if a student were arrested for drug or weapons charges away from
school. The arrest could affect the safety of other students at school when the arrested student

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Your son/daughter _____________________ has been identified as a possible member of a

criminal street gang. Your son/daughter has demonstrated a pattern of gang activity as described
in the Police Department, which was adopted from the Illinois Combined Statutes Street Gang
Terrorism Omnibus Act. Your childs activity could subject him/her to criminal prosecution,
imprisonment, and or civil penalties. You should also be aware that under Illinois State Law
parents of juveniles could be held civilly liable for activities of their children.

You and your family will not be safe from violence if your neighborhood is a haven for drugs,
gang membership, or gang association. Again, the purpose of this letter is to relay to you the
information we have received and documented concerning certain activities of your child. This
is done so that you can be aware of our concerns and help to deter your child from criminal
activity. This is also to inform you that your childs conduct and involvement with a criminal
street gang will not be condoned, and that any violations of the law will be prosecuted. Also,
please share this letter with your child.

It is urgent that you, as a member of our community and as a parent, do your part to help stop
gang activity. Working together, we can make the city a safer place to live and raise a family. If
you have any questions please feel free to contact Deputy Chief Charles Smith at 847-555-1212

Chief of Police

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Risk Factors for Adolescent Problem Behaviors

Adolescent Problem Behaviors
Risk Factors SA DE PR DO VI
Availability of drugs X
Availability of firearms X X
Community laws norms favorable toward the X X X
problem behavior
Media portrayals of violence X
Transitions and mobility X X X
Low neighborhood attachment: community X X X
extreme economic deprivation X X X X X
Family history of the problem behavior X X X X
Family management problems X X X X X
Family conflict X X X X X
Parental attitudes favorable toward and X X X
involvement in the problem behavior
Early and persistent antisocial behavior X X X X X
Academic failure in elementary school X X X X X
Lack of commitment to school X X X X
Alienation and rebelliousness X X X
Friends who engage in a problem behavior X X X X X
Favorable attitudes toward the problem X X X X X
Early initiation of the problem behavior X X X X X
Constitutional factors X X X
* Adolescent Problem Behaviors
SA = Substance Abuse
DE = Delinquency
PR = Teenage Pregnancy
DO = Drop out of school
VI = Violence
Developed by David Hawkins and Richard Catalano, In Communities That Care, Developmental Research and Programs, Inc., 1993

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Big Brothers Big Sisters of America National Institute for Dispute Resolution Street Law, Inc.
230 North 13th Street 1726 M Street, NW, Suite 500 918 16th Street, NW, Suite 600
Philadelphia, PA 19107 Washington, DC 10036 Washington, DC 20006-2902
215-567-7000 202-466-4764 202-293-0088
215-567-0394 (fax) 202-466-4679 (fax) 202-293-0089 (fax)
www.bbbsa.org www.streetlaw.org
Juvenile Justice Clearinghouse
National Center for Conflict Resolution PO Box 6000 Suicide Hotline
Education Rockville, MD 20849-6000 Toll-Free Nationwide USA
Illinois Institute for Dispute Resolution 800-638-8736 1-800-784-2433
110 West Main Street www.ncirs.org
Urbana, IL 61801 American Academy of Dermatology
217-384-4118 National PTA (Tattoo Removal)
217-384-8280 (fax) 330 North Wabash Avenue, Suite 2100 930 N. Meacham Road
Chicago, IL 60611 Schaumburg, Illinois 60713
Boys & Girls Clubs of America 312-670-6782 888-462-DERM (3376
1230 West Peachtree Street, NW www.pta.org
Atlanta, GA 30309 Youthinfo
404-815-5700 National School Safety Center Human Services
404-815-5789 (fax) www.youth.hhs.gov
www.bgca.org 4165 Thousand Oaks Blvd, Ste 290
Westlake Village, CA 91362 Mothers Against Gangs
National Clearinghouse on Alcohol and 805-373-9977 Telephone: (602) 235-9823
Drug Information 805-373-9277 (fax) FAX- (602) 235-9174
PO Box 2345 www.nsscl.org Postal address: Mothers Against Gangs
Rockville, MD 20852 1401 East Thomas Road
301-468-2600 National Association of Police Phoenix, AZ 85014
www.health.org Athletic Leagues e-mail: Maginphx@aol.com
618 North US Highway 1, Suite 201
Bureau of Justice Assistance North Palm Beach, FL 33408
Clearinghouse 561-884-1823
PO Box 6000 561-863-6120 (fax)
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
800-688-4252 National Sheriffs Association
www.ncjrs.org 1450 Duke Street
Alexandri4 VA 22314-3490
National Crime Prevention Council www.sheriffs.org
1 000 Connecticut Avenue, NW, 13th Floor
Washington, DC 20036 National Youth Gang Information
202-466-62 27 Center
202-296-1356 (fax) Institute for Intergovernmental Research
www.ncpc.org or www.weprevent.org PO Box 12729
Tallahassee, FL 33217
Center for the Study and Prevention of 850-385-0600
Violence 850-386-5356(fax)
Institute of Behavioral Science, University www.iir.com/nygc/
of Colorado
Campus Box 442, Building #10 Teens, Crime, and the Community
Boulder, CO 80309-0442 1000 Connecticut Avenue, NW, 13th Fl
303-492@5 Washington, DC 20036
303-443-3297 (fax) 202 466-6272 x 152 or 161
http://www.colorado.edu/cspv/ 202-296-1356 (fax)
National Injury Control and Prevention
Center Youth Crime Watch of America
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 9300 South Dadeland Blvd, Ste 100
1600 Clifton Road, NE Miami, FL 33156
Atlanta, GA 30333 305-670-2409
404-693-3311 305-670-3805 (fax)
404-639-1623 (fax) www.ycwa.orq
Safe and Drug-Free Schools Program
Educational Resources Information Office of Elementary and Secondary
Clearinghouse Education U.S. Dept. of Health and
National Library of Education U.S. Department of Education
U.S. Department of Education Portals Building, 600 Independence Ave,
600 Independence Avenue, SW NW
Washington, DC 2002-0498 Washington, DC 20202-6123
800-LET ERIC 202-260-3954
http://askeric.org/Eric/ 202-260-7767 (fax)

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Resource to keep you gang free

Gang Awareness Training Education


Gang Prevention and Intervention


Safe Youth

Focus Adolescent Services


National Criminal Justice Reference Service


National Institute of Health


Centers for Disease Control


Office of National Drug Control Policy


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National Safety Training Institute Conference Manual 1998, pg. 149,150
National Law Enforcement Institute, Inc. 1998 Training Conference Manual pg. 150-153
Macko, Steven Editor, Emergency News Service 8/19/96 Gang Bangers Invade Cyberspace
Source: Gemini Junior High School, Student Handbook 2004-2005, East Maine School District 63, Des Plaines Illinois.
Anderson, Jon, Teaching Evils of gangs now a class act, Chicago Tribune, 11/18/1998
Associated Press, Reputed boss of $1 Million drug ring gets life, Daily Herald, 5/23/2000
Associated Press, Study finds many girls active in street gangs, Daily Herald, 9/17/1999
Bartoletti, Mario, Man guilty of gang murder, Pioneer Press, 9/16/2004
Bentrup, Cheri, Gang-drug task force sets parent training, Pioneer Press 2/11/2004
Borchman, Phil, 2 siblings given prison terms for parts in gunrunning plot, Chicago Tribune 4/15/1999
Boykin, Ames, Clair, Chris & Aguilar Aurora, Teen found shot in head at Busse Woods, Daily Herald 11/18/1999
Cetera, Mike, North Aurora murder suspect has palatine conviction, Pioneer Local 1/15/2004
Cliatt, Cass, Residents try to turn around neighborhood after shootings Daily Herald 4/14/2000
Colarassi, Anthony Worst fears comes true as daughter killed by gunfire, Chicago Tribune 12/13/1998
Douglas, John E., Burgess Ann W, Burgess, Allen G., Ressler, Robert K., Crime Classification Manual, Lexington Books, NY,
Egley, Arlen Jr, National Youth Gang Survey Trends from 1996 to 2000, USDOJ-OJJ,OJJDP 2/2002 #03
Frank, Scott, Saying no is only one way to avoid drugs, gangs violence, 2000
Gillis, Michael, Turncoat describes gang rules, punishment Chicago Sun Times, 4/10/1997
Granderson, Kimbrielle & Mann, Dave, Four Maine Township teens arrested in shooting of 19 year old, Daily Herald,
Greene, Robert, Gangs, Violence in Schools, ABC news, 3/22/99
Guzman, John, Gang Reference Manual 1998, Chicago Police Department
Hersch, Patricia A Tribe Apart, Balatine Publishing, NY 1998
Johnson, Jennifer, Five teens charged in murder, Pioneer Press 2/18/2004
Journal of Gang Research, Volume 9 Number 4 Summer 2002, NGCRC
Journal of Gang Research, Volume 9 Number 9 Fall 2001, NGCRC
Kazak, David R, Father worries gang will cover bond, Daily Herald, 11/1/2000
Knox, George W & Papachristos, Andrew V, The Vice Lords: A Gang Profile Analysis, New Chicago Press, Chicago, 2002
Knox, George W & Robinson, Curtis, Gang Profiles: An Anthology, 2004, New Chicago Press, Inc.
Knox, George W, An introduction to gangs 5th Edition, New Chicago Press 2000
Main, Frank, Calif. Gangs Carve Out Turf in Area Suburbs, Chicago Sun Times, 3/25/2004
Mills, Steve & Buneuel Diego, Small gang maintains big profile, Chicago Tribune 2/11/1998
Mills, Steve & Bunuel Diego, Not yet 13 and a murder suspect, Chicago Tribune, 4/4/1998
Mills, Steve & Puente Teresa, Police Charge 2 in Killing of activist Mireles, Chicago Tribune, 1/16/1998
OConnor, Matt, Drug kingpin guilty of selling 3 tons of cocaine to city gangs, Chicago Tribune, 5/25/99
Papachristos, Andrew V, A.D. After the Disciples: The Neighborhood Impact of Federal Gang Prosecution, New Chicago
Press, Chicago 2001
Rodriguez, Luis J. Always Running: La Vida Loca: Gang Days In La, 1993, Touchstone, NY
Rozek, Dan, Defendants speak out on Dupage gang suit, Chicago Sun Times 10/15/1999
Sandavi, Carlos & Main, Frank, Tracing cash to chip away at drug trade, Chicago Sun Times, April 8, 2002
Shelden, Randall G., Tracy, Sharon K., Brown, William B, Youth Gangs in American Society, Wadsworth Publishing, 1996
Shore, Kenneth Dr., Keeping Kids Safe, Prentice Hall Press, New Jersey 2001
Smith, Bryan, Girl gang members tell why, Chicago Sun Times 8/11/1997
Stone, Sandra S, Ph.D., Contemporary Gang Issues: An Inside View, New Chicago Press 2000
Struzzi, Diana, 2 sought after gunfire cuts down 11 year old, Chicago Tribune, 5/25/99
Thrasher, Frederic M., The Gang, A study of 1,313 Gangs in Chicago ,1927, New Chicago Press, Inc.
Warmbir, Steve, Anti-gun ad campaign targets gang members, Chicago Sun Times 10/6/2000
Warmbir, Steve, Chicago teenager charged in Hanover Park gang shooting, Daily Herald 10/9/1997
Warmbir, Steve, Gunshot victims tell teens: This is where gang life leads, Daily Herald, 6/7/1998

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