, along with types of clothing and tattoos, have traditionally worn colors as a means of identifying themselves and the gang with which they are affiliated. Many non gang members, who innocently wore a gangs colors in the wrong place at the wrong time ha ve been assaulted and even killed. The following information is intended to show colors that may be used by gangs to identify themselves. These colors may be seen in the clothing worn by the gang members, in their flags, (bandannas) or in their graffiti. Due to the trends of today's gangs to change identifiers that used to be traditional, these colors may not be exact . Please note that colors are not a positive identifier of gang affiliation. Colors are but one of the combination of identifiers used by law enforcement and others to identify gang members. The two most widely known gang colors are red, worn by the Bloods, and blue, worn by the Crips. Gang HandSigns Latin Counts Duece Latin Kings Future Stones Gangster Disciples Imperial Gangsters Vice Lords Simon City Royals Maniac Latin Disciples Spanish Cobras Two Six Boyz Disciples and Folk Vice Lords Insane Unknowns Latin Eagles Disciples Gang Colors List Gang Colors Affiliation Basic -red; also sets known to wear brown, Bloods orange, burnt orange to represent dried blood Crips Blue Norteños Red Aligned with La Nuestra Familia Sureños Blue Aligned with the Mexican Mafia Gangs With Folks Nation Affiliation Ambrose Light blue, black Folks Ashland Vikings Green, black Folks Black Disciples Black, blue Folks Black Gangster Disciples Black, blue, white, silver Folks Brothers of Struggle Black, blue, white, silver Folks C-Notes Green, red, white Folks Campbell Boys Red, blue Folks Harrison Gents Purple, black Folks Imperial Gangsters Pink, brown Folks Insane Popes Black, blue Folks La Raza Red, white, green Folks Party People White, black Folks Latin Disciples Blue, black Folks Latin Dragons Black, green Folks Latin Eagles Gray, black Folks Latin Jivers Black, brown Folks Latin Lovers Red, yellow Folks Latin Souls Maroon, black Folks Orchestra Albany Brown, yellow Folks Simon City Royals Blue, black Folks Spanish Cobras Green, black Folks Satan Disciples Canary yellow, black Folks Spanish Gangsters Light blue, black Folks Two Sixers Tan, black Folks Two Boys Black, blue Folks Gangs With People Nation Affiliation Bishops Copper, brown, black People Black Stone Rangers Black, green, red People Black P. Stone Nation Black, green, red People Cullerton Deuces Gray, black, white People Ek Rukns Black, red, green, gold People Gaylords Gray, light blue, black People Insane Deuces Green, black People Insane Popes Black, blue People Insane Unknowns Black, white People Kents Gray, black People Latin Counts Red, black People Latin Kings Gold, black People Latin Saints Blue, black People Mickey Cobras Red, black People Pachucos Black, white People Puerto Rican Stones Black, orange People Spanish Lords Black, red People Vice Lords Black, red, green, gold People Gang initials - Gang name - Gang ethnicity (Asian, African-American, Hispanic, or Caucasian), Gang background, and locations (cities, states) where the gang is known to exist. We will add the gang information on a case by case basis. Gang Initials and Gang Names AB - Aryan Brotherhood – A white supremacist prison gang founded in the California prison system in the 1960s. The shamrock and 666 tattoos are associated with this gang. ABT - Aryan Brotherhood of Texas – A white supremacist prison gang founded in Texas. ABZ - Asian Boyz – An Asian-American street gang that originated in Southern California. They have spread to many parts of the U.S. and are reportedly one of largest Asian street gangs in the U.S.. Tiny Rascal Gangsters (TRG) is one of the key rivals of this gang. AC - Aryan Circle – A white supremacist prison gang that has spread to many other states. AKB - Asian Killa Boyz – A Southern California street gang. ALK - Almighty Latin Kings – Founded in Chicago, Illinois, they are one of the largest Hispanic gangs in the United States. They're also known as the Latin Kings (LK), Almighty Latin King Nation (ALKN), and Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation (ALKQN). BA - Barrio Azteca - Founded in the 1980s, Barrio Azteca is a Hispanic prison gang active in the Southwestern United States. BB – Border Brothers - The "Border Brothers", a Hispanic gang, are mainly found in the California Prison system, but are slowly spreading to other systems. BD - Black Disciples – An African-American street gang founded in Chicago. BDS - Fresno Bulldogs – A predominantly Hispanic street gang in Fresno, California. Also known as the F-14 Bulldogs. B.E.S.T. – Barrio Eighteenth ST (Street) - A violent Hispanic gang that accepts members from all ethnicities. It has spread throughout the U.S. BGF - Black Guerrilla Family – An African-American, anti-establishment, prison gang; formed in 1966, at San Quentin State Prison in California. BHS – Ben Hill Squad – An Atlanta, GA area street gang BOE - Busting On Everybody - A Georgia street gang BP - Brown Pride – A Mexican-American street gang found in multiple locations, including California and Arizona. BP13 and BPX3 are a couple of other tags associated with this gang. BPS - Black P. Stones - An African-American gang founded in Chicago in the mid-20th century. Originally called Blackstone Rangers, they are also known as the Black P. Stone Nation (BPSN). BS – Bomb Squad – An Atlanta, GA area street gang BSL - Brown Side Locos - A Hispanic street gang that is active in California and Georgia. BTK - Born To Kill - A Vietnamese-American street gang founded in New York in the 1980s. D&D – Down and Dirty – An Atlanta, GA area street gang D4L – Down 4 Life – An Atlanta, GA area street gang DDP - Dominicans Don't Play - A violent gang that is known to exist on the East Coast - NY, NY, MD. Also Spain. DFB – Dem Franchise Boyz – An Atlanta, GA area street gang DWB - Dirty White Boys - A white prison gang that is believed to have origins in the federal prison system. It is now found in state systems as well as the FBOP. DMI - Dead Man Incorporated – A Caucasian prison/street gang founded in the Maryland prison system in the late 1990s. DP – Da Posse – An Atlanta, GA area street gang DSB - Down South Boys (Down South Boyz) – A Florida street gang. EPT - El Paso Tangos (Tango Blast) – A Texas gang comprised primarily of Hispanics. 4CH - Four Corner Hustlers – An African-American street gang founded in Chicago, Illinois in the late 1960s. F13 - Florencia 13 – One of the largest Hispanic gangs in Southern California. FAB - Forever About Bread - A Houston, Texas gang FSC – Fair Street Crips – An Atlanta, GA area street gang FTRA - Freight Train Riders of America – A gang of individuals (hobos) who travel by rail boxcar. They are very active in the Northwest United States. Crimes include robbery and murder. G-27 – The G-27 formed in the Puerto Rico prison system. Members are referred to as “Insectos.” GB – Gutta Boyz – An Atlanta, GA area street gang GD - Gangster Disciples – An African-American street/prison gang founded in Chicago, Illinois. They have spread to numerous other states throughout the United States. GKB - Gangsta Killer Bloods (Gangster Killa Bloods) – A predominantly African-American street gang GMB – Get Money Boyz – An Atlanta, GA area street gang GMC – Get Money Crew – An Atlanta, GA area street gang GS – Goone Squad – An Atlanta, GA area street gang GSC - Grape Street Crips - A Southern California street gang. GTSN – Gangster Two Six Nation – An Atlanta, GA area street gang HPL - Hermanos de Pistoleros Latinos – A Hispanic prison gang founded in the Texas prison system in the late 1980s; also known as Hermandad de Pistoleros Latinos. HS – Hit Squad – An Atlanta, GA area street gang HVK - Hidden Valley Kings – An African-American gang founded in Charlotte, North Carolina's in the 1990s. IG – Imperial Gangsters – An Atlanta, GA area street gang ISC – Insane Spanish Cobras – A Hispanic street gang founded in Chicago, IL IVL - Insane Vice Lords – A Chicago African-American street gang. LC - Latin Counts – A Latino street gang founded in Chicago, Illinois LGF - La Gran Familia – A Hispanic gang alliance. LHS – Lady Hit Squad – An Atlanta, GA area street gang LIB - Living In Blood - No affiliation with BLOODS - An African Gang of predominately Liberians that formed in Philadelphia, PA in early 1990s by a group of refugees from the Liberian civil war. The gang initially formed as a means of self protection from American youths but they are now considered predators in places such as Philadelphia, Minnesota, Rhode island and New York LRZ - La Raza (The race) – A Hispanic gang. MC - Mickey Cobras – An African-American gang founded in Chicago, Illinois. MDC – Most Dangerous Click – An Atlanta, GA area street gang MLD - Maniac Latin Disciples – A large, Hispanic street gang founded in Chicago, Illinois. MOB - Men Over Bitches - A North Carolina street gang. MOB – Member Of Bloods – An African-American street gang. MOB - My Only Brothers - An African-American street gang in California. MS – Murder Squad – An Atlanta, GA area street gang MS-13 - Mara Salvatrucha – A transnational Hispanic gang that has spread to at least 42 states and approximately nine countries. They are described as America’s most dangerous gang. MW - Mandingo Warriors – An African-American prison gang founded in Texas in 1984. NBCC - Nutty Blocc Compton Crips – A Southern California street gang. NF - Nuestra Familia – A predominantly Hispanic prison gang with ties to the Norteños. The gang that was founded in the California prison system in the 1960s. Their main rival is the Mexican Mafia. In some areas they are now established on the streets. NLR - Nazi Low Riders – A white supremacist gang founded in Southern California. NS – Northern Structure – Believed to be a spin-off prison gang of La Nuestra Familia PBS - Playboy Surenos – A predominantly Hispanic street gang found in multiple locations across the country. PBS 13, and PBS X3 are a couple of other tags associated with this gang. PDL - PASADENA DENVER LANES - A Blood set that is known to exist in Pasadena, CA and Baltimore, MD. PTB - Puro Tango Blast - A Texas street/prison gang RAC - Raymond Ave. Crips – A California African-American street gang. SB – Soldier Boyz – An Atlanta, GA area street gang SC - Spanish Cobras - A Hispanic street gang founded in Chicago, Illinois. SCR - Simon City Royals - A predominantly Caucasian street gang founded in Chicago, Illinois. SNM – Syndicato Nuevo Mexico (New Mexico Syndicate) - The SNM is considered to be the most violent and most powerful of all of the Security Threat Groups within the New Mexico Department of Corrections. SSC – South Side Crips – An Atlanta, GA area street gang SUR 13 - Surenos – (Spanish - Sur means south; Sureños means southerner) – Originated in Southern California as a street gang but has found its way into the prison system and has spread throughout many parts of the United States. Sureños are considered to be the soldiers for the Mexican Mafia prison gang. Blue is the gang's traditional color. The number 13 associates them with the Mexican Mafia – the letter M is the thirteenth letter of the alphabet. They may also use XIII or X3. 3C – Triple Cross – An Atlanta, GA area street gang 3Ni – Trinitarios – Trinitarios started in New York City as a prison gang within the NY City Dept of Corrections and then the State DOC, during the early 1990s. TB - Tango Blast - A street/prison gang based in Texas. TCB - Texas Chicano Brotherhood -- A predominantly Mexican-American gang founded as a result of an internal rift within the Tri-City Bombers, their bitter South Texas rivals. The acronym TXCB is sometimes also used. TCB - Tri-City Bombers -- A predominantly Hispanic street/prison gang. The TCB originated in the South Texas Rio Grande Valley, in the areas of Pharr, San Juan, and Alamo. TM - Texas Mafia - A predominantly Caucasian gang founded in the Texas prison system in the early 1980s. TRG - Tiny Rascal Gangsters - An Asian-American gang, also known as the Tiny Rascal Gang or the Tiny Rascals. TS - Texas Syndicate - A prison gang, also known as Syndicato Tejano, was founded in the early 1970s in the California prison system. Their gang members are primarily Mexican-American. TTP - Tree Tops Piru Bloods - A Bloods set that originated in Los Angeles and has spread to several other areas including Baltimore, MD. UBN - United Blood Nation – Originated about 1993 at Rikers Island prison in New York. The UBN is now found in many parts of the East Coast of the United States. VL - Vatos Locos - A west coast street gang that has spread eastward and may be found in North Carolina, Georgia, and Maryland. VL - Vice Lords - A large, mostly, African-American gang street/prison founded in Chicago that now has a national presence. They are also known as the Vice Lord Nation (VLN), Almighty Vice Lord Nation (AVLN), and Conservative Vice Lord Nation (CVLN). WBP - Wetback Power - A Mexican-American street gang. Also commonly called Sinaloa Cowboys. WBC – White Boys Click – An Atlanta, GA area street gang YBB – Young Block Boyz – An Atlanta, GA area street gang YBG – Young Block Girls – An Atlanta, GA area street gang YC – Young Choppers – An Atlanta, GA area street gang YD – Young Diplomats – An Atlanta, GA area street gang YDC – Young Dangerous Click – An Atlanta, GA area street gang YGC – Young Gunna Crew – An Atlanta, GA area street gang YM – Young Mafia – An Atlanta, GA area street gang YM – Young Money – An Atlanta, GA area street gang YP – Young Posse – An Atlanta, GA area street gang YPN – Young Paid Niggaz – An Atlanta, GA area street gang YS – Young Squad, Atlanta – An Atlanta, GA area street gang YSH – Young Squad Hoes – An Atlanta, GA area street gang YSss – Young Squad Stay Strap – An Atlanta, GA area street gang YSM – Young Squad Mafia – An Atlanta, GA area street gang YT – Young Team – An Atlanta, GA area street gang ZMF - Zoe Mafia Family - A south Florida Haitian street gang ZP - Zoe Pound - A violent Haitian street gang in the Miami area Unauthorized Gang Tattoos Wearing an unauthorized gang tattoo could be hazardous to a person’s health, particularly in prison. Prison gang inmates have been known to remove unauthorized tattoos on non-gang members by cutting the tattoo from the person’s flesh. Another method used for removal of a non-authorized gang tattoo is to burn the tattoo off of the persons body using a hot iron. Mistaken Identity There are numerous examples of innocent persons being attacked and killed by gang members just because the person was wearing clothing and colors of a rival gang. Gang members know who their rivals are. They know the rival gang's symbols and graffiti and they know how to use their own signs and symbols to disrespect rival gangs. They also know how to identify tattoos of rival gangs. They use all of this information to disrespect rival gangs to include assaults and murder. It is very easy to walk in to a tattoo parlor look at hundreds of tattoo designs and get a particular tattoo because it may represent your personality, or it is merely something that is appealing to you. Unfortunately, a person may choose a tattoo that is identical or very similar to a known gang tattoo. Should this individual encounter a gang member who believes the tattoo is that of a rival gang, the gang member may attack the wearer in a violent manner. Anyone getting a tattoo should be aware of what should not be worn. Unfortunately, the number of tattoos that should not be worn seems to be endless. The photo on left is a lions head worn by a non-gang member. The photo on the right is a lions head worn by a member of the Almighty Latin Kings gang. It obvious that the tattoo on the left could be mistaken for a lion head used by the Latin Kings. Area Code Tattoos The area code for the city or state where the gang is located is sometimes used as a gang identifier. Some examples of prominent area codes are 213 (Los Angeles), 415 (San Francisco area), 817 (Fort Worth), 614 (Columbus, OH). Teardrop Tattoo Many kids today are wearing teardrop tattoos as a fashion statement or to make them appear tough. There is one particular tattoo that has become popular over the years that has become a generic symbol for gang members and non-gang members of all races and ethnicities --- the teardrop tattoo. The teardrop is said to have originated with Hispanic gangs in California in the 1940's. Others have said that it originated in Mexico and Puerto Rico. Regardless of the origin, over the yea rs, the tattoo has evolved in appearance and meaning. Originally believed to mean that the wearer had served time in prison, teardrops now mean a variety of things. (See below) The prison time may range from one to ten years. Also, the Folks and People Nations, two alliances of many gangs, identify everything either to their right or left sides, respectively. The teardrop may be used by persons to identify themselves as a gang member and to show the members allegiance to one nation or the other. Additionally, and unfortunately, many of today’s youths think it is “cool” to emulate what the gangs do. It is a way of showing off for some. As a fad or fashion statement, many have begun to wear the teardrop tattoo which in some areas automatically marks them incorrectly as a gang member. Also, some celebrities not connected with gangs, have gotten the tattoo for their own reasons. An example of a celebrity who wears two tear drop tattoos is Larry Hughes, a National Basketball League star, who plays for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Hughes lost his brother and to remember him, had two teardrop tattoos placed beneath his left eye. He states that at the time, he did not realize the gang related significance that the tattoo has. Today there are two traditional, very distinct teardrop tattoos - the open teardrop and the closed teardrop. Originally, the open teardrop meant that the wearer had killed someone and the closed teardrop meant that the wearer had lost a friend or relative. Today, these meanings have been perverted and the tattoo may or may not represent the original meaning. What means one thing to one person may mean something totally different to someone else. What matters is the context in which it is worn. Is it being worn in memory of someone? Is it being worn as a reminder to others that the wearer is a murderer? Or is it being worn out of sheer stupidity? A third type of tear drop tattoo is now being reported. It is described as a "half" tear drop which is only half filled in with ink. It is supposed to symbolize the fact that someone close to the wearer was killed and the wearer then killed the assailant. It is being said that inmates in the Australian penal system, who are child molesters or sexual predators, are forcibly being tattooed with the tear drop tattoo to alert others to the heinous crime committed by the person. One thing to remember. No one can look at a teardrop tattoo and state positively that the tattoo has a specific meaning. As stated above, there are multiple meanings and only the wearer knows the reason he or she is wearing the tattoo. DOT TATTOOS: The dots are usually in groups of three or five small dot tattoos. The most common locations are the web of the hands, the wrist and elbows. For many, three dots in a triangular shape represent the only three places gang members go to - the hospital, prison or grave. Members affiliated with the Sureños, or Sur 13, have been known to place three dots on one wrist and a single dot on the other to indicate the number ¨13¨. A tattoo of three dots in a triangle, usually found between the thumb and forefinger, has several meanings. For many, three dots in a triangular shape represent the only three places gang members go to - the hospital, prison or the grave. I sometimes refer to the three dots as the 3 I´s of the gang culture: Injury, Incarceration and Interment. The dots may also stand for "mi vida loca" ("my crazy life"). They may also be referred to as "party dots." And finally, they may represent a gang known as Los Vatos Locos (The Crazy Dudes or Guys) gang. Only the person wearing the dots knows what they mean to him or her. Along with the pachuco cross, the number 187, and the slang tattoo "Thug Life", the "three dots", referred to as "tres puntos" in Spanish, is a popular "generic" tattoo, particularly among Latino teenagers, and has no positive, direct connection to gang affiliation. Tattoos - A Law Enforcement Tool Gang tattoos are an excellent tool for law enforcement and corrections officers to use to identify known or suspected gang members. During any encounter with an individual, whether he or she is a gang member or not, the officer should make every attempt to obtain as much detail as possible about an individuals gang tattoos. Of course the best method of doing this is to photograph the tattoos and either store them in a database or a hard file. REMEMBER: Generic type tattoos are not conclusive proof that the person wearing the tattoo is a gang member. Other factors or identifiers may have to be used to identify the person as a member of a particular gang.