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The Crips are one of the most notorious criminal street gangs in the United States. The predominantly African American gang emerged from the social turmoil of the 1960s and came to prominence in South Central Los Angeles during the 1970s. The gang is organized into different subgangs or “sets” based on location or community, such as the Compton Crips or Los Angeles Crips. Rival gangs, particularly the Bloods, have battled with the Crips over territory, control, and “respect,” resulting in hundreds of lives lost among gang members and innocents. Criminal activity includes narcotics trafficking, robbery, burglary, extortion, and murder. Since the 1990s, the Crips have become nationwide, with sets in Chicago, New York, and other large metropolitan areas.

Byron Viets
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