Blood vs. Crips: Exploring the Differences Between - The Battle of Rivals - Southwest Journal (2024)

The Bloods and Crips distinction is complex. These two gangs from Los Angeles have different histories, reasons for forming, beliefs, and cultures. The colors they wear signify their gang affiliation – red for Bloods and blue for Crips. But, the reality of their gangs is more complicated than clothes color.

Their motives for forming were different. The Bloods formed to protect themselves from other violent groups and do criminal activity. In contrast, the Crips were created to fight police brutality and protect African-American youth from racism.

Both gangs have cultural significance in their communities. Things such as dress code, language, and how to initiate recruits are only known by insiders.

The rivalry between them lasted for decades ago. It claims 15 lives a day across America. It’s like a backward game of red light, green light.

History of Bloods and Crips

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They have made their mark in gang history. The Bloods formed to fight oppression in African American communities, while the Crips were a neighborhood protection group. Their rivalry has been going on for decades.

The two gangs have their symbols and behavior. The Bloods wear red and use the number five, while the Crips wear blue and use six-point stars. Plus, they call each other “cuz” or “blood killer“.

The two gangs have been linked to criminal activity like drug trafficking, robbery, murder for hire, extortion, and prostitution. It’s tough to contain them due to their organization.

There are solutions to this problem. Education can offer young people an alternative to joining gangs. Community policing programs can help reduce crime in high-risk areas.

With enough support from the government and community, it is possible to limit the Bloods and Crips’ influence on society.

Differences in Color and Symbols

Types of blood and Crips are notorious street gangs. They have differences in colors and symbols. This is linked to their values, histories, demographics, and social ideas.

An overview is shown in the table below.

Primary colorRedBlue
SymbolThree dots in a triangle.Six-pointed star
Famous alliesPirus; Brims; Black P. StonesFolk Nation; Gangster Disciples
Motto“Blood in, blood out”.“Crip for life”.

Blood emphasizes shared history. Crips focus on community efforts, like ‘Community Revolution in Progress‘ (CRIP). Both gangs use hand signals for secret communication.

Former gang members show loyalty within these groups. One example is when someone joins up to retaliate against rivals after losing a family member.

They have different ideologies, seen through their colors and symbols. But this can lead to great costs to individuals caught up in these groups. East side or west side, Bloods and Crips certainly know how to divide and conquer.

Geographic Areas of Influence

Are you looking for info about Them? Let’s take a look at their main territories.

Check out the table below to see where each gang dominates:

BloodWest Coast & Eastern US
CripsWest Coast & Mid-Western/Southern US

It’s important to remember that these areas can change. However, Bloods and Crips are on opposite ends of the US.

Plus, the Bloods use red and the Crips use blue. The Bloods started in the 1970s and the Crips appeared in the late 60s.

However, the challenge of combating gang activity is not limited to these notorious groups, as evidenced by the escalating crime rates in some of the most perilous cities in California.

Gang Activities and Criminality

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Gang activity is a serious issue. Drug trafficking, assault, and murder are just a few of the devastating effects. To tackle it, we must understand the roots of gang culture.

Gang behavior is usually linked to group dynamics. There can be disputes over territory and drug markets, and members are often recruited through force. Firearms are used to keep control and settle arguments.

While they have similar values, their symbols like colors, hand signals, and tattoos are different.

It’s estimated that 10% of violent crime is connected to gangs. Don’t forget that there are plenty of other gangs out there who are just as dangerous.

Rivalries with Other Gangs

The Bloods and Crips rivalry is not just between each other, but with other gangs in LA. They battle for drug routes and turf control, often leading to violence and death. Even if a truce is called, tensions can rise quickly. Smaller gangs may side with one or the other, making matters complicated. Other gangs, besides the Bloods and Crips, can pose a threat. An example of their rivalry is a string of shootings at LA schools in the 80s. It all started when members of one gang felt disrespected, showing how minor provocations can lead to intense conflict.

Joining the Bloods or Crips is easy, but the gains are drastically different.

Gang Hierarchy and Leadership

Gangs have a complex hierarchy with various ranks and leaders. At the top are elite members who control actions and give orders. This system makes sure the gang works well. Leadership roles vary depending on the region, but there’s usually a president, vice-president, treasurer, sergeant-at-arms, enforcer, and general member.

Leaders have authority over their area and decide on matters like territory and crime. They assign tasks to other members. Each rank has set responsibilities. Members must show loyalty and respect to their superiors.

Not all gangs have this type of structure; some may be decentralized or use other kinds of organizations. Plus, gang leadership can change due to violence or law enforcement.

Response of Law Enforcement

Law enforcement’s strategy for dealing with Bloods and Crips includes intelligence operations, targeted investigations, and community outreach. They are trained to recognize gang members by their clothing, tattoos, and hand signs. They collaborate with federal agencies to disrupt drug trafficking and apprehend gang members.

Moreover, they focus on providing education and support for victims of gang violence. This interagency approach provides better resources and info sharing.

Law enforcement is not just about incarceration; it is about breaking down the gangs’ control over young people. An example of this is Operation Community Shield in Los Angeles, which arrested hundreds of members over two years.

The ultimate goal of law enforcement is to dismantle gang control over communities while providing resources to vulnerable youth who may be at risk of joining them. It is a difficult task, like trying to put out a fire with gasoline.

Efforts to Combat Gang Activity

Countering gang activity is of utmost importance in many communities. Collaboration between law enforcement and local authorities can help. Intensifying patrols, running awareness campaigns, and providing job opportunities are strategies that can help.

Social support for vulnerable people must be increased and they should be diverted from gangs. Mediation sessions, mentoring, and positive peer-to-peer interaction can be effective.

Gangs have different motives, memberships, and hierarchies, so a tailored approach should be taken. Education can provide young people with alternatives to criminal behavior. Schools can offer curricula focused on conflict resolution and non-violent communication.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Bloods and Crips?

The Bloods and Crips are two of the most notorious street gangs in the United States.

What is the origin of the Bloods and Crips?

The Bloods originated in Los Angeles, California in the early 1970s, while the Crips started a few years earlier in the same city.

What is the difference between the Bloods and Crips?

The main difference between the Bloods and Crips is their gang color. The Bloods wear red, while the Crips wear blue.

What are the beliefs and values of the Bloods and Crips?

The Bloods and Crips share similar beliefs and values, including pride in their neighborhoods, a desire for respect, and loyalty to their fellow gang members. However, their methods of achieving these goals can be very violent and dangerous.

What crimes are associated with the Bloods and Crips?

The Bloods and Crips are involved in a range of criminal activities, including drug trafficking, robbery, assault, and murder.

What is the impact of the Bloods and Crips on society?

The Bloods and Crips have had a devastating impact on the communities in which they operate. Their violence and criminal activities have led to countless deaths and injuries, as well as the destruction of families and neighborhoods.


The Bloods and Crips are two notorious street gangs with a long-lasting rivalry. Their feud began in Los Angeles in the early 1970s and has since spread across the U.S.

Despite some similarities, the two gangs have distinct differences. Such as the Bloods typically wear red, and the Crips blue. Plus, each group has its own set of hand signs, colors, and terminology.

Not all members of these gangs partake in illegal activities; some join for protection or to form a social connection. Nevertheless, gang violence remains a major problem in many areas. Solutions to curb the violence include educational programs, community outreach, and legal action when necessary.

The formation of the Bloods and Crips was in response to poverty and violence among African-American youth in LA during the 1960s.However, over the years both gangs have become involved in drug trafficking and racketeering. Despite efforts to reduce gang-related violence, their rivalry continues to be an issue in many U.S. cities.

Blood vs. Crips: Exploring the Differences Between - The Battle of Rivals - Southwest Journal (2024)


What is the difference between the Bloods and the Crips? ›

The Bloods formed to fight oppression in African American communities, while the Crips were a neighborhood protection group. Their rivalry has been going on for decades. The two gangs have their symbols and behavior. The Bloods wear red and use the number five, while the Crips wear blue and use six-point stars.

How did the Crips and Bloods become rivals? ›

The rivalry originated in the late 1960s when Raymond Washington and other Crips attacked Sylvester Scott and Benson Owens, two students at Centennial High School in Compton, California. As a result, Scott formed the Piru Street Boys, the first "Bloods" gang. Owens subsequently established the West Piru gang.

What does Crip stand for? ›

The name and what it stands for remain in debate, with Crip possibly referring to the gang "crippling" its enemies or an acronym for "Community Revolution In Progress." Early on in the gang's history, the color blue came to be associated with the Crips, with gang members wearing blue clothing and bandanas.

Why are Bloods called Bloods? ›

Stones, LA Brims, Pueblo Bishops, and Athens Park Boys, decided to join together as a protection against the Crips, henceforth calling themselves the Bloods. The gang name was allegedly chosen due to gang members calling each other "blood" out of endearment and fondness.

Is 21 Savage a blood? ›

After dropping out, he joined a local street gang affiliated with the wider Bloods gang and became a full-time drug dealer, mainly selling cannabis.

Who is the boss of the Bloods? ›

In today's world, there is no singular leader of either the Bloods or the Crips. Each are comprised of autonomous sets, with each set determining their leadership. The autonomy is such that you may even find sets within each gang warring with each other.

Why were Crips and Bloods fighting? ›

The Bloods are the Crips' main rival. The Bloods initially formed to provide Piru Street Gang members protection from the Crips. The rivalry started in the 1960s when Washington and other Crip members attacked Sylvester Scott and Benson Owens, two students at Centennial High School.

Is there still a rivalry between Crips and Bloods? ›

The Crips and the Bloods, two street gangs founded in Los Angeles, California, have been in a gang war since the 1970s. The war is made up of smaller, local conflicts perpetrated by chapters of both gangs, and has mostly taken place in major cities in the United States, especially Los Angeles (L.A.).

Can Crips wear red? ›

Gang Identification

It is extremely important to realize and understand that not everyone who wears a particular color, or who has a tattoo, is a gang member. Bloods wear red, Crips wear blue. There are thousands of gangs in the U.S. and most identify with one or more colors of every description.

What does 6 mean to Crips? ›

The graffiti seen above was made by a member of the Crips. LOC commonly used by members of the Crips stands for “Love of Crip.” The six pointed star commonly referred to as the Star of David is used by the Crips. As seen in the above example, Crips use the number six which corre- sponds with the six pointed star.

Why do Crips wear blue? ›

The Crips were well-known for their rivalry with the Bloods—even though infighting caused three times more deaths. In an effort to distingush between the gang members, the Crips began wearing blue clothing or other items, while the Bloods became associated with red.

Who started Bloods? ›

Everything began in the 1960s when the Crips' founder Raymond Washington and other members attacked two students, Sylvester Scott and Benson Owens. This led Scott to form the Piru Street Boys. This gang was the first “Bloods” gang. Their initial mission was to protect themselves from the Crips.

What does 31 mean for Bloods? ›

There are 31 UBN rules known as "The 31." Examples of the rules are: Individual gang members are to operate and conduct themselves as defined by "The 31"; Procedures for infractions or disciplinary actions; "Snitching," or cooperating with law enforcement, is strictly prohibited.

What are female Bloods called? ›

By JOHN MONK - August 15, 2012 12:00 AM. Columbia's fierce Bloods gang — known mostly for its male members alleged to rob, mug, kill and traffic in drugs — has a female cadre known as the “Bloodettes,” a federal agent revealed Tuesday.

Do Bloods have a code? ›

Depending on the Blood set, the gang members may use a variety of numbers, codes, and slang to communicate with each other. Although codes vary, commonalities in greetings, warnings, and general communication exist.

Do Bloods and Crips work together? ›

The two gangs have been close allies for decades and are still allied today.

Why do Bloods wear red? ›

Within this loose alliance, many of the gangs remained independent, and infighting was not uncommon. However, they were united in their opposition to the Crips. They eventually took the name Bloods and adopted the color red to distinguish from the Crips' blue.

What do Bloods believe in? ›

Blood stands for Brotherly Love Overcomes Overrides and Destruction. Over the years the Crips meaning has taken many forms, some claim Washington was inspired by the Black Panther movement in the mid-60s. Crips is an acronym that allegedly stands for Community Revolution in Progress.

What color are Crips vs Bloods? ›

Gang Identification

It is extremely important to realize and understand that not everyone who wears a particular color, or who has a tattoo, is a gang member. Bloods wear red, Crips wear blue.

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