The emergence of Bloods and Crips, gangs that originated on the West Coast and are establishing themselves in the Washington, D.C., area, has contributed to several homicides this year and has become a growing concern in the area, reports the Washington Post. Bloods, and to a lesser degree their rival Crips, are suspects in several crimes in a wide swath. “We are seeing their numbers growing right now,” said Capt. Bill Lynn, commander of the police gang unit in Prince George’s County, Md., which adjoins Washington.
In the capital city’s Trinidad neighborhood, which had a spate of violence this summer, young people are wearing the Bloods’ colors, flashing the gang’s hand signs and selling drugs near a community recreation center. “We’ve started seeing more and more signs of the Crips and Bloods — more Bloods than Crips,” said D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier. Among the signs, she said, are an increasing number of young men who have the dog paw brand or tattoo, sometimes called Triple O’s, on the right side of their bodies, which is common among Bloods. Crips burn or tattoo such symbols as the six-pointed Star of David on their left sides, law enforcement officials said. Bloods are associated with the color red; Crips, with blue.