Compton has been notorious for gangs and gang violence since the late 1960s. That is a long time by any standards, but most importantly that is a long time for active violence and wars on the streets. For those that don’t know, Compton is a city in Los Angeles County, that was known as South Central.

Compton is actually one of the oldest cities in LA county. The city has a very high poverty rate and is generally known as a working class community. Nevertheless Compton is known for its dangerously high crime rate, which is attributed to the gangs in Compton.


RacePop 2010Pop 2020% 2010% 2020
White (NH)7828560.81%0.89%
Black or African American (NH)30,99224,34232.13%25.43%
Native American or Alaska Native (NH)1751320.18%0.14%
Asian (NH)2223650.23%0.38%
Pacific Islander (NH)6845440.71%0.57%
Some Other Race (NH)1404400.15%0.46%
Mixed Race/Multi-Racial (NH)7911,2700.82%1.33%
Hispanic or Latino (any race)62,66967,79164.97%70.81%

Crime Rates in the City

The Watts Riots happened in 1965, and ghettos around Los Angeles were severely impacted. Compton and others areas in South Central saw a rise in Crime. A lot of middle class residents moved out of these areas which left most low income families in the area. Compton was hit hardest by the riots, and by 1969 Compton had the highest crime rates in all of California.

With the rise of Gangster Rap, rap groups were able to shine a light on what it was like living these ghettos, and they truly showed what it was like growing up South Central LA. Compton became synonymous to gang violence. Groups like NWA showed the rest of the world about the Crips and Bloods.

Compton did see a decline in crime through the years, but reached an all time high in 2004 when black gangs and latino gangs started fighting.

2005 was the deadliest year with 72 killings that year.

Compton’s gangs kept a steady stream of gang violence and in 2013 the city’s homicide rate was 36.8 per 100,000 residents, with guns being the number 1 cause for most homicides in Compton. From 2000-2015, most homicides were due to guns.

List of Gangs in Compton

Blood Gangs

Crip Gangs

Hispanic Gangs

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