When you think of street gangs in America, your mind may go Black African American Gangs, as this is what the news, and the media show us. What a lot of people don’t know, is there are Somoan and Tongan street gangs as well.
Polynesia consists of many different islands like Samoa, Tonga, New Zealand, Tahiti, Fiji, and Hawaii.
The first Polynesian to come to America was a Tongan back in 1924, and after that waves and waves started immigrating to the USA.
Tongan immigrants started to really come in waves in the 1970s and 1980s.
The United States is a country of many different ethnic backgrounds and cultures, in which no one is immune from street gangs and violence.
Like most immigrants to the United States, bullying and racism affected Somoan and Tongan youth. The had to clique up to fight local threats of other street gangs.
Different Samoan Gangs
Samoan gangs are made up of people from Samoa. Somoa is a Polynesian Island consisting of two main islands, Manono and Apolima and smaller islands.
Like most Polynesian people, family is a huge part of their culture, this is very true when it comes to Samoan gangs, as gangs are made up of a lot of family members.
Although there are not as many Samoan gangs as there are other gangs of different cultures, Samoan gangs pose a great threat as they are dangerous and very active.
Some Samoan Gangs Include:
- Sons of Somoa
- Royal Samoan Posse
- Samoan Pride Gangsters
- Park Village
- United Samoan Organization
List of Tongan Gangs
To many people not from the Islands, it is very difficult to tell the difference between Tongans and Samoans. Although similar in appearance, there are many differences in culture and in beliefs.
Like most gang members, Tongan gang members started from family neglect, poverty and a sense of belonging.
One of the most influential Tongan Gangs is the Tongan Crips Gang (TCG), who have a pretty large presence on the west coast.
Other Tongan Gangs are the Tongan Crip Pee Week, Tongan Style Gangsters and Salt Lake Posse
Tongans like to celebrate social events like most gangs, they enjoy having family parties and celebrate life at these events, like birthdays, marriages. Celebrations usually include large feasts, and a lot of drinking.
Tongans refer to these parties sometimes as Kava Parties to drink Kava, a drink from the root of a pepper plant. These parties will go on late into the night, like most gang parties.
Tongan gangs mainly started in Los Angeles and migrated to Utah to escape from police presence, as they were cracking down hard on them there.
Samoan and Tongang Criminal Activity
Homicide – March 11, 1990 – TCG members attack Samaons at a party, Samoans attempt to flee as TCG members gave chase and attempted to force Samoans off the road. A chase resulted with the Samoan vehicle losing control crashing and killing all three occupants. Two of the deceased were members of the Hoodlum Crips and Royal Samoan Posse
Drive By Shootings – June 14, 1990 – Five shots were fired by TCG members
Aggravated Robbery – July 1, 1990 – TCG members enter a known drug house ran by another gang to make a drug buy. Deal went bad and one of the TCG members grabbed a 13 year old girl and held a knife to her throat. Occupants started shooting at the TCG members as they fled on foot.