California is a beautiful place and has such a huge variety of all walks of life. The crazy thing about California is it has such a huge population, and with huge population comes a lot of different factors. Poverty and crime. Do these 2 factors make up the reason why Los Angeles Street Gangs thrive?

Why has Los Angles become synonymous to street gangs and how did it become this way?

The Big Migration

Los Angeles has a culture that is deep rooted in Mexican migration, the Chicano Culture is huge and not a lot of people understand how much impact it has brought to the California lifestyle. A lot of Mexican peoples migrated to America and created this new type of culture in California that was not only Mexican but both Mexican and American at the same time.

How did this all start? Lets take a look back at Los Angeles in the early 1900s.

Chicano Gang Culture

To understand how Street gangs got to where they are now, you need to understand what is was like for the first Street Gangs of California.

The first gangs were actually first documented in the early 1900s!

Gang historians would name these types of gangs “Palomilla” meaning flock of doves. This term would describe small groups of young mexican men that formed out of male cohorting tradition.

These gangs are said to be what Los Angeles gangs were based off of.

Birth of Street Gangs

From the early days of the Palomilla came the birth of Chicano gangs, and there were two things that made these gangs more organized. Those 2 things were physical and cultural marginalization.

These chicano street gangs first started in the “Barrios”, which were most areas that Mexican-Americans and immigrants resided. They were located in areas that were isolated, lands that developers that were not prime real estate.

The youth from these areas were marginalized, they did not fit in anywhere, so they clung together to form there youth gangs. From this birthed the first types of street gangs, that would fight for their Barrios, or there home turf.

The Bloods and Crips

Fast forward to the 40s and 50s, another group of people are now being marginalized. African American gangs formed exactly the same way Chicano gangs formed years before.

This marginalization would lead to groups such as the Black Panthers and also a birth of 2 new street gangs that would eventually take over California, the Bloods and Crips.

The 60s and 70s would see a huge increase in gang activity in LA, and the crack era made it easy for these gangs to cultivate and grow.

Handling the War on Gangs

Street gangs blew up in LA and law enforcement had no way of handling them, so the Los Angeles Police Department created what we know now as “Gang Injunctions”.

Gang Injunctions were created to target street gangs as unincorporated associations, this allowed the LAPD to blindly police areas where there was known Gangs.

They would establish curfews, rules where no members can hang out with each other, no colors can be shown. Basically rules to stop gangs members from hanging out with other gang members.

OG Street Gangs

Some of the earliest documented street gangs in California include:

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