Watts is one of the most gang infested neighborhoods in South Central. It is located within the south Los Angeles region. Watts was founded in the late nineteenth century and was consolidated into the City of Los Angeles by 1926. By the 1940s Watts became a working class Black neighborhood, and by the 1960s it became known for low income, and high crimes especially after the Watts Riots. This is when Street gangs really took a strong foot hold in the neighborhood.

History of Watts

By the early 1960s, the Watts projects were roughly 100% black, most of the whites in this area moved away to newer suburbs in the city.

With the majority of people in Watts now being of color, the people in Watts were an easy target and subject to a lot of discriminatory treatment by police.

This discrimination towards the black community would eventually lead to the Watts riots on August 11, 1965.

Gang Activity

With the growing hate for law enforcement after the Watts riots, the hate fueled more and more young black men to join gangs in watts.

More and more gang members started commiting crimes which led to increased violence in Watts. There were 500 homicides in Watts from 1989 and 2005, with the vast majority of them being gang related.

The violence became so prevalent that 4 of the most influential gangs in Watts decided to form a peace treaty, this included the Watts Crikle City Piru, Grape Street Watts Crips, Bounty Hunter Watts Bloods and the PJ Watts Crips. This peace treaty would be known as the Watts Truce which happened on April 26, 1992.

Watts Demographics

Watts has a population of around 42,000 people. From the 1940s to now watts has seen a change of demographic throughout the years. Currently the breakdown of racial diversity is as follows:

List of gangs in Watts




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