Gangland - Crip or Die

Uploaded by kecho619 on 30.01.2012

A gang member walks into a house
and opens fire with a
semiautomatic rifle.
we said, "why did you shoot
everybody in the house?"
And his answer was,
"because they were home."
The killer is a member
of the crips.
real crips, compton nigga!
In their gangland world
soldiers kill, without a second thought

and you know who the fuck i am nigga

and I'm comin' to get you.
any time you have a
13-year-old who could blow your
brains out and go home
And play a video game
Like nothing happened
There's something wrong.
South Central L.A.
Is the battleground.
I don't challenge L.A.
I don't test L.A.
'cause im Ice T
A 15-year-old kid will kill me
For a reputation.
It's a lifestyle
Lived without rules.
real crip.
it's about death, man.
That's all that's coming out
Of what we have fueled for so
Many years.
I see no integrity.
I see no value system.
We go deep inside a world
where there are only two choices...

crips don't die.
they multiply.
Crip or Die.
South Central L.A.
May 9, 1988.
Ja'mee finney went for a ride to
The store with next-door
Neighbor latonjya "nikki"
Nikki was eager to show off her
New red car.
if you live in the
Inner city, you start
Recognizing different things.
And they noticed
that ther were some guys driving around.
And they saw them with
these hoods pulled down over their face.

And these girls are...
"whoa, it looks like these dudes
Are up to something.
We better get on home."
What the girls
Didn't know is that
The young men
Were members of the crips.
Earlier in the day,
They'd been swindled
In a drug deal.
these guys had been ganked
Out of some money, got some
Flour instead of cocaine,
And they were angry,
And they were looking for the
People that sold them this
Bad sale.
Unable to find the dealer
They decided to take revenge
On the drug dealer's sister.

They heard she was driving
A red car.
At an intersection,
The gang members pulled up
Alongside ja'mee and nikki and
Opened fire with an uzi and a pistol.

Ja'mee's mother, charlotte,
Was just blocks away.
I heard this gunfire,
And it was would not believe
The number of shots
That were ringing out.
It was crazy.
Just a few seconds later,
I heard this knock on my door.
So I went to the door, and
A girl said, "you need to come."
She reached the
Scene at the same time
As the paramedics.
the car was totally riddled.
I went to my daughter,
And she was laying back in the...
In the seat.
My daughter was shot 15 times.
My neighbor's daughter was shot
The car had hundreds of bullets
In it.
those girls tried to get
Home, and they never made it.
The children never knew what
Hit them.
They never knew what hit them.
The gang members
Had found their target:
A red car, with a young woman behind the wheel.

When the police told me
It was a mistake, that was like,
"no, it's not a mistake.
That was murder."
Decades later,
Charlotte's tragedy remains
Business as usual in the
Crip-infested streets of
Los Angeles.
In the city known as the gang
Capital of the nation, the
Crips are the reigning army.
With more than 10,000 members,
They're the largest black gang
In L.A. and can be found in
Every corner of the city.
But their epicenter and home
Base is South Central,
A 42-square-mile region just
Below L.A.'s downtown skyline.
The crips split their South
Central turf between the
East side and the west side,
With the harbor freeway as a
Dividing line.
The gang is split as well.
More than 200 different divisions
Or sets
Control dozens of neighborhoods
In and around South Central.
Each set has its own name
And its own leaders.
In this rarely seen video,
A high-ranking member of the crips
Brags about his gang's
Lust for power.
His identity has been protected
For his safety.
Being a crip is a
Lifestyle choice, and it's
Back in 1974,
A teenager named barry bryant
Chose the crip life.
I wanted a big brother
Who could fight, who could protect me.

I used to be like,
"man, if I was a little bit bigger
I wouldn't let you take nothin' from me."
That's why I wanted to be a crip.

Bryant ended up
With one of the biggest brothers around.

I see this guy comin' down street,
Big old guy,
And it was tookie.
And that's who I wanted to see.
Bodybuilder tookie
Williams was a leader in the
Crips organization.
and he looked at me,
And he was just like,
"yeah, you gonna be a little down crip."

Bryant had found a protector.

Another junior high school kid
Named richard lawson
Was still looking for his.
While riding on a school bus,
Lawson was confronted by four thugs
From another neighborhood.
the older kids that had got on
Were gang members.
I remember them jumping on me.
The gang members
Beat him to the floor.
Lawson walked away with a broken nose
and a promise to himself.

in my own mind and in my own soul,
I had took a standpoint
at that day, that
That would never happen to me again.

Lawson joined up
With a crip set in his neighborhood
As the gardena paybaccs.
The paybaccs gave him a new name,
lil rick,
And an outlet for his anger.
after that incident, and...
And the pain that was inflicted on me,
for a long time, I lived
Where all I wanted to do was
Inflict that pain back.
It kind of came naturally,
You know, and
I thrived at it.
New recruits
Were tasting power for the first time
and liking it.
Overnight, a kid could change
His status from victim to
Once inside the gang, recruits
Recruits like lil rick and barry
Were put on the front line.
Older gang members molded them
Into soldiers.
some of the older homies
From our community would come
Up to the school, you know,
And pick us up.
Then they'd come grab us
Take us on missions, you know,
Burglarizing houses, some
Thefts, and, you know,
A couple robberies here and there.

It was all part of
Their education on what it meant
To live like a crip.
I'm in junior high school.
I'm with kids that's
Older than me, that are
Full-fledged crips.
So I had to be what I said
I was gonna be.
I had to be real crip now.
I had to be down.
I couldn't be no punk.
I had to be a soldier.
And being a soldier
Meant staying strapped.
when I seen a.357
For the first time, I wanted it.
I remember seeing a tec-9,
And I wanted one of those.
I wanted anything that would put me
In the forefront
Of the lifestyle I was living.
But you weren't a
True crip, until you put in work.
we would put in work on
People that owed us money,
You know, beat you down for $10,
20 bucks.
You know, it wasn't nothing.
Putting in work
Could be anything from, talking shit to you
To killing you.
Putting in work
Became a daily activity
For thousands of crips, terrorizing
The streets of L.A.
There was even a name for their
New lifestyle.
It was called crippin'.
crippin' is full gangbanging mode.

Whatever goes down, goes down.
You might shoot somebody
You know, fight.
And there's no thought of,
"wow, that's my mom"
Or, "that's somebody's little
Wanton gang violence,
It doesn't matter.
You charge it to the game,
And the game is gangbanging.
And that's straight-out
And when crippin',
It just doesn't pay
To think too far ahead.
On the streets of
South Central L.A., thousands of
Gangbangers had adopted a
Violent lifestyle called
It was a culture
Without rules or remorse,
One that included taking
Whatever they wanted, no matter the cost.

March 1972.
At the hollywood palladium
A group of crips confronted five young men
Leaving a concert.
16-year-old robert ballou
Refused to give up his leather coat
and a fight broke out.
taking leather coats and...
You know, was a way of...
A lifestyle for us.
That became a part of being
they stomped this kid to death
over his coat.
Ballou's murder
Sent shock waves through the city.

these hoodlums are, going into business
by what they call
Ripping off the kids that have jackets.

The citizens of L.A.
Were getting their first glimpse
Into this new world of
But the gang's roots
Had been planted long before,
During the turmoil of the 1960s.
Riots erupted in the watts neighborhood
in south central.
Sparked by an argument during a traffic stop,
Residents took to the streets
with six days of retaliation.

For many, the riots came as no surprise.

Community resentment had been brewing
for years.
The number one issue at that time
was police brutality.
So by the time you get to the early '60s,
You had an environment
that was ripe for a riot,
and that's exactly what happened.

Out of the ashes
Rose a flurry of groups riding
The black power movement.
The most prominent was the
Black panther party.
The panthers were outspoken and
FBI director J. Edgar Hoover
Called them the greatest threat
To the internal security
Of the country.
But in south central L.A.,
Residents saw them differently.
they were all about cleaning up
the neighborhood,
Preventing crime,
And, having a law enforcement
That was fair to the black
Aquil basheer
Joined the panthers at the age
Of 16.
we actually started out
As a patrolling agency which
Would patrol and police
The police.
Panthers blanketed the
most of us would have
Our shotguns in one hand
And our law books in the other.
And we would post up,
And we would watch.
♪ set our warrior free. ♪
Then in 1969,
The leaders
Of the los angeles panthers,
Bunchy carter and john huggins,
Were murdered while attending
A black student union meeting
On the ucla campus.
With its leadership in ruins,
The panther movement in L.A.
Nearly ground to a halt.
what that ended up happening
Is leaving a bunch of teenage youths
that were coming up
That had no leadership.
And eventually, you know,
The crips are kind of born
Out of this vacuum.
Stepping into that vacuum
was a 15-year-old named
Raymond Washington.
He began rounding up a small
Group of kids from fremont high
School on the east side of
South Central.
Washington was no stranger to the streets
And had already spent time
In a juvenile detention center
after being
Kicked out of school for
He built his new gang from the
Ground up...
With his fists.
he would go to different neighborhoods:
"we fight.
whoever wins gets to make the rules."

And he did that neighborhood
By neighborhood.
And he was successful in
Probably 75% of the communities he went to.

Pretty successful for a 15-,
16-year-old kid.
Despite his youth,
Washington commanded respect.
I actually saw him, drive down the street
lead a contingent of guys
stop in the middle of
An intersection, point that
They were going to go left or
Right, and everybody would
Follow him.
if you're strong,
If you're powerful,
If you're intimidating, you're
gonna have a lot of people follow you
and that's just what Raymond Washington did.

His gang was called
The baby cribs
a nod to the members' young age.
But before long, that name
Would change to the crips.
The exact reason behind the change
Is steeped in folklore.
I think I've gone over that
Question, the origin of the word
"crip," I bet you maybe ten different
of the original guys.
And I probably got about eight
Different stories about it.
Some believe the
Name came from washington's
Older brother, who had chronic
Leg problems.
Raymond and the other kids
Would tease him by writing
"crip," short for "cripple,"
On his chuck taylor tennis shoes.

Others believe it came from an article
in a local newspaper
That linked the "cripple" nickname
to the gang's habit of using
canes as weapons.
By the early 1970s,
Crips' influence on the streets
Had spilled into the classroom.
A teen named tracy marrow
was introduced to the crippin' lifestyle
while attending high school
in south central.
Marrow would go on to global fame
as rapper-entertainer
Ice T
The whole school at crenshaw high school
was basically
a crip school.
I never was jumped into a gang,
But I was more affiliated
With crips than any other set.
The crips stood out
In the halls.
They adopted the color blue
And wore it with pride.
and basically, back in them days
If you wore blue,
You was cool.
It wasn't enough
to look like a crip.
You had to move like one too.
crip walking...they call it
"c" walking a dance
That the crips invented.
It was just a dance which
Used a lot of footwork,
But it was the coolest dance you
Ever seen, and to do it meant
You was in that gang.
If they can get their hands
Going with their feet, then it's
It looks crazy, kind of
Like a war dance.
The crips'
Influence on Ice T would again
Emerge in his music.
you want to hear a gang...
A gang rhyme?
♪ strollin' through the city ♪
♪ in the middle of the night ♪
♪ niggas on my left ♪
♪ and niggas on my right ♪
♪ yelling c-c-crip ♪
♪ to every nigga i see ♪
♪ if you bad enough ♪
♪ come fuck with me ♪
The crips weren't
The only game in south central.
On the west side, gangs like
The smaks controlled
The streets.
One of the smaks' leaders was
Barefoot Pookie.
One Sunday afternoon
Raymond Washington approached
Barefoot Pookie and the smaks at a movie theater.

Raymond came in and walked
Down the aisle and spoke out,
"who the smaks?"
And the whole show stood up.
It was the ideal
Setting for a brawl.
But instead, washington and the
Smaks agreed to join forces
Against a rival white group.
They left the theater together
In search of their common enemy.
we never did find them.
But that day had ended,
And the word had spread
All over the west side.
The three major neighborhoods,
The 100s, the 80s, and
The 60s were all original
West side crips.
And from that point on,
Raymond's legacy began.
Chitty-Chitty Bang-Bang,
Crips don't die.
They multiply.

Continued plowing through South Central,
absorbing smaller groups
and their leaders,
Including a west-sider named
Tookie Williams.
he had a bunch of kids
over by washington high school
that were under him.
and Raymond Washington
and him apparently met.
I don't know that there was a
Fight, but at some point, tookie
Decided to join the crips.
And eventually, he became the
Leader of the west side crips.
Immediately became the poster boy
for crippin'.
Well, if you wanted to put
Something symbolic to
gangbanging and crips, Tookie's physique
would be that same kind of image.

He was an avid bodybuilder
with muscles, like a suit of armor
Everyone gave him
at the time, I had a girlfriend
and she was standing
Out on the front porch,
and she said some fools came up
and was messing with her.
So I got all ready.
I went out to the front door
Like, "what's up?"
And it was tookie sitting a
Lowrider, looking at me.
and I got back in the house and
Said, "why was you out there?"
You know.
I mean, nobody really wanted no
Parts of took.
Under the leadership
of its two powerful cocaptains
Washington in the east
and Tookie in the west,
The crips soon dominated the streets
of south central.
and in March 1972, after a group
of crips killed Robert Ballou
for his leather jacket,
There would be no shortage
of new recruits in other parts
of the city.
But it wouldn't be
Long before its generals got too close
to the flames.
By the end of the 1970s,
the crips had hit the big time.

The gang that had started
with a handful of kids on the east side of L.A.
had grown to include
45 different sets around the city.

In February 1979, Stanley "Tookie" Williams
was calling the shots
for the powerful
West side crips.
That sometimes meant giving his street soldiers
a lesson in crippin'.

He sent his homies, a couple of guys
who were with him,
In to do a robbery at a little market.

They came out and didn't do it
Because there were witnesses.
And he got very angry.
Tookie then led them down the street
to a 7-Eleven

A young guy, a young
20-some-odd-year-old man working there
and he said, "I'll show you how to do it"

And he robbed 'em, put the kid on the floor.

As the clerk lay facedown,
Williams fired two shots
into his back.
A couple of weeks later,
Williams reinforced the lesson
During a motel robbery.
went in and killed a family of three
that owned the motel
So he wouldn't leave witnesses.
Williams was later caught
and convicted of all four murders.

His next stop would be his last:
Death row at san quentin.
Five months after Tookie was arrested
for the murders,
The crips' leadership suffered another blow.

Raymond Washington, the gang's founder
and cocaptain, was shot and killed
on the streets of south central
most likely by a member
of his own gang.
he walked up to the car,
And somebody shot him point-blank
with a shotgun.
Raymond obviously knew somebody, 'cause
he's not dumb enough to walk up on a car
of somebody he doesnt know.

By the early 1980s,
The two cornerstones of the crip orginization
had fallen.
At the same time, a new and powerful force
was rising up, to claim south central
a drug called, crack cocaine.

Crack was cheap to buy,
Lucrative to sell...
ask your mama what this is.
And instantly
Without any central leadership,
The crips splintered into dozens of smaller goups
all bent on
Making as much profit possible
selling crack.
Lil rick set up shop in gardena
the home base for his set called,
the paybaccs.
I remember being...
Being in crack spots, man,
And making $2,000, $3,000 a day
easy. That was, like, a slow day.

With enormous
Profits to be won or lost,
Competition on the streets
Heated up.
The financial gain of the crack trade
brought...brought confusion
to the city as far as
The gangs were concerned,
Who was going to sell where,
Who was going to sell when.
Old adversaries now
Had new reasons to fight.
The crips' most powerful rivals
Were the bloods.
In the early 1970s, small groups
Had banded together under the
Blood name in an effort to fight
Against the larger,
More powerful crips.
The easiest way to tell the groups apart
was by their colors.

Crips wore blue.
Bloods wore red.
Wearing the wrong color in the wrong neighborhood
meant trouble.

With the
Introduction of crack to the streets
the hatred between the
Crips and bloods exploded.
Between 1984 and 1989, at the height
of the crack epidemic,
The homicide rate for black teenage
males in L.A. more than doubled.

Gang homicides topped 600 by 1990.

The crips and the bloods turned out to be
just like the Ku Klux Klan.

They have the same thing in common.

They just kill each other, kill niggas.

But not all of the killings
Killings were crips against bloods.
before long
crips who used to consider themselves
brothers, were fighting each other to control

every square inch
of south central's drug trade.
Crack's outrageous profits
Started eating away at
Traditional loyalties.
the gangs were our families.
We called each other cuz.
You know, that's what we called each other.

That's how we felt compassionate
With one another.
But after that, it got
Out of hand.
It just got out of hand.
you start to have
Crip-on-crip rivalry,
Crips killing crips.
each group has their own
Little group of leaders.
The only thing they had in
Common was, they were all
Called crips.
While the crips
Waged war against each other,
Crack cut a swath through the community.

It changed everything,
Especially the people who bought
And sold it.
the devastation was swift:
Mothers incapable of being
Mothers, fathers incapable of
Being fathers.
Lil rick was not
He became addicted to
His own product.
The fast drug money soon
Disappeared, and lil rick was
Left homeless.
The drug continued to fuel his
Criminal lifestyle as he began
Committing armed robberies to
Pay for his next hit.
Fellow crip Barry Bryant
also fell into addiction.
I got something good inside
Of me that don't really want to
Hurt nobody.
But when you get that drug
Inside of you, everything else
Don't mean nothing to you no more.

The drug that had
Made the crips rich was also
Destroying them.
we did start seeing people fall off.

Eventually, I was one of the
Ones that fell off.
Crippin' and crack
Turned out to be a match made in hell.

And the innocent citizens of L.A.
would eventually pay
A terrible price.
August 1984.
58-year-old ebora alexander
Began her day at dawn,
Watering the plants on her
Front porch.
"madee," as her family called her
was the mother of Kermit Alexander
one of the national football league's
brightest stars.

Madee walked from the porch
Into the kitchen, leaving the
Screen door open behind her.
As she poured a cup of coffee,
Two men burst in, one wielding
A.30-caliber rifle.
ebora alexander was shot in
The head.
coffee cup was still on the
Table after all the shooting.
Her actual brains were blown
Across the kitchen.
The gunman, still
High from an all-night cocaine
Binge, stormed through the house
Searching for others.
In a front bedroom, he gunned
Down 24-year-old dietra
Alexander, who sat frozen
In her bed.
the daughter was shot
Multiple times.
Beside her,
13-year-old damani garner and
8-year-old damon bonner were
two boys were shot, also
In the head at point-blank
the nephews have never
Even awakened.
And they go up and are executed
Still asleep.
13-year-old ivan
Scott hid in a closet as the men
Fled the house.
imagine what it was lik
For that little boy that ran
Into the closet when he heard
The gunshots and comes out and
Sees all his family bloodied up.
It's just horrific.
The assailants were
Part of the rollin' 60s, a crip
Set from the west side of south
On that summer morning,
They were carrying out a hit in
Return for drugs and cash.
and it turned out that they
Went to the wrong house.
could have been your house,
Could have been mine.
It could have been any place.
They weren't particular about
Where they were going to do
This, you know.
The crippin'
Lifestyle had once again touched
The innocent citizens of L.A.
it becomes different value
System where the value of life
Just didn't mean anything.
And that was frightening to me.
And a police
Interview with a high-ranking
Crip only confirmed that fear.
He took the police deep inside
The violent mind-set
Of the gang.
Like all crips,
He had a deep hatred for the
Bloods, a rival gang.
The bloods were smaller in
Number but just as vicious.
Crips referred to bloods as
And as he told the
Police, once you joined, you
Were a crip forever.
Crippin' was a permanent
Lifestyle choice.
In south central,
Lil rick's crippin' had gotten
Out of hand.
For five years, he'd been
Selling drugs for his set,
The gardena paybaccs.
Along the way, he'd become
Addicted to his own product.
I was just kind of in and out
Of jail.
And my alcohol and drug usage
Had gotten deeper, and still had
The criminal and violent
It was a very unstable
In 1988, after
Being caught with guns and
Cocaine, lil rick was sentenced
To 11 years in soledad,
A northern california
He was just 19 years old.
I had hit the big house
When I got to soledad.
I seen some things in there
And did some things in there
That I didn't know I was
Capable of doing.
I thought the wars on the street
Were insurmountable, but the
Wars that were going on in
Prison were just as profound,
And they were just as
Devastating and just as violent.
Lil rick was out
In less than five years.
Once back on the streets,
The battle he fought was against
I was kind of tinkering with
Wanting to straighten up and
Still leaning towards wanting
To be on the streets.
The balancing act
Was torture.
He sank further into drug
And alcohol abuse.
The crippin' life had finally
Caught up with him.
I could remember days I just,
Like, wanted to blow my fuckin
Head off, man, based on
I couldn't change my lifestyle.
Lil rick would
Have to hit rock bottom before
He could rise again, and so
Would los angeles.
The bloody decade of the 1980s
Was finally over.
And in the most unlikely places,
The tide started to turn.
there was something different in the air

I felt it, talking to some of these youngsters

That was a legit feeling, that these guys
wanted make some changes