What Is the History of the Bloods and Crips Gang Rivalry?

The Bloods and Crips gang rivalry began in the Compton area of Los Angeles during the early 1970s, when the newer Bloods encroached on territory that was under the control of the already established Crips. Conflicts between the Bloods and Crips became even more violent in the late ’70s, as the rapidly expanding Bloods came into more frequent contact with the Crips. Both gangs have since spread throughout the United States, and their rivalry remains fierce and violent today.

Two high school students, Raymond Washington and Stanley “Tookie” Williams, founded the Crips as the Baby Avenues in South Central Los Angeles during the late 1960s. The gang shortly became known as the Cribs, and the modern Crips name became established by the early ’70s. In the decade following their founding, the Crips grew rapidly, attracting many disaffected African-American youths in Los Angeles high schools. One of the organization’s main groups, the Compton Crips, were especially active in the Piru Street neighborhood.

A smaller gang known as the Piru Street Boys were attracting new members at the same time the Crips were expanding. The Piru Street Boys eventually became known as the Bloods, and while they had far fewer members than the Crips, they matched their penchant for violence and crime. Because the Compton Crips occupied the same territory as the Bloods, the two gangs inevitably came into conflict with one another. As the two gangs continued to grow, different Blood and Crip gangs in Los Angeles and all over the United States continued the rivalry that started in the ’70s.