What is a gang?

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What is a gang?

  • A gang is three or more people who have a common name and identifying signs, colors, or symbols and who participate in criminal activities as a group or individually.

Identification Criteria of suspected gang members:

  • An individual is identified as a gang member based on verifying at least three of the following and is involved in criminal activity:

  • #1 Admits gang membership or association.

  • #2 Is observed to associate on a regular basis with known gang members.

  • #3 Has tattoos indicating gang membership.

  • #4 Wears gang clothing/colors or symbols which can be identified with a specific gang.

  • #5 Is in a photograph with known gang members and/or using gang related hand signs.

  • #6 Name is on a gang document, hit list, or gang related graffiti.

  • #7 Is identified as a gang member by a reliable source.

  • #8 Arrested in the company of identified gang members or associates.

  • #9 Corresponds with known gang members or writes and/or receives correspondence about gang activity.

  • #10 Writes about gangs (graffiti) on walls, books, paper, etc.

Active gangs in St. Paul

  • Asian Gangs: White Gangs

  • Asian Crips (Colors are blue) White Power Gang

  • Purple Brother (Colors are Purple) Hells Angles

  • Oriental Ruthless boys (Red) Hells Outcast

  • Crazy Bloods (Red) Peacemakers

  • True Bloods 22 (Red) BPM

  • Men of Destruction (Red) Out of state (Blue)

  • OMB (Orivelle Mono Boys) (Red)

  • AB (Asian Bloods) (Red)

  • Black Gangs: Somali Gangs

  • Selby Side Boys (Colors are blue) Clique w/ Bangout Boys Somali Gangster Disciple

  • East Side Boys (Rival is LTG) (Color is Blue) Rough Tough Somali Crips

  • Black Gangster Disciples Somali Hot Boys

  • Lower Town Gangsters (Associated w/ GD clique) Somali Outlaws

  • Shotgun Crips (Blue) Somali Bloods

  • Bang out boys (Clique w/Selby Side Boys) Somali Assault Unit

  • Outta Control Gangsters (Red) MWA (Madiban With Attitude)

  • St. Paul Solders

  • Latino Gangs

  • 18 Street Gang

  • Nortenos 14

  • Brown For Life (BFL)

  • SUR 13

  • Latin Kings

  • Brown Pride

$ GANG $

  • Gangs currently make money by selling:

  • -Drugs (Marijuana, Crack Cocaine, Meth., Ecstasy, and Heroin)

  • -Guns

Crack Cocaine


Signs of Gangs

Clothing to watch for

  • Ask questions if you are not sure what words on hats and shirts mean!


  • Gangs are constantly recruiting. Gangs want to increase in numbers so when they have a problem with rival gangs, they will have a better chance at winning. If you have gang members in your community, THEY ARE RECRUITING!

Danger signs to look for in kids involved in gangs

  • The child becomes distant from family and friends.

  • The child begins to wear matching gang colors. Example, blue shirt, blue bandana, blue shoe strings, and blue baseball cap. Depending on the gang the child is representing will determine which colors the kids are wearing.

  • The child begins to hang out with the wrong crowd.

  • The child begins to violate rules they normally would have abided by in the past.

  • Check notebooks and school books for gang writings. Kids often write about which gangs they are representing


  • Gang members love to be seen and heard from. If you suspect a child of being involved in gangs or if you just want to check up on a kid you are concerned about, look them up on:

  • Myspace.com/org

  • Black Planet. com/org

  • Facebook.com/org

Female Gangsters

  • Minnesota has an increasing number of documented female gangsters. Females who date male gang members often align themselves with the gang the male belongs to.

  • The St. Paul Police Gang Unit document’s the girlfriends and wives of known gang members. These women are listed as associates of the gangs the males belong to. Otherwise, if women meet the criteria for a gang member, they are documented as such.

  • Minnesota does have a small population of female gangs in its prison system.

Female’s Role in male Gangs

  • After interviewing numerous male gang members and the former girlfriends of active gang members, law enforcement has learned of the roles of a female in most gangs here in Minnesota. Those roles are, but not limited to:

  • Females are used to hold the weapons and narcotics of male gang members until those weapons are needed at a certain location.

  • Females involved in relationships with male gang members often have children with the gang members which calls for more loyalty to the gang from the female. She is less likely to cooperate with law enforcement if the male is suspected of committing a crime for the benefit of his gang. She will not give the police information if it means her boyfriend/husband will go to jail.

  • Females are often used to make money for gang members by either becoming an exotic dancer, committing fraud, theft or prostitution.

  • Females are not well respected by male gang members. They often don’t figure it out until after it’s too late to get out of the relationship with the gang member without fearing for their safety.

Addressing the gang issue


Gang History

  • Gangs have been around since the early 1900’s.

  • Law enforcement has been reactive over the years to gang crimes.

  • Now, we have a new approach to dealing with gangs!

  • This plan involves a partnership with the community we serve.


  • Intervention requires us as an affective police gang unit to work closely with community groups. One of the creations and great partnerships made by the St. Paul Police Department is the “God Squad.” The God Squad is made up of church pastors from St. Paul.

  • Sometimes wanted suspects trust community groups to turn themselves into police custody after committing a crime. These suspects often believe their safety is in danger so they trust community groups to assist in the process.

  • It only matters that they are in custody after committing a crime!

Gang Prevention by SPPD

  • Gang Resistance Education and Training (G.R.E.A.T) program. This program is taught in the elementary and middle schools. We also have the G.R.E.A.T Family’s Program, and the G.R.E.A.T Summer Program.

  • Police Athletic League (P.A.L). This athletic league is coached by police officers and some members of the St. Paul community. The age groups of the kids range from elementary to high school age kids.

  • Truancy and Curfew sweeps. If we (police/community) can keep juveniles off of the streets during the hours when juveniles are not suppose to be out, we can decrease the chances of kids getting themselves into trouble.

  • Some SPPD officers participate in mentor programs with-in the City of St. Paul.

  • All of the above are nationwide programs and may be found in most communities with government funding available.

Prevention by Parents

  • Parents can decrease the chances of their kids getting involved in gangs by:

  • Knowing where their kids are at all times. Kids who run around in the community unsupervised are more likely to get into trouble and to hangout with the wrong crowd. Parents must stay involved and know where their kids are and who they are hanging out with.

  • Parents should try to get their kids involved in something positive. St. Paul schools, library’s and community centers post after school and summer programs for kids. When kids are involved in school functions or community functions, they are less likely to get themselves into trouble.

  • A bored child with no supervision or extracurricular activities is a child who is primed and ready to be recruited by someone! I hope the recruiters are not gang members, drug dealers, pimps, or any other negative members of our society.


  • For those gang members who don’t want to leave the gang life and who continue to commit crimes, we build gang cases against them and they will be charged with the Minnesota Criminal Statute “Committing a crime for the benefit of a gang.” We will then ARREST, ARREST, ARREST!

SPPD Gang Unit

  • Officer Charles Sims

  • Office # 651-266-5779

  • E-Mail: Charles.Sims@ci.stpaul.mn.us

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