The Crips, originating in Los Angeles, California, are one of the oldest, largest, and most notorious gangs in the United
States. They have been involved in murders, robberies and drug dealing in the Los Angeles area. The Crips are mostly identified
by the blue color worn by their members. What was once a single gang is now a loose network of "franchises" around
the United States. The gang primarily (but not exclusively) comprises African Americans. The Crips have an intense rivalry
with the Bloods and are also known to feud with Chicano gangs.
The Crips were founded in Los Angeles, California in 1969 by 15-year-old Raymond Washington. Washington initially called
the gang the Baby Avenues in an attempt to emulate older gangs and activities carried out by the Black Panthers with which
he was fascinated. This evolved to Avenue Cribs and then Cribs as nicknames for the age of the members. The name Crips
was first introduced in the Los Angeles Sentinel newspaper in a description by crime victims of young men with canes, as if
they were crippled (though there is some discussion that it may have initially been a simple spelling mistake). The name stuck.
Stanley Tookie Williams, generally acknowledged as co-founder of the Crips, started his own gang called the Westside
Crips. The Crips became popular throughout southern Los Angeles as more youth gangs joined it; at one point they outnumbered
non-Crip gangs by 3 to 1, sparking disputes with non-Crip gangs including the L.A. Brims, Athens Park Boys, the Bishops and
the Denver Lanes. The Crips eventually became the most powerful gang in California. In response, all of the other besieged
gangs, including the Pirus, formed an alliance that later became the Bloods.
Along with friends, Williams and Washington created the initial intent of continuing the revolutionary ideology of the
1960s. These aspirations were unattainable because of a general lack of political leadership and guidance. Washington and
Williams were never able to develop an agenda for social change within the community and instead became obsessed with protecting
themselves from other gangs in the community.
By 1971 the gang's notoriety had spread across Los Angeles. The gang became increasingly violent as they attempted to
expand their turf. By the early 1980s the gang was heavily involved with drug trade.