187 (slang)

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Section 187 (often referenced in slang simply as 187) of the California Penal Code defines the crime of murder. The number is commonly pronounced by reading the digits separately as "one-eight-seven," or "one-eighty-seven," rather than "one hundred eighty-seven."

The number "187" has been used by gangs throughout the United States as a synonym for murder; this usage has been reported as far away as Florida,[1] Wisconsin,[2] Alaska, and even the United Kingdom[3] and Germany.[4]

California Penal Code Section 187[edit]

California Penal Code section 187, subdivision (a) defines murder as "the unlawful killing of a human being, or a fetus, with malice aforethought." Subdivision (b) states that subdivision (a) does not apply to any person who commits an act that results in the death of a fetus if any of the following apply: (1) The act complied with certain Health and Safety Code sections (the California Therapeutic Abortion Act) or (2) The act was committed by a holder of a physician's and surgeon's certificate, in a case where, to a medical certainty, the result of childbirth would be death of the mother of the fetus or where her death from childbirth, although not medically certain, would be substantially certain or more likely than not, or (3) The act was solicited, aided, abetted, or consented to by the mother of the fetus.[5]

In California, suspects are usually charged by reference to one or more Penal Code (PC) sections. Thus, the charging documents for a suspect charged with murder would be inscribed with "PC 187(a)" or just "PC 187." If a suspect is charged with attempted murder, then the relevant code would be "PC 664/187" because attempt is defined in Penal Code section 664.[6]


The word was used by Snoop Dogg in the songs Deep Cover and Fuck wit Dre Day (And Everybody's Celebratin') by Dr. Dre. It was also used by A$AP Ferg and Waka Flocka Flame in their song Murda Something and by Tyga and Rick Ross in their song called "Dope."

It is also used in a song by Sublime in their song "April 29, 1992 (Miami)" referring to the riots and their feelings about the police after the beating of Rodney King.

There is a song by Senses Fail entitled "One Eight Seven" off their first album, "From the Depths of Dreams."

There is a song by 50 Cent entitled "Flight 187" as an iTunes bonus track from his Before I Self Destruct album.

There is also another song by 50 Cent entitled "Curtis 187" on the Curtis Special Edition album.

One of the members of the rap group Above the Law is named Cold 187um.

An album by the rapper Eazy-E is named It's On (Dr. Dre) 187um Killa. And another song by Dr. Dre "Let Me Ride"

It is also used by Spice 1 in the song "187 Proof"

Another song that uses "187" is Big Pun ft Fat Joe's Twinz (Deep Cover 98)

Many songs by the rap group Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. One of them is Neighborhood Slang

Also used by rapper Tupac Shakur in various songs including "How long will they mourn me?".

In 2014 it was used in August Alsina's song Benediction on his album Testimony, in reference to his brother who was murdered on the streets of New Orleans. "When I heard somebody kill my brother, 187"

It was used in the music video for Workout Video by Kanye West

There is a song by the French rapper Booba featuring Rick Ross entitled "1.8.7"

There is a song by Freddie Gibbs entitled "187 Proof".

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Scarcella, Michael A. (13 August 2005). "Rival gangs shoot it out: Manatee cracks down as violence escalates". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. p. A1. 
  2. ^ Hall, Andy (19 June 2005). "A Primer on Local Gangs". Wisconsin State Journal. p. A12. 
  3. ^ Scheerhout, John (2 April 2012). ""You thought I was joking":Facebook fury of jealous knifeman who stabbed 74-year-old woman at Chorlton bus stop". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 15 May 2012. 
  4. ^ Article from Hamburger Morgenpost (German)
  5. ^ "Text of CA Code pen:187". State of California Penal Code. FindLaw. Retrieved 15 May 2012. 
  6. ^ For examples of these usages, see the Felony Bail Schedule, Superior Court of California, County of Santa Cruz.

External links[edit]