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, Wisconsin, Alaska, and even the United Kingdom and Germany.
California Penal Code Section 187
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.
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.
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 Sublime in their song "April 29, 1992 (Miami)."
It is also used by Spice 1 in the song "187 Proof"
Another song that uses "187" is Big Pun ft Fat Joe Twinz [Deep Cover 98]
Many songs by the rap group Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. One of them is Neighborhood Slang
Sublime use the term in their song "April 29, 1992 (Miami)" referring to the riots and their feelings about the police after the beating of Rodney King.
Also used by deceased West Coast rapper Tupac 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"
- Scarcella, Michael A. (13 August 2005). "Rival gangs shoot it out: Manatee cracks down as violence escalates". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. p. A1.
- Hall, Andy (19 June 2005). "A Primer on Local Gangs". Wisconsin State Journal. p. A12.
- 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.
- Article from Hamburger Morgenpost (German)
- "Text of CA Code pen:187". State of California Penal Code. FindLaw. Retrieved 15 May 2012.
- For examples of these usages, see the Felony Bail Schedule, Superior Court of California, County of Santa Cruz.
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