211 Crew

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211 Crew
Founding location Denver, Colorado
Years active 1995-present
Territory Colorado, Texas, California
Ethnicity White
Membership 300-1,000
Criminal activities Murder, weapons trafficking, drug trafficking, robbery, assault, inmate prostitution
Allies Juggalos, Aryan Brotherhood
Rivals D.C. Blacks

211 Crew is a white supremacist prison gang, active both in and out of prison, that was formed in 1995 at Colorado's Denver County Jail. It was linked to several high-profile murders and criminal investigations. Those included the assassination of Colorado Department of Corrections head Tom Clements. Due to a threatening letter sent by a Texas Aryan Brotherhood member, it was suspected to be linked to similar assassinations of Texas district attorney Mike McLelland, and his assistant prosecutor Mark Hasse, but a former Justice of the Peace was eventually indicted for those murders.[1][2][3][4]

Formation[edit]

The gang was formed in 1995 after founding member Benjamin Davis was beaten and nearly killed in a racially-motivated attack by a black inmate. Davis was jumped and beaten with a sock stuffed full of soap bars, resulting in a badly broken jaw. Davis decided to form a gang in order to protect himself, and other white inmates, from the black and Latino gangs. 211 Crew began as a deception to fool black and Latino gangs into thinking that a white gang was present to protect white inmates. As the rumor grew within the institution, men soon started asking about membership and 211 Crew became a prison gang. As members got released they started recruiting on the street level. [1][2]

Racism and ideology[edit]

When founded, the gang took on Irish, Nazi and Viking identities and some members tattoo themselves with shamrocks, viking horns, swastikas and other Nazi symbolism. Gang members, who refer to each other as "Irishmen", are banned from having sex with non-whites, and it is alleged they have ties to the Aryan Brotherhood, leading many to classify it as a white supremacist prison gang. However, it maintains positive relations with the Juggalos,[5] a multi-ethnic gang, and 211 Crew members, including its founders, have been documented with ties to black inmates. Israel Davis, father of founding member Benjamin Davis, has stated that his son is not a racist and has two black siblings. However, 211 Crew gang members have also been linked to racially motivated murders against African Americans, making the gang's official stance on race unclear.[1][2][6]

Notable incidents[edit]

In 1997, African immigrant Oumar Dia was murdered by 211 Crew gang members while waiting for a bus in Denver.[1]

In 2013, 211 Crew member Evan Spencer Ebel murdered Colorado Department of Corrections head Tom Clements before fleeing to Texas, where life support was removed a day after he was mortally wounded in a shootout with law enforcement.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Mitchell, Kirk. "211 Crew prison gang's violent culture roils behind, beyond bars". The Denver Post. Retrieved 2013-09-04. 
  2. ^ a b c Ryan Parker. "211 Crew, supremacist group, involved in high-profile crimes". The Denver Post. Retrieved 2013-09-04. 
  3. ^ "Kaufman County, Texas, on edge after 2 prosecutors killed". CNN.com. Retrieved 2013-09-04. 
  4. ^ McClelland Archives, Dallas Morning News. Retrieved 29 March 2014.
  5. ^ "Juggalos: Emerging Gang Trends and Criminal Activity : Intelligence Report". Info.publicintelligence.net. Retrieved 2013-09-04. 
  6. ^ "211 Crew prison gang's violent culture roils behind, beyond bars". The Denver Post. 26 March 2013.