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The Aryan Circle was founded by Mark "Cowboy" Gaspard in 1985. The Aryan Circle was started as a protection group for white inmates against African American and Hispanic American inmates.
Membership and identifiers
Membership into the group usually requires an assault on an enemy of the organization. The Aryan Circle touts four tenets: brotherhood, solidarity, loyalty, and dedication; these beliefs are represented on each side of a diamond patch.
Aryan Circle members sport common white supremacist/separatist tattoos such as swastikas, SS lightning bolts, and Celtic or Germanic symbols. The main patch of the Aryan Circle is a diamond with wood ingrade under the heart with a swastika and the letters "AC" in the center of a circle. However, due to the group being classified as a Security Threat Group, many no longer have the patch tattooed. Older members will have a small circle just below their left pectoral. They also acknowledge each other with patch numbers.
On August 10, 2007 Aryan Circle member Dennis Leighton Clem killed two police officers at a Budget Inn Motel in Bastrop, Louisiana in a shootout, in which he was also killed. Clem and his girlfriend were on the run after Clem shot at an SUV with black teenagers who had opened fire on an acquaintance, wounding him seriously, in front of his house in Houston on July 14. Two of the assaulting teenagers were killed, one was wounded.
Although the Aryan Circle was created by white supremacists, they were caught up in a bloody war with another white supremacist prison gang called the White Knights in the mid-1990s that cost the life of one White Knights member.
- Bob Campbell (23 January 2007). "Aryan Circle defendants win appeals". Midland Reporter-Telegram. Retrieved 20 March 2013.
- John Reynolds (25 March 2004). "Feds bust up Aryan Circle meth ring". Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. Retrieved 20 March 2013.
- Sentencing in Louisiana Police Shooting
- Louisiana slaying suspect caught in Harris County
- Rivalry with the White Knights published by caselaw.findlaw.com