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 and elsewhere as a synonym for murder; this usage has been documented in Florida,[1] Wisconsin,[2] the United Kingdom,[3] Germany,[4] and Norway.[5] It also features widely in hip-hop culture, such as in Dr. Dre's "Deep Cover".

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]

Notable uses[edit]

In the song “Deep Cover” by Dr. Dre featuring Snoop Dogg made for the film of the same name, the lyrics “And screamin’ 1-8-7 on a undercover cop” are used in reference to the police code “187” used in Los Angeles.

In the song "April 29, 1992 (Miami)" by Sublime, Bradley Nowell used the lyrics "And screamin' 1-8-7 on a motherfuckin' cop," alluding to Dr. Dre’s song. The lyrics are related to the riots that ensued after the video evidence and eye witnesses of police brutality, the beating of Rodney King and the violence that was evident during that year.[7][8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Scarcella, Michael A. (August 13, 2005). "Rival gangs shoot it out: Manatee cracks down as violence escalates". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. p. A1.
  2. ^ Hall, Andy (June 19, 2005). "A Primer on Local Gangs". Wisconsin State Journal. p. A12. Archived from the original on November 6, 2012.
  3. ^ Scheerhout, John (April 2, 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 May 15, 2012.
  4. ^ Bromberg, Wiebe (February 22, 2011). "Messer-Angriff in der Sternschanze: Attacke im Florapark: Es ging um eine Frau" [Knife assault in the Sternschanze: Attack in the Flora Park: It was about a woman]. Hamburger Morgenpost (in German). Archived from the original on June 16, 2013. Retrieved March 13, 2020. [...] the perpetrator belongs to the "187" gang.
  5. ^ NTB, Mario Andrés Neira Torres (January 19, 2021). "23-åring dømt til fengsel for trusler mot Frp-politiker Jon Helgheim". Nettavisen (in Norwegian). Retrieved January 19, 2021.
  6. ^ For examples of this, see the Felony Bail Schedule, Superior Court of California, County of Santa Cruz.
  7. ^ "Rodney King Video of Beating Helped Drive Revolution". Huffingtonpost.com. March 3, 1991. Archived from the original on June 19, 2012. Retrieved June 8, 2020.
  8. ^ "April 29th 1992 – 25 Years Later – Long Beach Riots & Sublime's Account of the Events Memorialized In Song". legendaryrockinterviews.com. April 29, 2017.

External links[edit]