European Kindred emblem.
|Founded by||David Patrick Kennedy|
|Founding location||Snake River Correctional Institution|
|Criminal activities||Drug trafficking, dog fighting, extortion, murder, assaults, home invasions, hate crimes|
|Allies||Aryan Brotherhood, Ku Klux Klan, Nazi Lowriders, Volksfront|
|Rivals||American Mafia, Bloods, Crips, Los Zetas, Israeli mafia, Mara Salvatrucha, Norteños, Jewish Defense League, Latin Kings, Russian Mafia, La Rosa|
The European Kindred or EK is a prison and street gang that began in the Oregon prison system. They are affiliated with the Aryan Brotherhood and the Ku Klux Klan. Their allies are Nazi Lowriders and Volksfront. Their main rivals are the American Mafia, the Bloods, the Crips, the Israeli mafia, Mara Salvatrucha, Norteños, and the Russian Mafia.
Parole and probation officers report the gang may have swelled from a handful of members less than a decade ago to around 350 now. EK members have a propensity for violence and are one of the most powerful gangs within the Oregon Department of Corrections.
The group was founded in 1998 by David Patrick Kennedy and another inmate of Eastern Oregon's Snake River Correctional Institution. Membership in the EK is nearly exclusively male, and membership is restricted to those with no more than one-sixteenth Native American ancestry. The group has a formal structure, rules, and ritual. It is highly secretive.
The gang has a reputation for extortion, assaults, moving contraband goods throughout the Oregon correctional institutions, and dog fighting. New members are encouraged to "earn their bones" (their membership) through hostile action consistent with the group's cause. There is no documented information indicating EK members attack prison guards. On the street EK members appear to be involved in the distribution and possibly manufacture of methamphetamine.
EK members mark their membership with the initials EK in a shield on their right calf or on other parts of their bodies. Women are associated with the group, but are marked with the initials FW. The initials represent prison slang: F stands for "feather", prison slang for female, and W stands for "wood", prison slang for a caucasian. Released members are attempting to recruit new young members both in prisons, jails and on the street. According to the Portland Tribune, EK members claim that they use high schools in the Portland, Oregon area to find new recruits.
In 2002, a county grand jury indicted Joshua Robert Brown, a 21-year-old, on charges of killing Anthony Cleo Wilson, a 47-year-old African-American. Joshua Robert Brown joined European Kindred in 2000 while serving a four-year sentence for robbery. After 3 weeks from being released, police claimed that Brown stabbed Wilson to death. Authorities say Brown's motive may have been that Wilson, who'd been busted for possession and manufacture of narcotics, sold him some bad or phony drugs, but they also believe it may have been a hate crime.
On August 10, 2016, European Kindred member Russell Courtier, 38, egged on by his girlfriend Colleen Hunt, 35, used his 1991 Jeep Wrangler to run over 19-year-old African-American Larnell Malik Bruce. This deadly incident happened after the couple began harassing Larnell Bruce at a Gresham, Oregon 7-11. Security cameras showed the teen attempting to avoid the jeep and escape before being hit. The police arrived after receiving a call from an employee of the 7-11 about the incident and found the teen bleeding, critically injured and lying in the street. Trials were eventually completed in March of 2019. On March 13th, Hunt pled guilty to manslaughter. Six days later, Courtier was convicted of murder and hate crime.
- Brenneman, Kristina (6 May 2006). "Lethal Ore. prison gang is rapidly growing". Archived from the original on 3 June 2009.
- Denfeld, Rene (2 November 2006). "Inside the EK". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016.
- Budnick, Nick. "Police are investigating the murder of a black man as a potential hate crime". Retrieved 3 March 2015.
- Holthouse, David. "Killer Kindred". Retrieved 3 March 2015.
- Budnick, Nick. "Kindred Killing". Archived from the original on 3 February 2006.
- Shepherd, Katie (13 March 2019). "Colleen Hunt Pleads Guilty to Manslaughter For Role in Running Down Black Teenager with a Jeep". Willamette Week. Mark Zusman. Retrieved 29 March 2019.
- Shepherd, Katie (19 March 2019). "Jury Finds Russell Courtier Guilty of Murder and Hate Crime in Killing of Larnell Bruce, Jr". Willamette Week. Mark Zusman. Retrieved 29 March 2019.