Gang activity in Denver
Gang activity and associated crime is a long-standing concern in Denver, Colorado. The city's street gang activity received statewide attention in 1993 when a "Summer of Violence" increased public awareness of gang-related violence and led the state to enact harsh penalties for crime by juveniles. From 1992 to 1995, Denver had 331 murders: 95 in 1992, 74 in 1993, and 81 each in 1994 and 1995. Gang-related crime has continued, as shown by the New Year's Day 2007 drive-by shooting of Broncos cornerback Darrent Williams by members of the Tre Tre Crips, an East Denver street gang. In 2017, the city's police estimated that there were 38,000 gang members in Denver, affiliated with 220 gangs. This seems comical considering that metro Denver only has 2.9 million people. The Rollin 30s or Tre Tre Crips still have a powerful presence in the Denver area. In 2017 there were an estimated 2000 Bloods and Crips from Denver. These gangs are in various locations including 5 Points, East Denver, Commerce City, Englewood, Aurora, North-East Park Hill and Federal Heights. Crips and Bloods have been commonly sighted almost all over Denver, even in the suburbs outside the city.
Two nationwide street gangs with predominant African-American memberships, the Crips and the Bloods, have had a sustained, powerful presence in the Denver area. There were an estimated 2000 Bloods and Crips native to the city of Denver. The Bloods and Crips in Denver exist in areas such as North-East Park Hill, East Denver, Aurora, Lakewood, Englewood, Commerce City, and Capital Hill. Denver’s Bloods and Crips have chosen Colfax Ave. as a borderline separating the two gangs. As of 2017, it was estimated that there were 20,000 Chicano gang members in the city, belonging to about 160 gangs. In 2009, law enforcement agencies identified a local Hispanic gang on Denver's west side known as the Gallant Knights Insane as having been responsible for crack cocaine and firearms trafficking, homicides, drive-by shootings, aggravated assaults, home invasions, and robberies in the area.
211 Crew was created by Benjamin Davis in 1995 as a way to protect the minority of white inmates in county jail. It has since expanded throughout Colorado and reached the streets. Allied with the Aryan Brotherhood, 211 Crew is known for brutal acts of violence, including the shooting of Deputy Warden Tom Clements at his home in 2013 as an act of revenge for moving gang shot callers and disrupting the gang's hierarchy.
Englewood Tre Mafia is a small gang in the suburb of Englewood that is founded off of teens from the 5 Points area in Denver. The gang recruits mostly teens and is known for wearing blue clothing, blue LA hats and bandannas. The gang was influenced by the Denver Rollin 30s Crips. Police did not discover this gang until late 2017. People in the area were very surprised that the gang was so close to the Greenwood Village area. ETM is a mixed racial gang and is a threat that has always existed in the Englewood suburb. This gang is closely related to 303 Mafia, a tagging and drug trafficking gang that is also situated in the Englewood area. The gang is known for frequenting Lakeview Park, and its members do not wear a uniform color. A Hispanic street gang called the North Side Mafia has been involved in various criminal activities such as homicide, robberies, and drug trafficking. The 18th Street gang, a Los Angeles gang, reportedly has had a large presence in Denver due to gang members who relocate to the city to avoid probation problems in Southern California. Other more nationally recognized street gangs in Denver are the Rollin' 30, which are located on Denver's East Side, and the Inca Boyz on the South West side. Denver's gang activity has expanded into adjacent areas such as Aurora, Commerce City, Edgewater, Lakewood, Sheridan, Mountain View, Twin Lakes, Sherrelwood, Thornton, Federal Heights, and Englewood.
Movement against gangs
There are social service groups in the community engaged in discouraging young people from becoming involved in gangs. Some of their efforts were featured on the TV program Gangland in March 2010 in an episode entitled "Mile High Killers" that was perceived locally as having misrepresented their work and possibly promoted violence between rival gangs. Also misrepresented were certain people featured. They spoke solemnly of the past and present and the hardened version of people which promoted gang violence in Denver boosting the amount of crime from 2017 to present.
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- Mark Wolf, Denver gangs: 'domestic terrorism', Rocky Mountain Live blog, Rocky Mountain News website, January 18, 2007. Accessed December 6, 2010
- David Holthouse (2001-11-08). "This Thug's Life - Page 1 - News - Denver". Westword. Retrieved 2010-07-28.
- Federal Bureau of Investigation (2009). "Gang Success Stories". Fbi.gov. Archived from the original on 2010-11-25. Retrieved 2010-11-19.
- Luke Turf (2007-02-22). "The Transformers - Page 1 - News - Denver". Westword. Retrieved 2010-07-28.
- "Aurora zeros in on gang crime count : Local News". The Rocky Mountain News. 2008-04-30. Retrieved 2010-07-28.