The Watts truce was a 1992 peace agreement among rival street gangs in Los Angeles, California, declared in the neighborhood of Watts. The truce was declared in the days just before the 1992 Los Angeles riots, and although not universally adhered to, was a major component of the decline of street violence in the city during the 1990s, 2000s and 2010s.
The Crips and their primary rivals the Bloods, had formed in the late 1960s and the 1970s, but by the 1980s the infiltration of rock cocaine and hi-powered weapons into poor inner-cities created infighting among factions. By the early 1990s, after 20 years of increasing gang warfare across public housing projects that saw peak crime rates in Los Angeles, gang members themselves began trying to stem the violence. A previous effort took place in 1988 the "Year of the Gang" deemed by the LAPD and City Leaders following the death of Karen Toshima in Westwood Ca. In July later that year the Rev. Charles Mims jr. and others organized A Gang Summit in South LA. At the time formal support for Gang Prevention was non-existent which meant this early effort did not have sustainability. In October of 1989 Minister Louis Farrakhan visited Los Angeles to deliver his Stop the Killing speech aimed at curtailing gang killings. He returned for part two at the LA Sports Arena in January of 1990 where hundreds of Crips and Bloods were in attendance.
In April of 1992, Crips and Bloods in the Watts neighborhood in southern Los Angeles convened to negotiate peace. The Grape Street Crips from the Jordan Downs Projects, the P Jay Watts Crips from the Imperial Courts housing projects, the Bounty Hunter Bloods from the Nickerson Gardens housing projects and the Hacienda Village Bloods agreed to have a cease fire agreement following the LAPD officer involved shooting death of Henry Pico in the Imperial Courts Housing Project. Representatives from these 4 gang sets signed an actual document on April 28th 1992 at a Masjid in Watts, Ca.  [a formal peace treaty modeled on a ceasefire 1949 Armistice Agreements reached between Israel and Egypt. Within days of the truce, despite the relative lawlessness caused by the 1992 Los Angeles riots, most of the African-American gangs in the city declared themselves at peace and there were no major flare ups in violence. The Watts truce is generally credited with contributing to the trend in declining street violence rates in Los Angeles.
- Duane, Daniel (January 2006). "Straight Outta Boston Why is the "Boston Miracle" – the only tactic proven to reduce gang violence – being dissed by the L.A.P.D., the FBI, and Congress?". Mother Jones. Retrieved November 9, 2013.
- Stoltze, Frank (April 28, 2012). "Forget the LA Riots – historic 1992 Watts gang truce was the big news". 89.3 KPCC Southern California Public Radio. Retrieved November 9, 2013.
Watts Gang Truce Activists. DeWayne Holmes, Twilight Bey