FLORENCE, S.C. — The Greater Wilson Heights Neighborhood Crime Watch group got some updated gang intel Monday evening.
A member of the Florence Police Department — the police requested the officer not be identified due to his role in the special investigation unit — made a presentation to the group Monday at the House of God Church located on Wilson Road.
The Gangster Disciples are probably the biggest gang in Florence, according to the officer.
“We probably see more of them in Florence than we do Crips and Bloods,” the officer said. “I’m not 100% sure on that, but they’re pretty close to be the top gang, if they’re not already the top gang.”
Later he added that the Gangster Disciples would clean up around some neighborhoods to maintain a positive image in the community.
Florence also has several smaller gangs that have local origins.
Among the gangs the officer listed were the Woodmont Boys, Quad, Y.B., M.P.R. — money, power, respect — as well as Y.T.N. and N.L.M.B., plus C.C.G., an all-girl gang the officer hasn’t seen much from lately.
There are also a few music groups that have some members that are involved in illegal activities. They include KAP Boys — keep applying pressure- — Blaccout and Gassquad.
The officer said Gassquad was probably the biggest group right now.
There are also gang initiations that happen. Usually, male members are beaten in, and female members — usually they’re used as mules — are sexed in.
One of the unique aspects of gang activity in Florence is that members of different gangs that are sworn enemies like the Bloods and the Crips will hang out together, especially if they have a previous association or are family members.
“They may be family, they may be best friends at the time, so they’re still going to hang,” the officer said. “They’re still going to do their own thing, but they’ll respect each other on the opposite sides on the playing field basically.”
These relationships make it difficult for the officers to determine who belongs to what gang.
Gang activities include murder, drugs and prostitution.
The officer also outlined some of the signs of gang membership. He reminded those at the meeting that no sign is absolute, but the more signs there are, the more likelihood there is of gang membership.
Among the signs are the use of the number five for Bloods, the number six for Crips and the use of 74 for Gangster Disciples.
Bloods use a five-point star.
Crips may use the Star of David possibly because the gang’s founder was named David.
Gangster Disciples, who are affliated with Folk Nation like the Crips, use 74 because G is the 7th letter of the alphabet and D is the fourth letter.
Also, each gang uses different colors — Bloods use red, Crips and Gangster Disciples use blue.
The gang members will use different sports teams to signify allegiance. Bloods will use Philadelphia teams, particularly the Phillies, because the Bloods were founded on a street with P name. They also use Dallas Cowboys gear because of the five-point star logo.
Crips and Gangster Disciples can use teams with blue colors, including Duke. They also might use disability signs. The gang uses Indiana Hoosiers gear because of the resemblance of the logo to a pitchfork, one of the gang’s symbols.
Other gang signs are long, exaggerated handshakes.
Gangs also will show disrespect to other gangs by changing letters. For example, Crips will use 6’s in place of B’s, and Bloods will use B’s instead of C’s.
Some members will also turn the other gang’s letters upside down.