To schedule a speaker, please email Sgt. Jesse Hambrick or call him at (770) 577-5106.
What is a Gang?
Ask a group of kids what a gang is and most of them will respond with answers like, “a gang is a group of people that commit crime”, or a gang is “a group of people that scare people or do bad things”, or they may even tell you that a gang is “a group of people that all wear the same color and are violent towards other people”.
As a parent or community member have you ever stopped to think what a gang is to you? Depending on where you are from, you may know first hand what a gang is, or you may have some preconceived thoughts on what a gang might be. When most of us think of gangs, we probably think of outlaw motorcycle gangs, white supremacy groups, or even street level “thugs” that we have seen on television. So, what is a gang? Sometimes it pays to listen to the kids. In simple words…A gang is a group of people that distinguish themselves as a group and then commit crimes.
Most states and the federal government alike all have similar laws when it comes to gangs and gang related activity. In those laws, there is usually a strict definition of what a gang is. I would recommend that you check your local laws to better familiarize yourself with your state’s gang laws. In Georgia, the specific law for gangs is called the Georgia Street Gang and Terrorism Prevention Act. The intent of Georgia law is to combat the increasing problem related to criminal street gangs. The law was created to help identify and prosecute those that are involved in the criminal acts often associated to gangs.
Georgia law also gives a legal definition of what a gang is. Georgia code section 16-15-3 defines a gang as: A group of three or more people; associated together in some recognizable way; that engages in one act of gang related criminal activity.
The key things to understanding the law are that:
- The three people must be identified as part of the gang and this must be done by establishing association between the three. Association is defined as a common group name, or other common trait like hand signs, graffiti, colors, or clothing. Any gang indicator might be used as association as well.
- A separate crime must be committed by one of the members of the group in order for a gang charge to be added. In other words, you can not be charged for being in a gang if you never commit a crime. You can claim, look, or act like a gang member all you want as long as you don’t break the law.
- The three members of the gang do not have to be together when the crime is committed in order for one of them to be charged with a gang crime.
- In Georgia, only one criminal act is needed to have a gang charge added, but in some states multiple crimes are needed to show a “pattern of criminal gang related behavior”.
- Graffiti (drawing names and symbols).
- Gang names, logos, & nicknames written on personal property.
- Withdrawal from family/normal activities.
- New friends that parents don’t know.
- Staying out late at night.
- Secretive activities.
- Sudden changes in behavior and personality.
- Unexplained injuries, body markings, and tattoos.
- Unexplained gifts of money, expensive items or jewelry.
- Possession of weapons.
- Use of hand signs and/or body gestures when communicating with friends.
- Expressing a preference for one color or avoiding others.
- Skipping school/work.
- Multiple suspensions/expulsion.
- Shows strong disrespect for authority.
- Alcohol or drug use.
- Mentions the need for protection/weapons.
Indicators that there are gang related activities in your area:
- Clustering of rival groups.
- Movement of groups not common in your neighborhood (carloads of strangers).
- Reports of fights and arguments on school property.
- Increased gang graffiti.
- Violent incidents reported in the area.
- Sudden/excessive change in dress (groups wearing or displaying a particular color).
Most gangs choose a name for themselves that may show an allegiance to a specific geographical area or relay a common belief system. Some choose to call themselves a music group, clique, or squad to avoid the stigma and attention of being called a gang.
Most gang names are abbreviated into three or four letter combinations. Some of those abbreviations can be the same as other well known organizations to disguise the gang name and confuse others.
The following is a list of gangs known to have had some type involvement in Douglas County, Georgia. Some of those gangs are nationally known (traditional gangs) and some are local gangs (non traditional) and may be specific just to this particular area. The information about each gang’s involvement is from intelligence gained from officers, teachers, and members of the public. Some are confirmed gangs while information on others is limited.
- Douglas County Maffia (DCM)
- Surenos (SUR 13)
- Cross The Track Boys (CTTB)
- Nuestra Familia (Norte 14)
- Head Bitches In Charge (HBIC)
- Eighteenth Street (18th St)
- Clit Mob
- Cali Thirteen (Cali13)
- The Degraders (TD)
- Georgia Boys Incorporated (GBI)
- Bloods or Pirus
- Down South Georgia Boys (DSGB)
- Insane Gangster Disciples (IGD)
- Big Money Boys (BMB)
- Vice Lords (VL)
- Money Comes First (MCF)
- Lady Break Bread (LBB)
- Knock Out Kings (KOK)
- The Outsiders (O’s)
- Young Threats (YT)
- Ghost Click (GC)
- Douglasville Nazi Squad (DNS)
- Niggaz Bout Action (NBA)
- Black Gangsta Disciples (BGD) or Gangsta Disciples (GD)
- Young Trap Stars (YTS)
- Killa Maffia
- Squad Up
- The Family (DeFam)
- Lady Trap Stars (LTS)
- Golden Army Maffia Empire (GAME)
- Most Dangerous Clique (MDC)
- American Skins (A/S)
- Get Money Clique (GMC)
- Combat Eighteen (Combat 18)
- Local Celebrities (LC)
- Twurk Squad (TS)
- Grape Street Watts (GSW)
- Bounty Hunter Bloods (BHB)
- Pink Lemonade (PL)
- Money Over Bitches (MOB)
- Black Spades (BS)
- Money Over Everything (MOE)
- Nigga Break Bread (NBB)
Gangs often decide on a common color that shows allegiance to a larger nationally known gang. Some gangs may chose two or three colors, and to some gangs, colors mean very little.
It is often very difficult to distinguish gang related clothing from current style. Watch for members to wear the same colors all the time or at specific times when trouble occurs. Watch for groups of members that are all wearing the same color. Familiarize yourself with current gang clothing trends from internet sites or call law enforcement.
Gang Hand Signs
Most gangs use hand signs as a common form of communication. Often gang hand signs form numbers or letters to identify the group’s name. Hand signs of one gang are very offensive to another, and may incite tension and fights between the groups.
Gangs can use any symbol to identify themselves. Sometimes innocent looking symbols are used. Gangs may buy or design symbols for themselves. Some symbols are chosen based on their hidden meaning while others are quite obvious. Some symbols that look gang related may actually be.
Gang members often will tattoo, burn, or cut their gang name or logo onto their body. In some instances non-permanent ink markers are used instead of permanent markings.
Gangs will mark their area of operation with graffiti which lets other rival gangs know who controls that area as well as to intimidate local citizens.
Report Crime, Gang or Drug Activity Anonymously
For Emergencies dial 911
Douglas County Sheriff’s Office
8470 Earl D. Lee Blvd.
Douglasville, GA 30134
Non-Emergency phone: (770) 942-2121