Tulsa's gang geography

Tuesday, February 22nd 2005, 10:15 am
By: News On 6

Tulsa's gang war is a reality that many would rather ignore. But knowing where the danger is, could make you safer.

News on 6 crime reporter Lori Fullbright says of the 175 gangs in the Tulsa area right now, three are the most violent.

The largest one is the Hoover Crips, specifically the 57's and 54's, which stands for 57th Street North and 54th Street North, followed by the Neighborhood Crips and some Bloods called the Red Mob gangsters.

While these gangs do follow a certain geography, Tulsa isn't a city of turf wars like LA and Miami.

A typical tattoo for the Neighborhood Crips is something similar to the North Carolina Tarheels symbol. It has the light blue colors. They fight with other Crips called the Neighborhood 107's, their colors are orange and navy. They both fight with the Red Mob gangster Bloods, a tattoo says Red Mob on top and bottom. The 187 in the middle is the California penal code for murder and the CK around the number stands for Crip killer.

So, why do they fight? Tulsa Gang Unit Sgt Van Ellis: "Some of its drug driven, illegal drugs, some people just enjoy conflict and gain status and notoriety just through the conflict and gangs given them an avenue to do that."

Tulsa Police say north Tulsa has a higher concentration of black gangs, while they see white gangs more in west Tulsa, Asian gangs in the 21st and Garnett area, Hispanic gangs near 31st and Mingo and a combination of white and black in the 61st and South Peoria area. Those areas follow typical population patterns.

But there are not turf wars as such; they fight more over incidents than territories so those areas are not any more dangerous to innocent citizens. Sgt Van Ellis: "Most people in Tulsa are more likely to get hurt in a car accident on the Broken Arrow Expressway than they are to be hurt by gangs."

By far, most of the gang violence is directed at other gang members. Tulsa Police say they're seeing new gangs, like the G-unit, modeled after a thug-rapper named 50-Cent.