A street gang in Colorado can be defined as an ongoing criminal organization, association, or group of three or more individuals, whether formal or informal.
(The Colorado Statutory Language on the definition of a gang can be found in the Colorado Revised Statutes at 18-23-101 CRS.)
A gang member is any person who actively participates in criminal gang activity with knowledge that its members engage in or have engaged in a pattern of criminal activity, and who willfully promotes, furthers, or assists in any felonious criminal conduct by members of that gang. In other words, gang members are criminals whose actions may range from drug dealing to crimes of violence. Gangs often thrive on intimidation, notoriety and may find violence not only to be glamorous, but necessary in establishing their gang's reputation.
Gang members may participate in a pattern of criminal gang activity. This activity can be defined as the commission, attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation of two or more criminal acts, including racketeering, which are committed on separate occasions or by two or more persons.
Identifying Gang Members
Most gang members are proud of their gang and freely admit their membership. Many may have tattoos and dress in a style identifying their particular gang. Their personal property is frequently covered with graffiti, the gang’s logo, and the members gang name (moniker).
Individual gang members often have a nickname or moniker that fits the individual’s physical, personal or psychological traits. Gang members are also known to "throw signs" with their hands to identify their gang.
- Gang names.
Gangs generally identify themselves by a name derived from a street, neighborhood, or housing project where they are based or from a rap group they like, or cult they follow.
- Street Gangs.
Some gangs are territorial in which the gang may have its own turf with graffiti that marks its boundaries. Anyone not belonging in that area and who resembles any rival gang members may become the subject of attack.
- Dress and Hair.
Many gang members dress in the same manner. It may include sagging trousers, knit caps, white t-shirts, or professional team jerseys. Gang members may wear plaid shirts in colors like blue, brown, black or red. These shirts are worn loose and untucked.
- Graffiti...The Danger of Writing.
A problem which affects neighborhoods in a variety of ways is graffiti. Without a doubt, this type of vandalism decreases property value in residential neighborhoods and creates a sense of concern about safety. Of greater concern than the property damage is the random violence often associated with gang graffiti. Gang members may use graffiti to mark their "turf" or territory, declare their own allegiance to the gang, advertise the gang’s status or power, and to challenge rivals.
When a neighborhood is marked with graffiti indicating territorial dominance, anyone in the neighborhood could be at risk. It is important for people who see graffiti to report it to police as soon as possible because it may contain useful information. It is also important to clean up the graffiti quickly after it has been documented by police.
Related Link: www.gangsorus.com