These Tattoos Could Be a Warning to Avoid the People Who Have Them
According to a 2015 FBI report, gang activity in the U.S. remains high and “street gangs exhibit few indicators of decreasing membership or criminal activity.” While metropolitan areas tend to be highly associated with gang activity, in truth gangs can be in any town or city. Subtle signs can help you identify gang members you may see on the street, so you know exactly who to avoid. These common gang tattoos can be hard to spot, but here’s a quick primer on what to look for.
One group researchers say that has become more prominent in recent years is white supremacists. Some of these group members may have an “88” or “14” tattoo. The “88” represents the letter “H,” the eighth letter in the alphabet and short for “Heil Hitler.” The “14” is in reference to the “Fourteen Words” coined by David Lane, “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children.”
The Aryan Brotherhood will signify gang affiliation with an “AB” tattoo. Clover leaves are also a common prison tattoo of these gang members.
Another common tattoo is a cobweb over the elbow, which can represent a long prison sentence. These tattoos can also appear on the neck or elbow.
Prison inmates or former inmates will also brand themselves with a 5-dot tattoo, or the “quincunx.” Four dots represents the four walls of a prison, while the fifth signifies the person inside.
Another dot tattoo affiliated with gangs is the triangular three-dot tattoo near the eye (or occasionally between the thumb and forefinger on the hand). This represents “mi vida loca,” a person who is unaffiliated with one specific gang and might do anything to gain membership.
One of the more commonly known tattoos associated with gang members is the tear drop beneath the eye, which often indicates that person has murdered someone.
The infamous Latin Kings gang members will often wear a five- or three-pointed crown, accompanied with abbreviations like LK, ALK, ALKN or ALKQN. If you notice a woman with a five-point crown, it could be an indicator she is a victim of sex trafficking and may need help.
Other gang members may choose acronyms to represent their affiliation, like in Britain where some have an ACAB (“All Cops Are B*stards”), or EWMN (Evil, Wicked, Mean, and Nasty), or MS (Mara Salvatrucha or MS13 gang).
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