Clothing - Is it worn
as a fad or as gang attire???
"Clothes make the man." or
so it has been often said. Clothing also, according to the style, color, and the manner it is worn, might indicate that the individual, a young man or a young female, is a gang member. Unfortunately, many of today's youths that are not connected with gang activity have adopted the same styles and manners of dress because it's "cool."
CLOTHES - THE LOOK
The advent of teens wearing baggies and the
gang-banger look, and more recently--the junkie look, does not
necessarily mean that gangs have arrived in a particular
neighborhood. Neither do graffiti, code words, and symbols
automatically translate into gang activity.
Growing out of the "grunge" look and with the
adulation of the hip-hop culture with its "attitude," baggies and shaved
heads, or gang attire, has become popular nation-wide among teens
including upper and middle-class white adolescents as well. Gang attire
is displayed everywhere as the chic fashion statement for young people.
It is shown all over MTV and other teen videos.
Professional and College Sports Wear - Youths today may be seen in groups on the streets, in school, in the mall, everywhere, all wearing similar types of clothing and hats with identical or similar colors. Does this mean that every youth dressed in this fashion is a gang member? Absolutely not!!!!!
If a youth wears a popular item of jewelry such as a six-point star, a five-point star, a crescent moon or a playboy bunny, does that mean he or she is a gang member? Again, absolutely not.
Wearing particular styles, types and colors of clothing,
colored bandannas, jewelry, shoes and other items, is not a positive indicator of gang affiliation. It is merely one of the indicators or factors to be considered when identifying gang members.
Gang style clothing worn by non-gang persons is extremely
In many areas, particularly where gangs are constantly involved in turf wars, where drive-by shootings are a common occurrence, where persons are frequently assaulted or murdered, many of the victims were identified as a rival gang member because he or she was wearing clothes of a particular color. Occasionally, youths with no gang connections, have become targets or victims because they too, were wearing the wrong colors or clothes.
Young people want to "look cool" and wear the latest fashion, including gang fashions. My advice is DON'T!!!
There is an old saying - If it walks like a duck, if it talks like a duck, if it looks like a duck, then it must be a duck.
In other words if you walk and dress like a gang banger, a real
gang banger may mistakenly identify you as a rival gang member. By
trying to be cool and by acting like a gang member you run the risk
of making yourself a target.
The links below are intended to
bring attention to what happens when your clothing makes you
look like a gang member.
Efforts to mandate clothing standards by school personnel have failed
miserably short of going to a school-wide uniform. In Bannister v Paradis (1970)
a lower court ruled that the prohibition of clothing because of style and taste
was unconstitutional unless such clothing imposed a danger to the health and
safety of others or caused a disturbance or other disruption (Lane et al.
1994:64). There have been numerous other cases dealing with clothes: one arguing
about skirt length -- Wallace V. Ford (1972), and another one dealing directly
with the issue of gang attire Olesen v. Board of Education of School District
No. 228 (1987). (Source: www.altenforst.de)
NOTE: It has been reported that some gangs are starting to change their clothing style by no longer wearing their colors in an effort to deceive law enforcement and conceal their gang affiliation
To learn about the significance of clothing, colors, jewelry and other items worn by gang members click onto the links below.
Professional and college sports teams clothing worn by street gangs.
The following information is an indicator as to how many gang members are using popular sports clothing to represent
their individual gangs. Both professional and college teams are represented.
should be noted that the sporting of clothing does not always signify gang
affiliation. This list was compiled to make the reader aware of possible gang
involvement. It should also be noted that street gangs have become aware
of the fact that law enforcement uses the wearing of colors as an indicator of