Those involved in the partnership say they’re not out to get cops.
Bloods, Crips, and members of the Nation of Islam. Image via Facebook, photo by Farajii Muhammad
In the midst of the protests for Freddie Gray in Baltimore, the city’s major gangs—namely the Crips, Bloods, and BGF—reportedly called a truce with the intent of protecting the community and standing together non-violently against police brutality.
The unlikely alliance, brokered by Nation of Islam activists according to The Daily Beast, evokes a near-identical situation back in the early 1990’s, when a similar pact was made right before the LA riots, which erupted in response to the police’s brutal beating of Rodney King.
Within 12 hours of the news, the Baltimore City Police Department published a press release warning officers that gang members had entered into a partnership to “take out” officials. Despite the absence of concrete evidence, the report goes on to describe the situation as a “credible threat,” and warns law enforcement officers to take necessary precautions for safety.
A video interview by WBAL TV shows gang members, Bloods and Crips, speaking out against these allegations here.
“We did not make that truce to harm cops. We did not come together against the cops. We will not allow you to paint that picture of us,” said one man wearing red in the video.
Another man, wearing blue, questioned the media’s role in projecting negative images of Baltimore residents. When the gang members and the Nation of Islam posted a photo of themselves, together, to commemorate their new partnership and their commitment to abandon violence, news media instead interpreted the alliance as a threat to police officers.
The Bloods and the Crips captured in the WBAL TV interview, however, say they speak only for themselves and for those involved in the agreement—they cannot be held accountable for the actions of every single gang member in the city. In the end, every man has a mind of their own. They estimate that around 30 Bloods and 30 Crips are united in the cause.
“I can say with honesty those brothers demonstrated they can be united for a common good,” Carlos Muhammad, a minister at Nation of Islam’s Mosque No. 6, told The Daily Beast. “At the rally, they made the call that they must be united on that day. It should be commended.”