The Hoover Criminals Gang (HCG) began as an African-American street gang located in the western district of South Los Angeles, California. Known as The "Hoover Groovers" in its earliest conception, this gang pre dates the formation of the Crips during the late 1960's era. Their name derives from a thoroughfare called "Hoover Street" which is situated between Vermont Avenue and Figueroa Avenue in the heart of their territory. Youthful members of the Hoover Criminals have adopted the color orange but still wear the traditional blue color associated with the Crips. Their universal hand sign is the thumb tucked in between the index and middle finger to represent the letter "H" for "Hoover" . At one time The Hoovers were one of the most feared gangs in Los Angeles in the post "Watts" era. They were one of the very first gangs to challenge Stanley Tookie Williams' West Side Crips. After an incident nearly brought the two factions at an all out war, the leaders of both the Hoovers and the West Side Crips came to an agreement and joined forces against a common enemy at the time known as the "Figueroa Boys"; prompting the Hoovers to adopt the Crips moniker into their name by the mid 1970s. In the August of 1979, Raymond Lee Washington was murdered in a drive-by shooting. Rumors of the shooters spread throughout the streets of Los Angeles and the blame for his death was placed squarely at the feet of the Hoover Crips by The East Side Crips, sparking a deadly war between the Hoovers and Crip gangs still friendly towards Raymond Lee Washington, who by then had become disenfranchised with the Crips. By the late 1980s, The Hoovers were engaged in bitter rivalries with several different Crip sets. It was also during the crack cocaine epidemic of the 1980s when The Hoovers became one of the most notorious street gangs to participate in the drug trade thanks in part to the efforts of Ricky “Freeway” Ross, who was affiliated with this gang . By the mid 1980s The Hoovers had become one of the most feared street gangs in South Central, Los Angeles. Their brutal reputation for gun violence made them one of the first suspect’s to be blamed for gang-related shootings and gained them many enemies; many of whom were also Crips. Amid their ever growing list of Crip rivals, The Hoovers eventually dropped their "Crip" affiliation and created the "Criminal" card thus adopting the "Hoover Criminals" identity by the mid 1990s. Today, active members of The Hoovers are sworn enemies of both Bloods and Crips; specifaclly gangs who fall under the Neighbor Hood Crips card. With their roots as a Crip gang, The Hoovers have traditionally been hostile towards all Bloods, in particular the LA Denver Lane Bloods and Crenshaw Mafia Gang. Other Blood rivals include the Family Swan Bloods, Harvard Park Brims, Van Ness Gangster Brims and the Fruit Town Brims. Despite their many Blood rivals, it should be noted that their war with Neighbor Hood Crip gangs are more bitter and intense than any Blood rivalry. Some Neighbor Hood Crip or Rollin 0's rivals include the Menlo Crips, the East Coast Crips, the Raymond Avenue Crips, the Pimp Town Gangster Crips, Rollin 30s Harlem Crips, Rollin 40s Neighborhood Crips, Rollin 50s Neighborhood Crips, Rollin 60s Neighborhood Crips, Rollin 90s Neighborhood Crips, Rollin 90s West Coast Crips and the Rollin 100s Crips. Due to their affiliations with rival Deuce(2x) gangs, The Hoovers have also engaged in warfare with gangs who fall under the Gangster Crip card as well such as the 87 Gangster Crips, 97 Gangster Crips and the 4 Pacc Crips. This occurance prompted The Hoovers to adopt the “ABK” or “EBK” mantra which stands for "Anybody Killer" or "Everybody Killer". It was common to see “BK” (Blood Killer) as well as “CK” (Crip Killer) and “OK” (Rollin 0’s Killer) spray painted on the walls within their territory. In addition to their Blood and Crip rivalries, The Hoovers are also enemies of most Sureños gangs, specifically the Crazy Riders 13 and South Los 13. Over the years, The Hoovers have developed relationships with other gangs outside of the Hoover Criminals umbrella. They were once involved in a short lived three way truce between themselves, the Inglewood Family Gang and the Eight Tray Gangster Crips that was coined the "Movin', Su Woopin' & Groovin'" alliance during the early to mid 2000s. This ceasefire was brought about due to their shared hatred for all Neighbor Hood Crips; specifically the Rollin 60s Neighborhood Crips and Rollin 90s Neighborhood Crips. However, the volatile relationship between the Eight Tray Gangster Crips and other Hoover Criminal sets claiming "Gangster Killer" ended that partnership. Despite this, The Hoovers remained friendly towards the Inglewood Family Gang, causing friction between the IFG and the LA Denver Lane Bloods. While incarcerated, members of The Hoovers have been known to be friendly towards different Piru sets amid their recent disenfranchisement with the Blood Alliance. Being friendly towards adjacent Gangster Crip sets such as the 51 Trouble Gangster Crips and the Eight Tray Gangster Crips, the 52 Hoover Gangster Crips retained their "Gangster Crip" identity making them the only Hoover set to do so. Additionally, the 74 Hoover Criminals Gang are allies of the Insane Crips in Long Beach, known as the "Hoosane" alliance. The Hoovers are also allies of the Gardena Shotgun Crips and the 99 Mafia Crips. They were once allies of the Main Street Mafia Crips, but a shooting of a young member of the 94 Hoover Criminals Gang at a house party on Main Street Mafia Crips turf ended that relationship on a sour note . The Hoovers also have the distinction of having many official sets founded outside of Los Angeles County by former members from California. Some of these sets include the 74 Hoover Crips off shoot set in Seattle, Washington along with the 112 Hoover Criminals Gang, 107 Hoover Criminals Gang and the 74 Hoover Criminals Gang in Portland, Oregon. Other factions can be found in Houston, Texas and Oklahoma City. Today, there are many different neighborhoods in conflict with The Hoovers which includes several neighborhoods from Vernon Avenue to Century Blvd. Minimizing the conflict that they have with their many Crip rivals and other neighborhoods would be very effective in curbing gun violence in Los Angeles County, but also the internal conflict that The Hoovers have would also need to be addressed.