East Side Crips

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Raymond Lee Washington, Co-Founder of the East Side Crips

The East Side Crips were the first ever Crip gang to form in East Los Angeles, California during the late 1960s. Raymond Lee Washington, the founder and leader of this group, grew up on 76th Street in East Los Angeles near Fremont High School (an area now inhabited by both the 76 East Coast Crips and Florencia 13). In late 1968, Washington organized a group of other neighborhood youths in the South Central district of Los Angeles and formed a gang called the "Baby Avenues". The Baby Avenues wanted to emulate a gang of older youths called the "Avenue Boys". The Avenue Boys, whose territory was on Central Avenue in the east side of South Central, had been involved in gang activity since 1964. The Baby Avenues then began using the name "Avenue Cribs" in reference to the gang members' relative youth. By 1969, "Crips" and the use of the word had taken the place of the gang's name. Meanwhile, Washington and other young African-American gang members influenced other area gangs resulting in the formation of many Crip sets. Some of these sets included the Avalon Gardens Crips, the Compton Crips, the Inglewood Crips and the West Side Crips. By late 1971 the Cribs were being referred to as the "Crips" by mainstream media and their reputation around Los Angeles grew. It was around this time when Washington met Stanley "Tookie" Williams, who lived in West Los Angeles, and recruited him into the Crips (he would later become an early member of the Westside Crips before moving to Compton in 1972). In 1999, Alex Alonso published a detailed history on the Crips in Territoriality Among African American Street Gangs in Los Angeles which in 2000 inspired the documentary, Lords of the Mafia (aka Gangsta King) which tells the story of how the Crips formed in Los Angeles. Raymond Lee Washington was killed on August 9, 1979 at the age of 25 on the corner of 64th and San Pedro Streets in Los Angeles, five months after Tookie Williams was arrested for quadruple murder. No one was was ever arrested in Washington's murder. Gangs whose roots can be traced back directly to the original East Side Crips include the East Coast Crips and the 43 Gangster Crips.