Tuesday, April 06, 2004

In response to my last posting about prison comms between inmates and the number thirteen, a very astute reader asked if there was any connection to the X3 tag she's observed around LA. There is.

The X in X3 is the roman number 10. So X and 3 add up to 13. She further asked if the letters that precede X3 is the actual gang name. And once again she's right.

Generally speaking there are two broad categories of tags. There are those done by tagging crews who may or may not yet be affiliated with a gang. They'll generally have the name of the crew on top and the monikers of the individual crew members stacked below that. On occasion, you might see a tagging crew that also affixes the 13 or X3 suffix to their crew name. This may be an indication of allegiance to an actual gang who in turn is a SURENO gang. You may also find SUR or SUR13 added to the gang name.

A pure gang tag will follow roughly the same protocol -- gang name on top, maybe the 13 or SUR suffix and then the names of the gang members. However, by the time individuals are actually jumped in, they're well-known enough by law enforcement that they don't need or want to advertise their gang association. That's just common sense. Why give the cops another piece of evidence that you're a banger. So you'll just see the the gang name and sometimes the X3 or 13.

For instance, the reader noticed a CPAX3 on a pedestrian overpass to the beach in Santa Monica and wondered what it meant. She said it had no other names with it. If I'm not mistaken, CPA is CANOGA PARK ALABAMA and X3 of course, is 13. Santa Monica is a long, long way from CANOGA PARK. I don't think whoever put it there is claiming Santa Monica for CPA. Probably a youngster just screwing around.

Some gangs, of course, are resistance gangs also known as tax-free gangs. They're locked in eternal combat with Eme over taxation and will never put a 13 suffix on their name. More later.

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