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I was a Bloods member, and now I broker peace between warring LA gangs — here's what I learned

By Business Insider

Published : June 14, 2024 - 10:20

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Skipp Townsend was a member of the Rollin' 20s Avenue faction of the Bloods gang in Los Angeles for 27 years.

He became a member of the Bloods in the early 1980s. According to Townsend, this was for protection from the dominant Crips gangs in his neighborhood. He discusses his involvement in drug dealing and gang activities, as well as being a target of neighborhood drive-by shootings.

Townsend speaks with Business Insider about his experience as a gang member, the culture of the Bloods, and the rivalry with the Crips. He talks about gang tattoos, signs, and music. He also covers the role of celebrities and groups affiliated with the Bloods, such as Suge Knight and Death Row Records, in gang prevention within California.

After his release from jail, he began a career as a tow-truck driver and later founded the gang prevention and intervention organization 2nd Call to support local communities in LA, focusing particularly on the youth.