In Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood during the mid-1970s, the Latin Kings and Latin Eagles were rivals. I started discussing their rivalry one day with the Kings on the left and right when they pulled out their guns and staged this scene. The Kings had somehow obtained a Latin Eagles sweater and the sewed the Eagles’ patch on upside down as a sign of disrespect. The man in the middle is also a Latin King; they’re pretending he’s a Latin Eagle. Their intention was to show me what they would do to the Latin Eagles. This was how they struggled for power and respect.
I recently asked one gang member why kids joined gangs. His reply: they’ve been bullied and want protection. Sadly, they often find that the “protection” they sought leads to more violence and danger. The daughter of the man on the left told me that he was murdered at a young age in a particularly gruesome fashion.