Gangster Disciples

(Redirected from Englewood, Chicago shooting)

The Gangster Disciples are an African American street and prison gang, which was formed in the South Side of Chicago in the late 1960s, by Larry Hoover, leader of the Supreme Gangsters, and David Barksdale, leader of the Black Disciples. The two groups united to form the Black Gangster Disciple Nation (BGDN). The BGDN divided into different factions known today as the Gangster Disciples and Black Disciples.

Gangster Disciples
Gangster Disciples.gif
Gangster Disciples symbol
Founded1968; 54 years ago (1968)
FounderLarry Hoover
Founding locationSouth Side, Chicago, Illinois, United States
Years active1968–-present
TerritoryNortheastern, Midwestern and Southeastern United States[1][2]
EthnicityPrimarily African American[3]
Membership (est.)25,000–50,000+[4]
Leader(s)formally Larry Hoover
ActivitiesDrug trafficking, assault, firearms violations, fraud, homicide, money laundering[5]
Folk Nation[1]
Simon City Royals[7]
RivalsBlack P. Stones[1]
Latin Kings[1]
People Nation[1]
Vice Lords[1]
Black Disciples Mickey Cobras[9] Infamous Disciples


The predominant symbol of this gang is the six-pointed Star of David.[10] The Gangster Disciples use the upward crossed pitchforks ("forks"). The organization's colors are black and blue.[3]


The Gangster Disciples were established on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois in 1969 by Larry Hoover. Larry Hoover was the leader of his own gang called the Supreme Gangsters while David Barksdale was also the leader of his own gang called the Devil Disciples. They later united the two gangs in 1969 and called themselves the Black Gangster Disciples.[citation needed]

The Gangster Disciples were active in 110 cities and in 31 states, predominantly in the Midwestern and Southeastern United States, and remnants also maintain a significant presence in the U.S. prison system.[3][1] The gang had between approximately 50,000 and 90,000 members.[4] The Gangster Disciples first emerged in significant numbers in Memphis, Tennessee in the 1980s, the first modern street gang to do so.[11]

Gang violenceEdit

On July 3, 2005, men claiming to be members of the Gangster Disciples street gang killed Sergeant Juwan Johnson of the U.S. Army in the small town of Hohenecken near Ramstein, Germany. Prosecutors accused U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Rico Williams of being the first one to start attacking Johnson in a six-minute beating that he had to endure to join the gang. After the beating Johnson asked one of his fellow gang members to take him to the hospital. Williams then ordered his gang members not to take him there. Johnson later died from multiple blunt-force trauma injuries.[12][13][14]

According to the government's investigations, Williams was the leader of the gang set operating on base. Senior Airman Williams was sentenced to 22 years in prison, while other servicemen faced sentences ranging from 2 to 12 years. Some of the charges against the servicemen were: Williams, second-degree murder and witness tampering; Air Force Staff Sergeant Jerome Jones, conspiracy to commit assault, gang participation, and other charges; Airman Nicholas Sims and Army Sergeant Rodney Howell; involuntary manslaughter; Private Terrance Norman, voluntary manslaughter.[15][13][16]

The Gangster Disciples were implicated in the 2008 murders of member Cecil Dotson Sr., his fiancée Marissa Williams, fellow member Hollis Seals, and his girlfriend Shindri Roberson. Also killed were Cecil and Marissa's 4-year-old son Cemario and Cecil's son with Erica Smith, 2-year-old Cecil Dotson II. The toddler had been spending the night with his father and siblings. Severely injured in the attack were Cecil and Marissa's other three children nine-year-old Cecil Dotson Jr., five-year-old Cedric and two-month-old Ce'niyah.[17]

Allegations were originally made that the Gangster Disciples were responsible for the event which came to be known as "The Lester Street Massacre" and was featured in two separate episodes of "The First 48" on A&E. Cecil and his family were butchered by Dotson's own brother, Jessie, who eventually confessed to the killings. He was convicted on all counts and sentenced to six death sentences plus 120 years for the three children (his niece and nephews) that he attempted to kill. The Gangster Disciples were cleared of any involvement.[17]

On April 27, 2016, 32 members of Gangster Disciples were arrested on RICO charges by federal agents. Among the 32 arrested was a former Atlanta-area police officer who prosecutors say was a hit man for the gang. The indictment alleges that Gangster Disciples members committed 10 murders, 12 attempted murders, 2 robberies, the extortion of rap artists to force the artists to become affiliated with the Gangster Disciples, and fraud resulting in losses of over $450,000. In addition, the Gangster Disciples trafficked in large amounts of heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, illegal prescription drugs, and marijuana. The indictment also seek forfeiture of 34 different firearms seized as part of the investigation.[18]

On July 21, 2020, a car pulled up at a funeral home in Englewood, Chicago and at least two gunmen inside opened fire. Fifteen people were wounded, with no reported fatalities. The funeral was for a victim killed a week prior, and was allegedly involving a dispute between two Gangster Disciples factions.[19]

Larry Hoover states he has stepped down from and denounced the gang.[20]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Cartels and Gangs in Chicago (May 2017)
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ a b c The Gangster Disciples
  4. ^ a b "National Gang Threat Assessment 2009 - Appendix B. Street Gangs". National Gang Intelligence Center. January 2009. Archived from the original on 28 February 2011. Retrieved 25 October 2012.
  5. ^ "National Gang Threat Assessment 2009". National Gang Intelligence Center. January 2009. Archived from the original on December 14, 2011. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
  6. ^ a b Here’s what we know about the Gangster Disciple governor who was sentenced to 10 years in prison Echo Day, The Leader (December 12, 2019)
  7. ^ Community help movement ripped straight from gang literature Therese Apel, WLBT (November 3, 2019)
  8. ^ Follow Up: Man Charged in Cold Case Murder Caitlin Burgess, Patch (July 20, 2012)
  9. ^ GANG THREAT ANALYSIS: The Black Disciples George Knox, (2004)
  10. ^ "Drugs and Crime Gang Profile" (PDF). 2003. Retrieved July 3, 2017.
  11. ^ Gang Task Force
  12. ^ "Airman convicted of murder in 2005 Gangster Disciples initiation death". Retrieved 9 March 2015.
  13. ^ a b "Former Air Force Airman Sentenced to 22 Years in Prison For Murder of Army Sergeant in Germany". 15 November 2010. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
  14. ^ "Rico Williams sentenced to 22 years in 2005 slaying". Retrieved 9 March 2015.
  15. ^ "Airman convicted of murder in 2005 Gangster Disciples initiation death". Retrieved 9 March 2015.
  16. ^ "Rico Williams sentenced to 22 years in 2005 slaying". Retrieved 9 March 2015.
  17. ^ a b Supreme Court of Tennessee at Jackson. State vs. Dotson. 30 Sept. 2014. Find Law,
  18. ^ "Thirty-Two Gangster Disciples Members Federally Indicted on RICO Charges". 4 May 2016. Retrieved 29 September 2020.
  19. ^ "Gang feud likely cause of mass shooting at South Side funeral home, sources say". 23 July 2020.
  20. ^ "Larry Hoover tries again for sentencing break, says he wants 'nothing to do' with Gangster Disciples". 7 July 2022.

External linksEdit