Gang Expert – Quick Guide Questions


Investigator’s name, agency and duty assignment? How long has he/she been a gang investigator? What did he/she do prior to that? How many total years has he/she been working gangs? What are their duties as a gang investigator (tracks/familiarizes self with a specific gang, culture, habits, trends, rules, organization members, etc.)? Any particular gang he/she is assigned to track, and if so, which one?


What is the educational and professional background, training in gangs, especially a specific gang, field experience with gangs?  Describe experiences with a specific gang? Speak to members of specific gang (as defendants, witnesses, victims or simply talking on street)? Why would they talk to you – always representing themselves as a specific gang, proud to be in the specific gang? Speak to other officers on patrol about their experiences with a specific gang?  Do you have monthly and weekly meetings with patrol, other investigators about a specific gang? Have they served search warrant and arrest warrants on specific gang members? Conduct surveillance on specific gang meetings/members?  Are they familiar with rivals and alliances of the specific gang? Are they a member of any gang investigations or organizations? With respect to regional gang investigators networks, how often does that group meet? At those meetings are they able to share information with other investigators in their region?  Are you familiar with specific gang(s) in their jurisdiction?  How (investigations, members cross jurisdictions, hold meetings together)? Does their culture differ from the specific gang in other jurisdictions? Do you teach or present seminars on the specific gang?  Have they ever been accepted as an expert on the specific gang?



What does the specific gang name stand for? Where and how did it form? Where are they located? Do the various cliques throughout the US maintain contact with each other?  What is the structure in the area they operate? How long has the specific gang been present in the area? What cliques/sets are in this area (name some cliques)?  What do you know about the clique known as each specific clique?  How does one join the specific gang?  Can you get out of the specific gang and how? What is the purpose of “jumping in” (commitment, brotherhood, common bond, stepping up, etc.)?  Once in the gang, how do the specific gang members identify themselves as gang members (tattoos, clothing, graffiti, nicknames, throwing signs, drawings (use photos of tattoos, throwing signs, drawings, towel, clothing etc.)?  What role does reputation/respect play in relationships between the various gangs?  What is the importance of reputation/respect?  What is the role of fear in obtaining reputation/respect? Have you heard the term “homeboy”? What is it, significant in regards to the specific gang, [if applicable]? What roles does hacking up your fellow [specific gang] members play in establishing reputation/respect (obligated to back up)? What about reputation/respect within the specific gang? How is it earned/lost/increased? What rules/discipline does the specific gang have? Is the hierarchy of a clique demonstrative of reputations/respect?  How do gangs form alliances/rivalries? What are the specific gangs alliances in the area? Rivalries? Where do the rivalries come from?  If the specific gang encounters a person they believe to be from a rival gang, what is the
the specific gang member expected to do? What about his companions/homies? How does this play into reputation/respect? Suppose one of the the specific gang members backed down or did not participate,
what would happen?


Have the Officer/Investigator, look at: Photos of tattoos (of all defendants), towel, photos throwing gang signs, drawings. Do you have an opinion to a reasonable degree of professional certainty as to whether
this Defendant #1 is a member of a specific gang?  What effect would the Defendant’s membership in the specific gang have on his interaction with a person whom he believed to be from a specific rival gang, particularly if the Defendant was in the company of 2 other specific gang members? Opinions on the meaning of graffiti in the scene photos, the defendant’s tattoos, the hand signs used and the slogans shouted? Can you identify pictures of graffiti, pictures of the players mentioned at trial, pictures of
the defendant’s tattoos, etc.?