The Venice Shoreline Crips formed out of the extreme poverty and racism in Venice's Oakwood neighborhood, which was originally labeled as a "servant's zone" by Venice founder Abbot Kinney and one of the few places within a mile of California's coastline where blacks could own property. Due to restrictive covenants that enforced racial segregation, Oakwood was set aside as a settlement area for blacks and the population increased rapidly as hundreds moved to Venice to work in the oil fields during the 1930s and 1940s. Into the 1950s, the City of Los Angeles had neglected Oakwood so much that it became known as "the ghetto by the sea" with unpaved narrow streets leading to run down bungalows, many of which lacked foundations.
While unemployment soared with the closing of the oil fields, the 1960s brought drugs and racial tensions to Oakwood and gang membership began to rise among the already established Venice 13 gang. Inspired by the Black Power Movement and after a series of militant black riots in Venice in the late 1960s the Shoreline Crips were founded alongside some of the original Crip gangs formed by Tookie Williams and Raymond Washington in South Central Los Angeles. In the 1980s as crack cocaine was introduced and gangs began focusing more on money rather than their original politics, the Shoreline Crips became heavily involved in the narcotics business in Oakwood and on the Venice Boardwalk as well.
Leading into the 1990s gunfire was heard nightly as the Shorelines warred with rival Culver City 13 after Shoreline cliques were pushed out of the Mar Vista Gardens projects. Shortly after, Oakwood exploded as a war broke out between the Shorelines and Venice 13 over control of the Venice drug trade until a cease-fire was arranged between the two gangs. In the 1990s, when newly arrived white homeowners took residency in and around the area, causing Los Angeles to combat the gang problem. Although even after a series of raids, injunctions, and other measures against them, the Shorelines have maintained a steady control over their territory with their numbers ranging in the several hundreds.
In the early 1990s, the Shorelines became involved in a war with the neighboring Venice 13 gang over control of Oakwood's drug trade, which left almost two dozen people dead in 9 months. Eventually V13 acquired the support of fellow Sotel 13, Santa Monica 13, and Culver City 13 Sureños gangs through the Mexican Mafia and the war eventually ended with a cease-fire negotiated between V13 and the Shorelines in exchange for a new community center in the Oakwood neighborhood.
The Venice Shoreline Crips are rivals with the many of the surrounding Latino gangs such as the Santa Monica 13, Santa Monica 17th St, 18th Street and the Culver City 13. The Shorelines has also rivals with numerous Crip gangs including the Playboy Gangster Crips, Graveyard Gangster Crips, the Rollin 40's Crips, Rollin 60 Neighborhood Crips, Grape Street Watts, and all Blood gangs.
The war with the Culver City Boyz spilled into the lives of many not affiliated with gangs as bystanders and parents began being shot at on a regular basis.
- Blankstein, Andrew; Winton, Richard (2008-02-20). "19 arrested in Venice gang sweep - Los Angeles Times". Articles.latimes.com. Retrieved 2010-08-02.
- "Murder of Sarai Ribicoff". Virtualvenice.info. Retrieved 2010-08-02.
- Winton, Richard; Becerra, Hector (2007-12-24). "Killings decline sharply in L.A. - Los Angeles Times". Articles.latimes.com. Retrieved 2010-08-02.
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