6 US Cities Heavily Influenced by Gang Activity
Updated: May 4
Although gangs aren’t often talked about in many cities in which they aren’t prevalent, in those where the groups run around town and cause violence, they are a real concern. While one dangerous person is something to fear, a group of them is even scarier, with gangs posing a threat to anyone who might cross their path or upset them. With a few towns hoping to decrease gang violence, here are the ones that are having trouble, as they’re the U.S. cities overtaken by gangs.
For those outside of the south, Birmingham, Alabama might be perceived as a place with old history and deep roots. Unfortunately, it’s still a city divided by racism, rampant poverty and separation of classes, which is evidence by the gang violence and high drug usage. With historic crime rates over the years, Birmingham continues to see itself on lists mentioning the most unsafe cities in the country—which isn’t something residents prefer to see.
With the reputation as the heroin capital of the United States, Baltimore, Maryland has proven that the former TV show The Wire wasn’t too far off in its plot, as murder and gang-related violence continues to take place. With a crime rate of 65 per 1,000 residents, Baltimore deals with high murder rates, aggravated assaults and armed robberies.
Like others on this list, the southern city of Memphis, Tennessee continues to struggle with racial boundaries and prejudice, causing a separation between many of the residents. One major factor in that has been the influx of gangs in the city, with violent crimes continuing to occur at a record pace. Beale Street might be known for blues music and barbecue, but it can get a bit sketchy when wondering around at night, especially if intoxicated and alone.
While the No. 1 violent crime in Oakland, California is robbery and not murder, the city by the bay is still one bad place for gangs to migrate to. Rather than flock to its wealthier neighbor, San Francisco, gangs see an opportunity in Oakland to get what they want to thank, in part, to a depressed economy and high drug usage, making it a magnet for crime.
Home to one of the notorious street gangs in the country, MS-13, Atlanta, Georgia has seen an influx of gang-related violence in recent years. The gang has even spread to other parts of the world, leaving an impact that is traced back to the southern state that those in the city want no part of. From robberies, assault and murder, each increased over the past few years, with the cause often being drug-related between gangs.
There’s a reason why Detroit, Michigan continues to be ranked among the most dangers cities in the United States, and a lot of it has to do with the prevalent gangs that occupy the city. The economic situation in the city is well-known—Detroit filed for bankruptcy and is still trying to recover—and the violent crime-rate is about five times what the national average in other cities is. With people on the street and gangs roaming, Detroit continues to try and overcome.