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By 1971, a gang on Piru Street in Compton, California, known as the Piru Street Boys, was formed and associated themselves with the Crips as a set.
After two years of peace, a feud began between the Piru Street Boys and the other Crip sets.
The growth and power of the gang really took off in the early 1980s when crack cocaine hit the streets.
In the early 1980s, Crips sets began distributing crack cocaine in Los Angeles.
Washington had been against Crip infighting and after his death several Crip sets started fighting against each other.
The Crips leadership was dismantled prompting a deadly gang war between the Rollin' 60 Neighborhood Crips and Eight Tray Gangster Crips which began causing nearby Crip sets to choose sides and align themselves with either the Gangster Crips or Neighborhood Crips waging an all out war in South Central and other cities.
The name had no political, organizational, cryptic, or acronymic meaning, though some have suggested it stands for "Common Revolution In Progress", a backronym.
According to the film Bastards of the Party directed by a member of the Bloods, the name represented "Community Revolutionary Interparty Service" or "Community Reform Interparty Service".
In reality, they fight each other—for example, the Rolling 60s Neighborhood Crips and 83 Gangster Crips have been rivals since 1979.Initially, Crips leaders did not occupy leadership positions, but were recognized as leaders because of their personal charisma and influence.These leaders gave priority to expanding the gang's membership to increase its power.The Crips are one of the largest and most violent associations of street gangs in the United States, Stanley Tookie Williams met Raymond Lee Washington in 1969, and the two decided to unite their local gang members from the west and east sides of South Central Los Angeles in order to battle neighboring street gangs. Gang activity in South Central Los Angeles has its roots in a variety of factors dating back to the 1950s and '60s, including post-World War II economic decline leading to joblessness and poverty, racial segregation leading to the formation of black "street clubs" by young African American men who were excluded from organizations such as the Boy Scouts, and the waning of black nationalist organizations such as the Black Panther Party and the Black Power Movement.By 1978, there were 45 Crips gangs, called sets, operating in Los Angeles.
It would later turn violent as gang warfare ensued between former allies.