I was having a conversation with some friends Sunday when the conversation came up about gang violence in the area. We have been somewhat insulated from this kind of activity but it does exist in the area. It made me wonder just where the worst areas for gang violence are located so I did some research and the top five cities in the United States might surprise you. The five cities are Long Beach, Los Angeles, Newark, Oakland and Oklahoma City. Oakland, Newark, and L.A. don’t surprise me but Long Beach and Oklahoma City do. That's according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which also found that homicides in each of those cities have their own local flavor. That report is based on data from 2003 and 2008 from the CDC’s National Violent Death Reporting System, comparing gang and non-gang data on violence and homicide.

Our conversation Sunday took us to gang activity used for initiation to gangs and it was quite interesting. Years ago drivers were told not to flash your bright lights at oncoming cars to remind them to turn down their bright lights because gangs would then target that car for violence. Now apparently gangs are parking cars on the sides of roadways with baby carriers placed on the ground behind the vehicle to make it appear that a woman is in distress and needs help. When women would stop to assist a fellow female, gang members would kidnap and rape her as part of their initiation to join the gang. Now I admit that this is hearsay and I was unable to authenticate that they were actually doing this activity, but it would not surprise me at all.

I suggest if you come across a situation like this to just call 9-1-1 and explain the situation but do not stop especially if you are a woman traveling alone. It appears the local police have got a pretty good handle on gang activity in the area but they could use your help.  If you see something suspicious going on, report it as soon as possible. Police Departments don’t control gang activity…people do.


More From 100.9 The Eagle, The Tri-States' Classic Rock Station