The Bloods are a street gang founded in Los Angeles, California. The gang is widely known for its rivalry with the Crips. They are identified by the red worn by their members and by particular gang symbols, including distinctive hand signs. The Bloods are made up of various sub-groups known as "sets" between which significant differences exist such as colors, clothing, and operations, and political ideas which may be in open conflict with each other. Since their creation, the Blood gangs have branched out throughout the United States. Bloods have been documented in the US military, found in both US and overseas bases. The Bloods gang was formed initially to compete against the influence of the Crips in Los Angeles.
The origin of the Bloods and their rivalry with the Crips dates to the 1970s, where the Pirus street gang, originally a set, or faction, of the Crips broke off during an internal gang war, and allied with other smaller gangs to found the gang that would eventually become known as the Bloods. At the time, Crips sets outnumbered Bloods sets by three to one. To assert their power despite this difference in numbers, Bloods sets became increasingly violent, especially against rival Crips members. The Pirus are therefore considered to be the original founders of the Bloods. During the rise of crack cocaine
, the gang's focus shifted to drug production. Bloods sets operate independently of each other, and are currently located in almost all States. Blood sets on the East Coast are often seen as affiliated with the United Blood Nation, a gang which originated in Rikers Island. Their gang activities include: Murder, Drug trafficking, Robbery, & Extortion. They are allies with the People Nation & Latin Kings. They're rivals are Crips, Folk Nation, Sureños.