Gang tattoos mark a person as part of a street gang. They symbolize membership. They represent the wearer's beliefs. And sometimes they record acts of violence or even murder.
Every gang has its own set of tattoos,markings, and symbols. A few symbols, like a teardrop under one eye to represent either a murder or the death of a loved one, cross gang boundaries. But for the most part, the gang-related ink represents specific beliefs or gang affiliations and typically are similar to the symbols used in drawings or taggings.
When a gang member gets a tattoo, it's often done by another member, an affiliated tattoo artist, or while in prison. Both the person doing the tattoo and the person getting it know what it means. Typically tattoo shops will not do a gang tattoo which leaves a good majority of the gang tattoos done by members in the gang.
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