St. Paul police investigator provided additional information on Friday, March 23, about the True Blood 22 gang, after nine reputed gang members were charged in the rape of a 14-year-old girl in St. Paul. Some of this appeared in Emily Gurnon’s article: The True Blood 22 gang started in St. Paul about five years ago, said the gang investigator who couldn’t be identified because of the nature of his work. “It was a lot of younger kids whose (older) brothers were Crazy Bloods or CB’s,” he said. “They formed their subset or their own hybrid gang.” Now, there are about 40 members, both adults and juveniles. The 22 in the name is two references to the second letter of the alphabet, so BB or “Blood Brother.” The rapes were not a gang initiation, the investigator said. It’s “one of the things that they like to do — find these young girls, get them drunk and then have sex with them.” The investigator said, “These guys are smart guys and they know what to prey on.” There are “quite a bit of sex crimes” involving gangs overall, the investigator said. “In most gangs you’re going to find that they treat women, girls almost as second class and it’s kind of a power thing with them,” he said. “… It’s been going on forever with the gangs.” A big problem, especially in the Hmong culture, is “these girls are afraid to come forward,” the investigator said. “They don’t want to bring shame on the family, so a lot of times it goes unreported. That’s one of the things we’re trying to get out there, that it’s OK to report this, it’s not their fault.” Police are looking at other cases involving members of this gang who may have raped young women, the investigator said, but he couldn’t say how many. They believe they’ve targeted young Hmong girls. The culture of not coming forward was at work in this case, but the rapes came to light when the victim went to someone who reported it to police, the investigator said, adding he couldn’t get into who that person was. The gang has a history of burglaries, is “very big into auto theft,” and has been involved in drive-by shootings and aggravated assaults in the past, the investigator said.
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