The Black Disciples often abbreviated as BDN or BDN III are a large African American street gang based in Chicago, Illinois. The gang is considered extremely violent and is known to engage in drug trafficking and distribution, in addition to other criminal activities.The street gang is estimated to have 6,000+ gang members.
Gang Symbols and Rivals
The gang's symbols include the roman numeral three III, representing mind body and soul, and is usually accompanied with the abbreviation BDN Black Disciple Nation. Its colors are blue, red and black. The Black Disciples are part of the Folk Nation|Folks alliance of street gangs but are known to engage in violence with other Folks gangs such as the Gangster Disciples. The BD's also have a long standing rivalry with the Black P. Stones.
History and Organizational Structure
The GD's and BD's became separate gang entities through splintering from the original Black Gangster Disciples. It all began after the death of King David in 1974 and a new umbrella organization was created, called the Black Gangster Disciple Nation BGDN. In the mid-1980's, the groups splintered off from the BGD's all having their origins from the original Devil's Disciples street gang from the 1960's.
As of 2004 is was estimated that there may be as many as 300 factions of the BD's throughout the Chicago area. Each group typically has 30 to 40 members, and is identical in the format of its organizational structure. In each set the lowest ranking members are soldiers or representatives. The permanent leadership ranks include: Minister, Assistant Co-Minister, and the Demetrius. One rank above the ordinary members is the First Demetrius. One rank above the First Demetrius is the Assistant Co-Minister. Above this in each set is the Minister. The last known living top boss of the gang is King Shorty Jerome Freeman, also known as the "crowned king" George Knox, PhD, Gang Treat Analysis: The Black Disciples, 2004 National Gang Crime Research Center He has since stepped down.
Around the year 2000 Jerome Freeman's second in command, Marvell Thompson aka. King Vel broke away several south side BD factions and formed the Blue Fin Black Disciples. In a bold move he took the Blue Fins and allied them with the People Nation, even adopting Islamic symbols and beliefs held by some People gangs. The Blue Fins have also adopted People Nation bylaws and strong relations with traditional enemies like the Black P. Stones & Mickey Cobras. It is believed that this renegade BD faction is what actually caused Jerome Freeman to step down. One reason for the formation of the Blue Fins is their poor relations with other Folk Nation gangs.
While King Vel is technically the overall leader of the BDs because of Freeman's retirement, traditional Folk Nation BDs don't consider him a leader and say that he is not welcome in traditional BD strongholds.
On February 27, 2006, 43 members of the Black Disciples street gang charged with Conspiracy crime conspiracy were convicted in federal court. Three members of the gang remain fugitives. Chicago Sun Times, Last Black Disciples convicted in drug case, February 28, 2006
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- Folk Nation
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