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The Tiny Rascal Gang: Big Trouble

This violent Cambodian street gang can be found in most parts of the country.

January 01, 2000  |  by Investigator Al Valdez

Asian gangs have been part of the gang subculture for a number of years and we have seen them grow in size and change.  Due to their mobility, we have seen their impact nationwide and within the Chinese, Korean, Taiwanese, Vietnamese, Laotian and Cambodian communities.  The nation's largest Asian street gang is probably the "Tiny Rascal Gang," otherwise known across the country as TRG.

History

In 1975, after the fall of Saigon, California started receiving its first Cambodian refugees.  As with many refugee groups, ethnicity and limited English speaking ability helped create a barrier that isolated the refugee group from society.  These groups initially are not well accepted by the established street gangs and are often viewed as community outcasts by the general population.

A familiar struggle developed within the refugee family.  The Cambodian youths wanted to become westernized so they could be accepted into the general youth population.  This was against their traditional customs and ended up with the young Cambodians feeling resentment toward their families.  This resentment was only increased as the Western influence became stronger and the families put more pressure on the young to adhere to the traditional customs.

The constant conflict between the young Cambodians and their families resulted in many running away to live on the streets, only to be exposed to the criminal elements.  These youth survived in the street by committing crime and helping each other.  In addition, they were exposed to the gang life.  Seeing the activities of African-American, Hispanic and Vietnamese street gangs started to impact the Cambodian youth.  The cities of Long Beach, and Fresno, Calif., became relocation focal points for the refugees.

By the mid 1980s Cambodian street youths started to band together for protection from the street gangs.  These young kids realized that as a group, they could be stronger, they could become the aggressors, not the victims, and they could make more money.  This philosophy led the Cambodian street youths to get involved in auto-burglary, residential burglary, commercial burglary, auto theft, drug sales, assaults, firearm violations and murder.  The Cambodian street youths formed into several street gangs.  It was out of these groups that TRG was formed.

TRG was heavily influenced by one Hispanic gang, the East Side Longos, of Long Beach, Calif.  From this gang, TRG adopted dress styles, graffiti writing and, more importantly, the gang behaviors, such as when to fight and how to be a gang member.  Illustrations from a nine-page booklet penned by a gang member doing time in California Youth Authority, depict how one might become a TRG gang member. (See samples).

Turf

TRG is very mobile.  TRG gang members have been identified all over the country.  The gang is unique, because where it develops a strong presence, it will claim a turf.  Yet, it will continue to be very nomadic and members travel in small groups across a state, or across several states.  This phenomenon can help develop some strange relationships between TRG and other street gangs.  One such relationship evolved into an intense rivalry with the group that influenced TRG the most: the East Side Longos.  They are enemies.  This conflict has led to over 40 deaths over the years.  TRG has also adopted the use of guns and violence to protect turf and reputation, like other street gangs.  These gang members have assaulted and attempted assaults on police officers.

Nationally, TRG gang members have been identified in Washington, Oregon, Hawaii, Alaska, Colorado, Nevada, Missouri, Kansas, Massachusetts, Texas, Georgia, California, New York and Canada.

TRG has focused on crime for profit.  In a 1998 report from the National Drug Information Center, a total of 33 states reported the presence of Asian street gangs involved in drug sales.  TRG is not an exception.

Membership

Early on, TRG was a Cambodian based street gang.  In the early 1990s, TRG broke the race and gender barriers, allowing mixed race and other ethnic groups into the gang, as well as females.  This has allowed TRG to grow rapidly and establish itself in many areas.  There was once an all-female branch of the gang called, "LRG (Lady Rascal Gang)."  In early 1990, it was disbanded and all members were made part of TRG, which became one of the first co-ed street gangs on the West Coast.  Many TRG gang members are between 14-24 years old.

Tags: Street Gangs, Asian Gangs, Tiny Rascal Gangsters


Comments (7)

Displaying 1 - 7 of 7

against them @ 2/3/2014 10:57 AM

i hate these people beacause of the asian gangs my big brother is gettin into trouble. they ruined his life. they took my amazing older brother and turned him into trouble.one day i will change this. i hope you people realize what you have done to this world. people shouldnt have to run for lives when they try to quit and do better. i hope you all suffer. all thge gangs out their. go to hell!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

still against them @ 2/7/2014 10:05 AM

so i am going to continue. my older brother belongs to the tiny rascals asian gang. he is on the run for his life. he came home to do better.they want to kill him now. i hate all gangs as much as i hate thr tiny rascal asian gang. maybe i joined a gang but im doing good.one day.........you will all suffer the ones who started these gangs. murder....violence......hardcore drugs... you are all fucked up!!!!!!go to hell.....and suffer. and you will suffer.......i will make sure of tghat.

selena @ 5/22/2014 1:20 PM

i hate you all!!!you all make me so angry!!! yes im going to hunt down all those niggas who got my brother involved!!! one by one. make you all suffer! you will all live in misery and or spend the rset of your lives in hell!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ouR gang oR dont bang @ 6/23/2014 5:03 AM

ya'll shut yo TRap. R'z ON MINE, EVERYBODY KILLA

JJ @ 7/23/2014 12:17 AM

These are the guys that had my back when I was getting jump by the longos, all the og's back then watched out for all Khmers, they where all like big brothers can't blame them for what they did how would you feel if someone was picking on you because of your race and not speaking English or dress how you dress back then it was hard!if it wasn't for them these dam longos would have it there way in long beach do you see these foo around f*#king with us cambodian?

bones @ 7/28/2014 1:07 PM

NO.VA 7126 saved my life on 3 occasions!!! got my respect I was walked in but had to move from NO.VA to FL due to family reasons. In NO.VA as a Hispanic being half Spanish and half Puerto Rican. I didn't look Hispanic enough for ms-13 and was under constant attack by MS 13 and random central Americans for this reason......not looking Hispanic enough smh. So I still keep my raiders gear and black n gray on. Cause I surely would have been dead between the ages of 13 and 18 if it wasn't for them.

DineRo @ 7/29/2014 6:24 AM

My hoods my life did 12 yeaRs foR my homies

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