The Redd Alert is a Canadian gang made up of aboriginal youth who have been displaced, suffered fractured families, spent time in foster homes and juvenile detention, and whose extended families endured a legacy of generational disenfranchisement. These circumstances led to high rates of substance abuse, poverty, and joblessness. These factors make them very vulnerable to the lure of gang membership.
Redd Alert is a prison and street gang started by Cree, Anishinaabe, and Metis who sought to avoid becoming part of the Warriors prison gang. They came together around 1999 but were not recognized as a force on the street until 2005.
Aboriginal gangs are credited with sowing violence in the country’s urban centers of western provinces, including making the city of Winnipeg the murder capital of the country for a dozen years. Some of these gangs started inside prisons while others are straight street gangs.
In 2006 the Royal Canadian Mounted Police confiscated automatic weapons collected from Redd Alert during a raid. At the time they characterized the group as a loose affiliation and not an organized, structured unit. It wouldn’t be long until Redd Alert was on the radar of every law enforcement officer in the country.
The Gang Redd Alert uses the initials “RA” for tattoos, and the gang’s color is red. Members have been known to wear red bandanas.
Redd Alert’s oath is “Blood in, blood out,” which means members have to commit a bloody assault or murder to join the gang and can only leave the gang by dying. Redd Alert’s rivals are the Manitoba Warriors, Alberta Warriors, and Indian Posse, along with the United Nations, Crazy Dragons, and Native Syndicate.
Street and prison gangs generally make money through the sale of illegal drugs. Members may work together to buy some drugs, then shuttle the product from a supplier to those who sell it on the street and provide protection. They may also be involved in smuggling drugs to prisoners.
Redd Alert has been associated with Hell’s Angels motorcycle gang, for whom they move or sell drugs. The gang is also associated with prostitution for profit.
Similarly, Redd Alert has an affiliation with White Boy Posse, a known racist gang. The motivation for the alliance is likely just economic – Redd Alert has a network for drug sales that White Boy Posse needs to use to maximize profits.
A Winnipeg law enforcement officer said there are 35 similar gangs in the area. In order to stand out and get the “respect” they crave, Redd Alert members have been willing to commit bloody crimes and earn significant profits from drug trafficking.