The Simon City Royals is a street gang that originated in Chicago but has migrated south to Mississippi and north to Wisconsin. Named for a park on Chicago’s North Side, the Simon City gang merged with the Royals gang in the 1960s. The group continued to grow through mergers and alliances for many decades.
Larry Hoover led the Simon City Royals and during the 1970s became a part of the Folk Nation alliance of gangs, an umbrella organization that includes the Gangster Disciples, Black Gangster Disciples, Spanish Cobras, and others.
The Simon City Royals are allied with the People Nation, the Latin Kings, Black P. Stones, and Vice Lords. These alliances protect fellow gang members and facilitate drug trafficking by dividing up territory and setting fair prices for allied groups.
The Simon City Royals endured the tumultuous mid-70s with alliances among gangs forged and lost, along with violent altercations claiming the lives of many members as well as leaders named Arab and Bimbo.
The Simon City Royals gang membership has declined in Chicago in recent years. However, membership has attracted suburban and rural criminals in states like Mississippi. There, the gang is highly structured and promotes terror among potential victims. The local district attorney says he has had to drop charges against some violent members of the gang due to witness intimidation. About 400 Simon City members were charged with crimes in six counties there in 2017.
The Simon City Royals gang colors are blue and black, but the Kansas City Royals’ team colors were adopted, adding green and white to the mix. Symbols include a rabbit’s profile with one ear bent at an angle, a six-pointed Star of David, a cross with three rays emanating from the top, and the initials S.C.R., often combined with the cross.
Because the Simon City Royals are part of the Folk Nation, they use signs on the right side of the body including the brim of their hats cocked to the right, right-sided hand signs, and sometimes the right pant leg rolled up.
They started as a white (Italian) gang, people of any ethnicity may become a Simon City Royal, although the group is predominantly white.
In late 2017, two Simon City members in Southern Mississippi kidnapped two Navy sailors on leave and forced them to withdraw cash from ATMs at several locations. The sailors had been visiting Beau Rivage when they were forced into their rental car by two armed men and driven around. They were later left along a freeway where they flagged down passing cars. The gang members were sentenced to 40 years in prison.
Simon City Royal members claim that prison guards want to identify with gang members and therefore are easy to bribe for access to cell phones, drugs, and other contraband. One guard in Racine, Wisconsin, pleaded guilty to collaborating with incarcerated gang members to provide contraband and received only probation after turning state’s witness.
A Simon City member who was convicted of murder and sent to prison as a teen won a wrongful conviction lawsuit after spending more than a decade behind bars. When he was released and awarded $25 million, Thaddeus Jiminez spent much of the money on fancy cars, guns, and drug-fueled parties for his fellow gang members. A newspaper story says the Simon City gang was mostly defunct at that time, but Jiminez’s cash infusion reinvigorated it, financing $50,000 recruitment payments, paying members to get tattoos on their faces, bail for those awaiting trial, and respect from fellow members. But it all came crashing down when he shot a fellow Simon City member in both legs then raced away from police in his $90.000 Mercedes full of guns and ammunition. A friend in the passenger seat filmed much of the melee on an iPhone while Jiminez lost control of the car, crashed, and ran. He was caught and returned to prison. The man he shot won a $6 million lawsuit and was trying to determine if Jiminez had any assets he could recover in lieu of payment.