Larry Hoover/Image: Essence
Gangster Disciple gang leader Larry Hoover, 70, has been in prison since 1973. He was sentenced to 150-200 years in the Illinois prison system for murder. While in state prison, Hoover created the Folks faction of gangs, uniting many local Black, Hispanic, and the few White gangs left in Chicago under the banner. This created more opportunities for drug distribution and eliminated the violence competition causes.
In 1997, after an almost two-decade-long investigation, Hoover was convicted by the federal government for running his gang from Illinois prisons and running a 100 million dollar a year multi-state drug operation, something most in local law enforcement already knew. He was sentenced to six life sentences in prison. He was transferred to the ADX Florence supermax prison in Colorado.
The Gangster Disciples were not just a Chicago street gang. They were a super gang, a multi-state criminal enterprise specializing in narcotics, violence, extortion, and murder. They were responsible for the massive social and human destruction drugs, and drug sales caused.
There have been attempts to have Hoover released on parole for over a decade or his sentences commuted. While in state prison, he ordered his minions to change the gang’s name to Growth and Development, a supposed social, community, and political organization. This was a ploy to change the public’s perception of him. It was an attempt to get a grant of parole or commutation.
A new attempt to get Hoover out of prison was launched by Drake and Ye, formerly known as Kanye West. They announced a benefit concert at the LA Coliseum titled “Free Larry Hoover.” “The historic” concert will “raise awareness and support for Larry Hoover and the cause of prison and sentencing reform, according to the venues event page.” (Pitchfork)
Larry Hoover will never be released from prison. Even if his federal sentence is commuted, he must still serve out the rest of his 150–200-year state sentence. He is being credited by some for all the supposed good he did in and out of prison. It is all nonsense. The so-called community efforts were a sham and cover for his gang’s criminal activities. Al Capone, the last celebrity gangster, was a do-gooder too.
As a police officer, I witnessed some of the human and social destruction caused by Larry Hoover’s gang and the factions he created. It made the lives of impoverished and working poor even harder. Many young people’s lives were ruined by using the drugs his gang sold. Other young people went to prison for selling his drugs and committing other crimes, including murder under his flag.
Larry Hoover does not deserve a commutation(s), parole, mercy, or leniency. He is responsible directly and indirectly for violence, murder, and running a continuing violent criminal enterprise.
Hoover does not deserve the celebrity treatment and status he is being given. He is a career criminal and crime boss who perpetrated evil in our city and other places on a grand scale.