WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Wilmington's gang problem has dominated the news the last couple of months. Now we are getting an inside look at the issue.
Last night we talked with an admitted gang member. And today we heard from an expert about what you can look out for.
"Man I was a Blood," said admitted gang member Kolton Thompson. "I am not going to say was, I mean, I am a Blood."
As Thompson sits in jail on attempted murder charges, he reflects on his life and the gang members he calls his family.
"They told you on the news that they are trying to snatch up everybody that's gang related up," he said. "They are looking at us. We can't even go into public parks just because of what we chose to be in our past."
Thompson says he chose life as a Blood because he had no one else to turn to for support.
"I got in it because I have been in foster care all my life. No real family, no real love, so when I hit the streets, my family that I did have, it's like they turned their back all the way on me," Thompson said.
Wednesday a gang expert from the State Bureau of Investigations told the North Carolina Emergency Management Association meeting in Wilmington what they should be looking for.
He says logos for sports teams like the Chicago Bulls and Kansas City Chiefs are sometimes worn by known gang members. The team names and logos take on special meaning, like KC for "Killing Crips" and Bulls standing for "Bloods Usually Live Longer."
"To tell you the truth, they got so many people back there on charges that they don't even know where they came from," Thompson said of his fellow inmates at the New Hanover County Jail. "You want to know why they are back there? Because they are Blood."
Experts say the Bloods are the largest gang in North Carolina.
Last week, Wilmington City Council approved more than $140,000 for a new WPD Gang Investigative Unit to focus on the Port City's gang problem.