Inside the Simon City Royals

chance3-2The Simon City Royals, formerly known as the Almighty Simon City Royals, are a Chicago street gang that began in the late 1950s as Simon City, a greaser gang. They named themselves for Simons Park, which is located on the corner of Drake and Wabansia, in the Humboldt Park neighborhood where they originally formed.

A predominantly white street gang that formed on the Northside of Chicago in response to Hispanic gang activity, they have spread into the suburbs of Illinois, Wisconsin, Mississippi and Louisiana. The Royals were considered the most violent white organization in Chi-town in the 70s and 80s. Many killed and died for the privilege to be called a Simon City Royal. Even today, it is widely noted by the media, city, state and federal officials that the Royals are the largest white gang in the nation.

In the 1970s the gang had tenuous alliances to the city’s two major white gangs, the Popes and Gaylords. The Royals also fought major wars with the Latin Kings, Insane Deuces, Gaylords and Latin Eagles in which many lives were lost. In the 1980s they joined forces with the Black Disciples and were called “white niggers” for the perception that they “sold out their race.” But in all actuality, they were ahead of their time. Money became the new gang way, and the Simon City Royals entered a grouping within the Folks alliance known as the Almighty Family.

The gang has a system of strict rules for members and can be violated for things like lying to gang authority figures, withholding funds or skipping meetings and not adhering to gang protocol. Violations result in members being fined, beaten for specific amounts of time, beaten on site or even killed. The Simon City Royals have suffered setbacks like any other organization, due to leadership losses through either death or prison. A gangster who lives by the gun often times dies by the gun.

They have been heavily involved in the dealing of illegal drugs and other contraband, especially in prison, where members have increasingly been incarcerated. They have successfully bribed prison guards and smuggled drugs into the institution, creating lucrative rackets for the gang. They have also been involved in racketeering and loan sharking. Due to these crime exploits they have been targeted by special gang and crime prosecutors and police units to bring the group down.

The Royals still control some of their historic strongholds on the Northside of Chicago, but are more active now in states like Mississippi. They still mostly consist of white members, but also many Latinos and black members as well. Their traditional colors are black and royal blue, but they also wear the colors current to the Kansas City Royals baseball team. In Mississippi they have become very dominant and have posed lots of problems for law enforcement authorities.

“We never really thought this type of situation would take place in Mississippi,” Richland Police Chief Russel James said. “A lot of lower level gang members have been arrested for selling crystal methamphetamine. They set up shop in trailer parks and issue gang sanctioned beat downs for any who stands in their way of business. Some of the trailer parks they run are like third world countries.”

But with cases being investigated by the DEA and ATF, a lot of federal cases have been brought forth. To get the real 411 on the gang we got with an active Simon City Royal gangbanger, who is in the feds on a felon in possession of a gun charge. On the pound they call him Chance aka Thug aka Whiteboy, and he is a gangster straight out of the Mississippi delta. He got with Gorilla Convict to give us an exclusive on the gang he claims.

chance1-2What is the name of your set and where are you all out of?

Simon City Royals, Northside of Chicago. Simon City is actually the name of a park on the Northside. It still stands today.

What, How, Why, Where and When did your set originate?

We originated as a pure white organization. We started as “4” white boys trying to hold down a park on the Northside. We were called the Simon City Executioners, this was in the late 1930s. We started out as guns-for-hire. Then we started being called the Simon City Assassins. This was in the 1950s. We were just poor class dudes trying to make ends meet the only way we knew how. We were actually a white supremacy organization until 1980 when we united with the Gangster Disciples. Before 1980 we were like the Crips or the Bloods, no laws or policies, 1980 is when we became the Simon City Royals. We got our colors, laws, policies, unity. We became an organization.

Who are you all affiliated with?

We are affiliated with all Folk. G.D.’s, Latin Folks, Cobras, Maniacs, Spanish Gangsters. All Folks Nation.

What cities are you all active in?

We are active in 13 states. But Mississippi is our largest branch. MCL, Mississippi Combat Legion.

Describe what your set is into, generally speaking?

All sorts of things. Tattoo shops, detail shops, bonding companies, vinyl siding companies- anything that helps us move forward. We’re trying to make it easy on our less fortunate, trying to make jobs for each other.

Have there been any major indictments involving your set in the state or feds?

No, just singular situations, not involving us as a whole.

What tattoos or images represent your set?

Mostly the same for all Folks in general. But we use a shield with an R for Royal. Then 6-point stars, the cross, 3-point crowns and the royal knight.

chance-2Tell us about how you got involved or joined the set?

I wanted to be a part of something that meant something. Something that I could be proud to be. My mom and dad have been in prison almost my whole life. Then my last living grandparent died when I was 14. The same year that I joined in. They accepted me and helped me when no one else would. They understood not having no other family. My brother was also in prison. My sister had two kids and lived in a two bedroom trailer. I had to survive. I could relate to them. I’m not a racist, so this was the only thing I could be and keep myself respect.

What are the charges you are serving time for now and what is your sentence?

I’m serving 89 months for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Give us some prison war stories concerning your gang?

Okay, one time me and some of the bro’s are sitting in the state pen and we got this guard trying to be one of us. We’ve got him convinced we’re gonna put him down with us. He’s bringing in all kinds of shit. Cell phones, weed, meth, whatever we told him. We would call and have the shit dropped off, then he would bring it in. Then he figured out that he was never gonna get put down and he tried to stop. So when we started running out of shit we made a call to some bro’s. They went to his girl’s house where they had been dropping off shit and waited. When he pulled up and got out they got him. He tried to run and my bro that was in the van hit him. After that shit got sweet. The guards were spooked.

Explain how prison politics work in regards to the Simon City Royals?

We aid the G.D.’s, but we’re a single organization. We don’t answer to anyone. A lot of people misunderstand. We deal with our own. Nobody touches a Royal, but a Royal.

You’ve been a shotcaller on different yards, explain how this works?

In the feds our numbers are so small that we unite with all Latin folks to form a structure separate from the G.D.’s, but we still ride with them.

We vote who would be best for the job, who has the most knowledge of how things should run, who deals with problems the best.

What are the dynamics you have experienced in dealing with other whites who aren’t gang members?

They tend to shy away from us. They never understand what Royals are. They think we’re whiteboys that want to be black. Once they’re around us and actually ask questions and get an understanding they come around, but never at first.

Give us your style on the street, what you drive, how you rock and how you get down?

I drive a little of everything. When I got locked up this time I had an 84 Z-28 with T-tops, a 2000 Expedition, white on brown, Eddie Bauer edition. As for how I get down I’m a problem solver. I make sure the brothers do right.

What is up with the meth scene in Mississippi?

The meth scene has got out of hand, too many bullshit people cooking. Hell anybody is a dope cook now. Everybody gets high. Nobody sleeps. It’s crazy.

How do your homeboys get down?

My homeboys get down just like me. We’re all cut from the same cloth. People will see some hard-ass whiteboy and they’ll say, ‘He must be a Royal.’ We keep shit in line. We’re super strict on each other; get out of line and the brothers will be to get you. We pass out violations to each other with in an iron fist. Ain’t no pity in Simon City.

Some might see you as country whiteboy gangbangers, how do the dudes from the big cities take you all?

They think we’re crazy! We usually show out to let them know just cause we’re country don’t mean we’re stupid or that we won’t go.

What’s next for you?

I’m gonna get out of here and try to get the brothers off the bullshit and get them on something positive, something that will show unity without having to break the law. Let them know we can have things without the dump shit. Start companies to give brothers jobs to help keep us out of prison. Raise our families.

If you want to get in touch with Chance you can write him at:

Austin Chance Reid #12190-042
FCC Forrest City Low
P.O. Box 9000
Forrest City, AR 72336