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  • Writer's pictureVolume 82 Magazine

Myriel 'Squally Loc' Amos Talks About Growing Up In the Los Angeles Crip Gang

While speaking with Myriel "Squally Loc" Amos, he shared an interesting memory about being incarcerated. Squally said that he had a huge emotional trigger when he attended a doctor's appointment for a torn ACL at a hospital outside the prison grounds. He explained that while he was waiting to be seen for his appointment he saw a mother with her young child. Although it's quite normal to see a parent with their child in public, it wasn't for Squally. Seeing the mother with her child forced him to break down in tears. He explained that it had been years since he saw a child outside of prison custody living life freely and just being a kid. It made him realize, "I hadn't had the chance to live life and do normal things!" Seeing that mother and child together was a pure moment for him, and it made him think of what he had missed out on in life.

At this time, Myriel was serving a 10-year bid in an Iowa State correctional facility for committing three bank robberies. He planned to come to Iowa, rob banks, and quickly return home to Los Angeles, California.

Before arriving in Iowa, Squally lived the typical life as a member of one of the most notorious street gangs in Los Angeles - the Crips. Auto theft, selling narcotics, violence, and other forms of gangbanging with his crew (Tiny Squally, Baby Squally, Little Squally, and Big Squally) was the highlight of his young life.

In 2001, a friend convinced him that robbing banks in Iowa would be an easy and seamless feat to get them the capital they needed to return to LA and improve their lives. But fate intervened and negated their plan, and they got caught.

In Squally's hometown, gang culture was a part of a never-ending cycle of destructive and learned behavior. While growing up near the infamous intersection of Florence and Normandie, on 83rd Street in South Central-Los Angeles, the older Eight-Tray Gangster Crips welcomed him at a young age. Since gangs regulated most situations with violence, at the age of 8, Myriel considered it appropriate to use his aunt's gun to shoot a pack of dogs who chased him home. The shooting caused him to be removed from his home and placed in state custody.

Then, by 7th grade, he and a rival gang member were involved in a shoot-out on school grounds. That incident landed him in the custody of the California Youth Authority until the age of 17. By the age of 18, after other infractions with the law, Myriel served prison time in the Soledad State Prison. At 19, he served time in the Avenal State Prison.

Squally never thought he'd live to see his forties. Fortunately, he received some good luck, as he made it! As a husband and new father, he looks back on it all and considers every day a true blessing and an opportunity to do well. "Out of all of the Squallys, now it's just two of us on the streets!" Years ago, Myriel never thought he'd be motivated to change, but he now enjoys his freedom, family, and 12-hour workdays.

(Click the video below for the interview).

Photos & Video Credit: Joshua Mitchell @jolemiproductions



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