Jail officials check Hernandez tattoos for gang affiliations


With Aaron Hernandez behind bars indefinitely, officials are taking a close look at the vast array of tattoos on his body.  The purpose of the effort isn’t to critique the ink but to ensure Hernandez’s safety.

“We’ll be looking at his tattoos to see if there are any symbols that affiliate with gangs,” Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson told the Boston Herald.  “We have to always be vigilant around security and not place him somewhere where there are rival gang members.”
If that happens, Hernandez could be in danger.
“Hernandez could be a very appealing target for someone who wants to make a reputation for himself,” UCLA adjunct professor of social welfare Jorja Leap told the Herald.  “The sheriff needs to be extra careful with someone like Hernandez.”
This raises an obvious question for the NFL, which in recent years has begun probing touchdown celebrations and on-field celebrations for evidence of gang signs.  Did the league or the team ever check Hernandez’s tattoos to determine whether any of them reflect gang affiliation?
More broadly, the league and its teams need to ask themselves if that’s something that should be done with new and existing players.  On one hand, it feels like an invasion of privacy.  But if guys have applied to their skin evidence to suggest gang affiliations and if the NFL is concerned about keeping gang influence out of the game, it makes sense for the NFL to at least consider it.

55 responses to “Jail officials check Hernandez tattoos for gang affiliations

  1. If it’s legal to ask players if they like girls, it should be legal to examine at least arm/neck/any visible tattoos while wearing a uniform.

  2. He has a “Blood” tattoo on his right hand. That goes along with all the pictures floating around. You a real tough guy, try being a man. A man will do everything he can for his kids and family. Now your daughter will be looking at you through glass. Maybe if you thought about her for one second that would have stopped you from committing murder.

  3. This is serious business. I saw that movie with The Rock and Xzibit where they were coaching the jail football team thing and ish got real when they started throwing up gang signs at each other in that one scene.

  4. If a guy wants to advertise his affiliation, Let the chips fall where they may.

  5. “We have to always be vigilant around security and not place him somewhere where there are rival gang members.”
    No, you really don’t. Prisoners are prisoners. Why segregate based on possible gang ties? Do you segregate them by size as well? Obviously a 150 lbs prisoner would be in danger if placed with 300 lbs prisoners. Crack down on the violence and stop letting these fools run amok. Place cameras EVERYWHERE and handle the clowns that get violent. Remove the country-club mentality. They don’t have a right to a prison gym, basketball court, TV, theater or whatever else is in there. If they act up, take it away and tell the bleeding hearts to take a hike.

  6. The sheriff should probably start with the ink on his hand that spells “Blood”. I’m no expert though, just a hunch.

  7. Just saw a picture of Aaron Hernandez holding his baby girl on the internet. He looks like the proud papa. I can’t even process in my head how he could throw away his life and put this baby’s life in jeopardy. He threw away seeing her walk for the first time, her first day of school, playing a school sport, going on her first date and walking her down the aisle for her wedding. What an incredible fool.

  8. So will the combine now include scanning of body art so that it can be run through facial recognition programming to see if there is a gang affiliation?

  9. If the league is concerned about this, it should institute a gang-banger rule that bars them from participating the league. It’s repeating all the time, being in the NFL is a privilege not a right. A lot of folks don’t get that. Just like a restaurant that requires a man to wear a suit jacket. …known gang affiliations… you’re out.

    Personally, I don’t care. If the gang-banger isn’t getting paid by his nfl check, then he and his boys are breaking into your house and robbing your wife at gun point. I might as well watch him on Sundays than confront him in my living room with my Mossberg.

  10. They only care until his trial is over and he goes to prison. After that, he’s on his own. This statement makes it seems as if they actually take caution not to mix gang members up in the same place.

  11. @dvnelson72

    I was wondering the same thing. I saw bits and pieces of his arraignment and they showed close-ups of his hands while he was gesturing (?) with them. Wondering if he was sending a signal, or trying to get comfortable with the cuffs.

  12. He is turning out to be a mass murderer. Awful human. If guilty he deserves everything coming to him. And man he must have hated playing for the Pats in the blue uniforms.

  13. Dude kills Odin, shoots another guy in the face, and the possible connection to TWO other murders. Yet for some reason they feel the need to protect AH? oooh the IRONY.

    Let the chips fall where they may. AH is a coward and in my opinion gets anything he has coming to him in prison.

  14. I see a tattoo on one forearm and pretty much his entire back that looks like gang affiliation….I can see why he’s a mass murderer. He fits right in.

  15. @golfclap78

    Stick to Golf bro…His Tattoo reads Blood not Bloods. If he were in that gang and it read just Blood it would be preceded by some type of Set proclamation, but even then that would be rare. you’d see ’88 gang Bloods’ or something like that…

    The fact he had Blood on his hand, is probably some kinda of literal thing….I do see some tats that could implicate him in being in some kind of Hispanic gang.

  16. Yeah, we wouldn’t want anything to happen to him while he’s serving out his life sentence (cough cough).

  17. This raises the point:

    While you can’t fault Belichick or Kraft for not knowing that Hernandez would end up being a murderer, you CAN fault one particular person…….

    Every NFL team these days employs a “Security Specialist”. It’s HIS job to know if the players are doing things they shouldn’t be doing, hanging around with people they shouldn’t be seeing.

    Where was the PATRIOT’S security guy?????

    How did he not look at all those tats, and wonder a bit?

    With Hernandez’ reputation coming out of college, how did he NOT keep an eye on what he was doing, who he was hanging with?

    How does he MISS that college photo of Hernandez posing with the handgun????

    The players aren’t babies who need to be watched 24/7, but you might want to keep an eye on a guy who showed the warning signs THIS guy did.

    The Patriot’s Head of Security has some serious questions to answer, from Bob and Bill.

  18. Who pays attention to another dudes ink??? I can’t tell you one tattoo a NFL player has off the top my head. I made a kluwe joke earlier when I commented but that post got removed

  19. He’s going to learn why the little gangstas walk around with their underpants hanging out.

  20. He has a blood tattoo on hid hand, and it was fairly recent that he got that tattoo, atleast within the last 8 months because of a picture of him when his daughter was born clearly shows he didn’t have the tattoo at the time. So that would somewhat line up with the time line of the double homicide being an initiation. There’s also a pic of him dressed in a red t-shirt and a red Chicago Bulls hat throwing up blood signs. Funny thing is this dude grew up in Bristol, Conn. haha, seriously if you have ever been to Bristol, Conn. then you would know it’s a fairly nice place.

  21. officialgame says:
    Jun 28, 2013 9:16 AM
    What do they do if the find a tattoo with a gang affiliation? Cut of his arms?

    They all ready did that.

  22. I think the NFL should absolutely check current and incoming players’ tattoos. I live in Northern California and everyone knows the effect that gangs have had on the NFL gameday experience around here. The last thing we need is for these morons to have some sort of gang hero or rival gang member playing for the team – that would bring them out even more.

    And why would this be an invasion of privacy? There should be nothing wrong with asking players to cover up any offensive or gang-related tattoos. The company that I work for requires it, and they don’t pay anyone millions of dollars. For that matter, make anyone with a gang tattoo get it taken care of permanently, by either covering it with more ink or having it removed altogether. If they are such an idiot that they would rather forego their NFL paycheck to remain loyal to their gang, they don’t belong in the game.

  23. @damnsureis

    I knew it had to have a literal meaning. No gang member would just tattoo Blood in their bloody, with out some set proclamation preceding it. that would be like getting a tattoo that reads ‘College’.

    I hate when these types of things are bandied about among ppl who have no clue, but wanna seem like experts.

  24. I’m actually impressed that the author, typically a hard core liberal, would allow that an invasion of privacy to check body art for gang affiliations is a good thing.

    Personally, I think they should. I’m just surprised that I agree with the author, I don’t always…

  25. Laughing my head off over comments about AH’s possible Blood gang affiliation. An East Coast ‘Rican would almost certainly be hooked up with the Latin Kings or the Netas.

  26. Had the world by the balls. 40 million a fiance and a baby and just threw it all away. Mad at someone ? How about just stop hanging out with them. Works for me.!!!

  27. If he wants to display gang affiliation, correction should not hide him under his bed like a little girl. Let Aaron strut his bad self in the yard with the rest of the population.

  28. Will Hernandez get to pick his own prison number or will that be assigned???
    Where can his fans buy the orange jumpsuit with that number???

  29. That is standard intake procedure. I work at a prison. Every offender gets a STG (security threat group) file during intake.

  30. I find it incredible how many people have jumped to a conclusion about his blood tattoo. Yes he does have a blood tattoo on his hand, but since some people were paying so much close attention to his hand signals I’m surprised you didn’t notice the tattoo following his blood tattoo that says “sweat”. Since we are jumping to conclusions guess what word followed “sweat”?

  31. Ok, lets start this off with a little known adage “Innocent until proven guilty”. I know, I know, its so very rarely used and so few people know it that sometimes its forgotten. So if anything happens to Hernandez before he goes to trial guilt or innocence will not be established. Add to that Hernandez family suing the police department for millions. Furthermore, once guilt is established Hernandes health and safety is the responsibility of those running the jail/prison. Hernandez’s punishment will be to be in a prison for life or capitol punishment if thats possible. Him being harmed by other inmates will not be a part of his sentence. And it will be prison officials jobs and duty to keep him as safe as possible. Even if he acts like an animal we arent allowed to treat him like one. This is America after all. We are supposed to be better.

  32. To all of you who keep yapping about “Innocent until proven guilty” …….. you have no idea what you’re talking about.

    That only applies to the LEGAL system, morons. The COURTS need to presume “innocence”.

    The general public, his employers (Patriots and the NFL) are free to make any assumption they want.

    Don’t want to be fired for tarnishing the reputation of the New England Patriots???

    Don’t have a friend found dead, next to your rental car, a mile from your house, and hand over a smashed cellphone and a trashed security camera, while having pictures found of you posing at age 19 with a Glock, while you’re covered in gang tat’s, while keeping several weapons at your home, none of which you’re licensed for.

    If none of that happens, you aren’t embarrassing the Patriots brand, and you still have a nice job.

    Even if he’s acquitted, he has brought embarrassment by all the police have undeniably found

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