This week, we met back up with Clayton Patterson to continue his grand tour of the Lower East Side and a lesson in gang history with his long-time friend, Jose "Cochise" Quiles. Cochise was born on St. Marks Place in 1961 and joined his first gang at the age of 13. In 1988, he founded one of the last gangs in the Lower East Side to wear patches, the Satan's Sinners Nomads.
After attempting to kill two members of his gang in 1993, he served 18 years in prison, where he began a reformed life and counseled gang members around him. Since his release in January, Cochise continues to practice his art, hang with Clayton Patterson, and lead the Lower East Side youth in the right direction. He is currently working on a coloring book of LES gang history and a full-length memoir that will be available here.
Photos by Jade Katz.
Video by Taji Ameen and Clayton Patterson.