A fist fight at a spring 1989 picnic and BBQ in Oakland, California spouted into a full-blown, two-and-a-half year street war for power in the Bay Area drug world, according to court records from the 1990s. While remnants of the infamous LDI Gang gathered to eat and socialize at Oakland’s Dimond Park in early May 1989, LDI lieutenants Anthony (The Ant) Flowers and Eric (Squeeze) Smith came to blows, with Smith allegedly getting the best of Flowers, LDI’s top enforcer, and Flowers in the wake of the embarrassing incident deciding to go off on his own and go to the proverbial mattress against his former LDI affiliates for supremacy in the local crack cocaine market, per the court documents.

LDI founder and leader Darryl (Little D) Reed had been busted months earlier and the gang was in the process of restructuring. Reed’s LDI crack-empire was created in the aftermath of the downfall of Felix (The Cat) Mitchell’s 69 Mob, which notoriously reigned over the region’s sprawling heroin industry in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Reed was a nephew and protégé of Mitchell’s – he had his prison sentence commuted by an outgoing President Barack Obama last year, walking free almost a decade prior to his scheduled release date. Felix the Cat is arguably the Bay Area’s most storied crime lord of all-time and was slain behind bars in 1986.

Mitchell fought a war versus up-and-coming drug chief Milton (Mickey Mo) Moore, commonly known as the first Oakland Drug War. Following a half-decade reprieve from the instability stemming out of Moore and Mitchell’s incarceration and the jailing of Reed, tension simmered to a boiling point between Flowers and what was left of LDI led by Reed’s No. 2-in-charge Timothy (Timmy Black) Bluitt after the scuffle at Dimond Park. Flowers aligned with the Lacy Brothers Gang for added muscle and the subsequent conflict became known as the second Oakland Drug War.

Authorities attributed at least 18 murders to the beef that lasted until Bluitt was locked up in late 1991. The quick-triggered and diminutive Flowers, 52, went down in 1994 when he was indicted for running the crack business in the East Bay section of Oakland, eventually convicted three years later and slapped with a 28-year prison term.

The second Oakland Drug War ramped up in March 1990 with the murder of a Flowers’ lieutenant in a roadway shootout followed by the grocery store slaying of a Bluitt henchman days later. Lacy Brothers Gang lieutenant and police-cooperator Theodore (Teddy Bear) Collins was killed in front of his mother’s house in East Oakland and in August 1990, according to federal informants, Flowers headed a team of gunmen that shot up a funeral home during the lying to rest of a pair of Bluitt’s bodyguards recently felled in the feud.

The war’s collateral damage proved tragic too. An innocent bystander named Patricia Welch died in a car wreck resulting from a police chase with members of the Flowers organization. Flowers’ former LDI enforcement wing was also accused of accidentally killing 21-year old Beverly Bell in April 1988 in an attack on her boyfriend Kenny Winters, an associate of the Lacy brothers.

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