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Californian Penal Code for "Murder/Homicide". Frequently used in gangsta rap tunes, along with trey eight44.

Samuel L. Jackson once starred in a movie called "187." I thought it was a great movie, not because of some good acting, special effects, video editing, action sequences, or other things that have become necessary for a blockbuster hit. The movie is great simply because of the story, and the weight it carries.
As booyaa said, 187 is the code for murder. Jackson plays a teacher in an L.A. city high school. He failed a student. This student was a gang member who decided to stab Jackson in the hallway. He didn't die, physically, but emotionally and spiritually he had died. The student had taken away Jackson's fire. Jackson had lost his will to teach students who had turned on him.
Later, Jackson returns to teaching as a substitute. He replaces a science teacher accused with assult charges. Eventually, Jackson returned to teaching what teachers should. Not just the Periodic Table of the Elements, the teachings of Henry David Thoreau, or the actions taken by the First Continental Congress. Jackson turned to help students, to point them in the right direction, and to lead them. Unfortunately, a mother-beating, pot smoking, vodka drinking, killing, pimping, drug addict doesn't like what Jackson is doing. The movie goes on with the student pushing and threatening Jackson.

If you do not wish to know the ending of the movie, do not read on. I will mention the end as it is key to the theme of the movie.

The ending went like this. The student carved "187" into Jackson's car. That simply meant that the student was going to kill Jackson. The student, along with two others, all armed with guns, stormed into Jackson's house. Instead of just shooting him, they played Russian Roulette. Everytime Jackson was up, he said that he would shoot himself if it meant that the students would change. Jackson played a psychological war. He tried to make the student feel like his life was bad, but could be better. Eventually, Jackson and the student were killed. The final scene was a speech given by a student who wanted Jackson's help. Jackson, who was never asked for help, jumped at the chance to further educate a young mind. The girl gave a speech on what happened, why it happened, and how to change it.

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