More than 150 members of the Bloods and Crips in Newark have agreed to end years of bloodshed and violence they say has torn apart their community and taken lives on both sides, says the Newark Star-Ledger. “We’re the only victims in this,” said a member of Nine Tre Gangsta Bloods. “I got kids, too, man. I want to see them grow up.”
Newark Deputy Mayor Ras Baraka, one of the mediators on the agreement, said he believes the cease-fire would help reduce gang-on-gang violence in and around neighborhoods and schools. Acting Police Director Anthony Ambrose said it’s too soon to tell how it would affect the homicide rate. Last month, authorities attributed a spike in violence during the first part of this year to an increase in gang activity.
The truce began to take shape over the past few months when two Crips members and a Bloods member who are friends felt it was time to put an end to the violence. The gangs also called on a Newark resident, Byron “Boogie” Kelley, who is familiar with gang members on both sides, and the Nation of Islam mosque No. 25 in Newark. the gang members began to meet among themselves and craft an agreement using a protocol for peace written by Stanley “Tookie” Williams, a co-founder of the Crips. Williams, who is on death row in California, speaks out against gang violence and was the subject of the movie “Redemption.”