How Ex-Gang Members Are “Creating Peace” In L.A.


Murders and other violent crimes are at a 50-year low in Los Angeles, partly because police and ex-gang members are working together to make the streets safer, reports National Public Radio. Police chief Charlie Beck says of gang members-turned-interventionists, “Whenever a gang shooting occurs, we notify intervention, they do a couple things. They, first of all, dispel rumors. Rumors cause the next homicide – rumors about who did what to who instigate further violence. So they calm rumors. They also create peace. They broker peace between feuding factions. They also mentor and try to remove gang members from the life of violence.”

Lorna Hawkins became an activist after a son was murdered in 1988. Her group, Drive By Agony, marched through the streets. She spent these past two decades talking to crime victims. She lectured young people in schools, juvenile detention, and prisons. “A lot of gang members’ kids are now grown, and they’re losing their sons, right?” she says. “Nowadays, they’re in their 40s, 50s, 60s, and they’re like, ‘Oh s- – – I got grandkids! I cannot let this continue. So groups are coming together. They’re coming together!”

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