Crime Tracker: A Sneak Peak At Life Inside A Gang; KHQ's Kalae Chock Reports
by Kalae Chock, KHQ Local News Reporter - bio | email
SPOKANE, Wash. - The destruction
caused by gangs in Spokane is evident. Law enforcement says much of the drugs,
violence and crime taking place in the area is often connected in someway to
Society sees the effects of their actions, but understanding why a
person would choose to join a gang and take part in their destructive ways is
much more subtle. Kalae Chock sat down with two Spokane gang members to try and
understand the reasons behind their decision to live life inside a
Both men have lived
more than half their lives as gang members. One of them, who is now 30, founded
his gang when he was just 14. The violent actions of his group of friends led
to the formation of an official gang. He began selling drugs and at his peak
made as much as $5,000 in a week. Years later, he recruited a 13-year-old boy,
his brother and their two cousins. The new members were jumped into the gang,
getting beat by 5 adult men for 90 seconds in order to be officially initiated.
The men say they
found unity from fellow gang members. They say they gained acceptance and love;
something they didn't have at home. The gangs original member says he recruited
boys just like him, who came from abusive, violent families. Both men say
failure to receive love and acceptance at home led them straight to the streets
where they found what they were looking for.
However, along with
the love and acceptance came trouble. The men saw friends shot, some friends
died, and many others ended up in prison. Both men have a long wrap sheet of
violent criminal acts and have been convicted of felonies.
Today, the men are
hoping Spokane Pastor Shon Davis will help them turn their lives around. Pastor
Davis lived the same life as these men, growing up on the streets of Los Angeles
and getting shot in gang violence two times by the age of 18. He is now
dedicated to helping these young men find a way out of the gang life just like
he did 25 years ago.
While these men have
given up their life of crime, completely giving up their gang identity is
another story. They've lived almost a decade and a half as gang members. Now,
they want to become productive members of society. At the same time though,
they fear leaving the only family they've ever known behind.