Crime Tracker: A Sneak Peak At Life Inside A Gang; KHQ's Kalae C - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Crime Tracker: A Sneak Peak At Life Inside A Gang; KHQ's Kalae Chock Reports

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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 gangs. 

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 gang.
 
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. 

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