Why some young men in Richmond are laying down their guns
- Why some young men in Richmond are laying down ...
While Oakland stands in a tenuous state of peace, violence in nearby Richmond regularly grabs headlines – even within the walls of City Hall. KTVU ANCHOR: A bloody brawl that broke out inside Richmond City Hall has generated even more controversy tonight. So far, no witnesses not even city workers will talk to police about what happened. That fist-fight happened a few weeks ago when young men from rival Richmond neighborhoods showed up unexpectedly at the Office of Neighborhood Safety, or ONS. Despite the broken nose that resulted from the fight, ONS director DeVone says a fight in the office is better than a shooting in the parking lot. DEVONE BOGGAN: We didn’t have to bury anybody this week. You understand? If someone had been killed Friday because they’d decided to handle their conflict differently, we’d be planning for a funeral this week. The young men involved in the fight are actually participants in an ONS program called Operation Peacemaker Fellowship – a program that’s hoping to turn so called at-risk youth away from violence, and towards a more promising future. KALW’s Callie Shanafelt has more.
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CALLIE SHANAFELT: Twenty-one-year-old Rasheed Shepherd is from South Richmond, where he got caught up in street life at an early age.
RASHEED SHEPHERD: I was one of the ones that thought like a lot of people around me that the only way they could see success is either through a jump-shot, street dealing, or gangster rapper or something like that. You feel me?
A year and a half ago a black Impala pulled up to Shepherd. Immediately, he thought, “law enforcement.” But then he recognized the women inside. And they weren’t there to arrest him.
SHEPHERD: When I walked up to the car to talk to her she basically laid it on the table – “We’ve started this program that’s trying to help you help yourself.” When that was said I was like, “Oh I’m in.”
That would be the Operation Peacemaker Fellowship through the City of Richmond’s Office of Neighborhood Safety or the ONS. The program offers a de...
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