Some of the more notorious gangs originated in Los Angeles, like the Crips and Bloods. L.A. has a long history of gangs and gang violence, and some of the gangs from L.A. have taken hold in Memphis. Over the last couple of years, though, Los Angeles has had some success in reducing the number of violent acts committed by gangs.
Guillermo Cespedes is the Deputy Mayor of Los Angeles. He heads the city’s gang intervention program. He’s worked four decades fighting gang violence, first as a social worker, and since 2007 as the Deputy Mayor.
As WKNO continues its series “Gangs in the City,” recruitment into gangs – from the highly organized and established gangs to the more disorganized neighborhood sets – continues on the streets, in schools and through the media. Eva Miller taught at Sheffield High, where many students live in abject poverty. The former English teacher quietly continues her calling – that started 25 years ago. It’s called Knight Life, a ministry that offers young people other options.