And there’s not that many gangs that are so deeply rooted that kids can’t get out. In Chicago, where I saw [an] interview where the grandfather and the grandmother. . . they were in the gang, they still wore gang colors. That’s deeply rooted. That’s happening in Chicago, where, when you’re born, you’re born into the gang, like in LA, Chicago, and Baltimore. That doesn’t happen very often here.

These kids are choosing to be in gangs. And they can choose to opt out, most of them. [I’m not going to say] all. I’m sure there’s a few really tough ones here: the Latin Kings, MS13, and a few other really solid gangs that are here that have a hierarchy and so on and so forth. But for the most part, they’re scavenger gangs: a group of kids that get together, come up in the same schools, [on the] same side of town. There’s no chain of command. They don’t sit at a table and say, “Oh, tonight you’re gonna go out and shoot up the South Side.” No, they’re riding around in cars, smoking and drinking, and there’s a loaded gun and somebody just decides to say, “You know what? We’re going to shoot over here.” That’s what’s happening nine out of 10 times.

Are there some [organized] hits out there? I’m sure. Is there some retaliation? Yes. But most of the shootings come out of a bunch of kids getting together that are unruly, unsupervised, uneducated, with a loaded gun that you can get on the streets.

WHAT DO YOU SAY TO THE RHODE ISLANDERS WHO DON’T HEAR GUNSHOTS IN THEIR NEIGHBORHOODS, WHO MAY NOT SEE VIOLENCE IN PROVIDENCE AS THEIR PROBLEM? Those people, they couldn’t be more wrong, couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s everyone’s problem. I just don’t understand why people. . . if you’re living in Cranston or Warwick or Portsmouth or wherever you may live outside of Providence, and these killings are happening, you feel as though, “Oh, that’s not my problem.” But [you’ll] be the first people to send some water or donations. . . [or] a truck full of supplies for the people in Oklahoma or a truck full of [supplies] for the Connecticut kids. And believe me, I’m not taking anything away from those tragedies. They were horrific. But this is happening every day in your own state. I would say to those people, “It is our problem.” As taxpayers, [but also just seeing another] person that loses a kid. You don’t feel that? You really don’t feel that? I do.

For more on Project Night Vision, go to

< prev  1  |  2  |  3  | 
| More

Most Popular
Share this entry with Delicious

 See all articles by: PHILIP EIL