Aqueela Sherrills, Activist, Campaigner Against Gang Violence

[00:00:00] Aqeela: As I am Aqeela Sherrils. I’m the executive director of the Community Self-determination Institute a former member of the Grape Street Crips out of Jordan down housing projects here in Watts.

[00:00:34] Miae:So tell me what were you doing when the La Riots broke out?

[00:00:40] Aqeela: What I was doing during the breakout of The L.A. riots was actually working with an organization that we co-founded with Hall of Fame where Jim Brown called Amer-I-Can. And at the time we were actually organizing in the neighborhood the peace treaty the peace treaty happened a few days before the actual Rodney King verdict. So we had actually took about 250 275 gang members ex-gang members from seven different neighborhoods throughout the city of Los Angeles down to City Hall to make a presentation to let them know that we had formed a peace treaty that we were coming together to atone for the violence that was perpetrated on ourselves and against each other and that we were making a commitment to stop. And a lot of the killing in the city and I think the following day was the Rodney King verdict. And you know basically what we were doing in the neighborhood was trying to stop individuals from looting and robbing and burning down the stores and different things like that because we were trying to let them understand that this is our community. This is where we live. And so whatever we destroy here you know we lose. Read more...