TRNN’s Angel Elliott talks exclusively with Baltimore gang members about their relationship with police, and the past week of unrest.
ANGEL ELLIOTT, REPORTER, TRNN: I’m Angel Elliott for The Real News Network in Baltimore, and I’m here at the Cloverdale basketball court where organizations who are normally associated with violence and depravity in the city have come together for a positive day of food and fun for kids in the city. I’m talking about the Black Guerrilla Family. I’m talking about Bloods. I’m talking about Crips. I actually talked to them today about how they’re being portrayed in the media and what they want for Baltimore City going forward.
– They’re not showing all the good we’re doing. They’re not showing you, filming the stores that we protected. They’re not showing the cameraman and a lot of individuals we protected. They’re not showing that. – We just want justice for Freddie and Trayvon Martin and, you know, for them to stop doing what they’re doing to us. And then they won’t have the reaction that they have across the city and across the world. – I’m Crip, yeah, but that don’t mean nothing. Colors don’t make the man. The man make [you]. – I have kids of my own. And I want to make sure that when they grow up, they won’t become a Freddie Gray. They won’t be a Mike Brown. They won’t be another innocent bystander in the midst of anything that’s going on. People do what they did because they wanted to show there is a problem. Now that you see the problem, now that it’s publicized, it’s about what is you going to do about the problem? We all out here, we all see a color. At the end of the day I’m a woman, I’m a mother, I am a worker. I am a citizen. I pay taxes just like the next man. ELLIOTT: So I’m a Baltimore native just like you. I grew up here, my parents are from here. How does it make you feel when mainstream media comes into our city and projects it in a way that’s just not true? – The things that the media is putting all over the Internet and stuff like that, even though they’re making us look bad, we still got people out there that believe in us. People out there that supporting us and having faith in us and knowing that that’s not what we’re doing, and that’s not what we’re about and what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to help everybody. We coming together. These are my brothers, whatever–I’m colorblind. These are my brothers. These are my sisters. They are my family, whether you came from my mother or father or not, whether you are my bloodline or not. You are my family. We supposed to be coming together to protect and build what’s ours into what we believe in. – Don’t let historical differences between Crips and Bloods and [inaud.] stand in the way of anything. We here. We were here. We got oppressed by the police. Everybody out here got oppressed by the police yesterday. Don’t let historical differences between us stop y’all from uniting, because right here we’re united. And that’s how it’s going to stay. – When I was 15 years old yeah, I made a bad decision of being a gang member, but that was my decision. So but at the same time, this is all the right reasons. All the right reasons and all the wrong reasons of doing what you decide to do. But at the same time, this is the time that everybody need to come together and get their word across nationwide. I mean, Baltimore City is not a bad place. But at the same time people in Baltimore make bad decisions. They came to Baltimore City and messed up their own city. What you got now? You ain’t got no check cashing place, you ain’t got no CVS to go get your medicine. Where you going to go at? – You need to make sure all these people know that this is also not a racial issue. This is about people in poverty and people that are oppressed, regardless of what color you are. We have white Bloods. We have white Crips. It’s not about color. It’s not about race. – We don’t need the police to protect our neighborhood because we protect our own. And that’s simple. – ‘Cause they’re not protecting us, they’re [inaud.] They didn’t want to see us to come together. They did not want to see us come together. – And we’re not trying to kill the cops, man. We’re not trying to kill the cops. [Crosstalk] – That’s a lie. That’s a lie. There was never no threat against the cops. Never. – Never. – They made that up. – If that was the case then it would be police is there right now. We was directing traffic, we was taking little babies that was lost back to their mothers and fathers. We were directing traffic. You know, we was protecting cameramen that was getting beat up. Getting them to safety. But that’s not what they’re showing. – They don’t tell you that. – They showing the riots. [Crosstalk] – I got the video with all of that. – Right. They won’t tell you about all the good that’s going on. They won’t tell you about all the good that we doing.
ELLIOTT: From Cloverdale basketball court in Baltimore City, I’m Angel Elliott.
DISCLAIMER: Please note that transcripts for The Real News Network are typed from a recording of the program. TRNN cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.