Los Angeles

Rival Gangs Come Together in Los Angeles to Talk About Their Truce

Local pastor says more than a decade-long truce between rival gangs has led to a reduction in crime and violence in neighborhoods in L.A.

NBC Universal, Inc.

A rare sight Friday on the steps of the Los Angeles City Hall -- rival gang members came together to talk about their truce.

The effort started after the L.A. Riots of 1992.

Pastor Shep Crawford says the people who stood alongside him outside City Hall should not be defined by what they did in the past. In fact, he says they're the main reason for much of the peace between rival gangs, and a decade-long reduction in crime and violence in neighborhoods throughout Los Angeles.

"Literally not trying to do it for any other reason but the fact that they are now fathers, the fact they are now grandfathers, the fact that they are husbands, the fact they have spent time locked up thinking about the good they were going to do when they got out," said Crawford.

Crawford also said that 54-year-old Paul "Doc" Wallace is one of those changed men who over the last several years has donated food to needy residents, but that a month ago, Wallace was indicted on federal charges alleging him to be a senior leader of the East Coast Crips who committed a murder in 2003 and ordered another in 2014.

Crawford noted that two days before Wallace was arrested, Wallace helped end a battle between rival Crip factions that has lasted for 45 years. He says guilty or not, he hopes the government and public will consider that.

The U.S. Attorney's Office told NBCLA that Wallace pleaded not guilty and is scheduled to go to trial in May 2021.

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