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Former gang leader turns kids to boxing

Tuesday, October 04, 2016 - 02:21

Amid Chicago's escalating violence, former gang leader Derek Brown is trying to keep young people off the streets by training them to box. He explains why and how he turned his back on a life of crime. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Derek Brown is a former Chicago gang leader. He now teaches boxing to inner city youths. "I got involved with the gang probably at the age of 12-years-old. For a child, the idle mind was like a devil's playground...There wasn't no youth center for us to go to. There wasn't no grown-ups to tell us right from wrong. There wasn't no one to catch us and help us, like what I'm doing right now. We didn't have this. My best friend, his name was Walter. We had the same dreams, the same goals in life. We wanted to be drug dealers. We wanted to run the gang. And at this time I was selling -- I was selling drugs and I was gettin' it. It was called gettin' money, so I was -- I had a constant flow. And he ended up getting killed. Only thought I had was, kill every and anybody that you can possibly think killed your friend and you will be at peace. So I looked, I had a pile of weed on my table, had a 357 right here, I had a shotgun on the side of me. I had so many guns it was crazy. Something said go kill every -- somebody. And as I was getting up, I could just hear this voice telling me to put the gun down. Like, what? 'Put the gun down.' And I felt this voice and like somebody touched me and it was talking to me. They said, everything's going to be all right. If these kids didn't work with me right now, they'd be on somebody's block next to some shooters soaking up -- because whatever they hear is like a sponge -- and this becomes them. And they'd be soaking up all that energy, learning about how to shoot or kill somebody -- or running some packs."

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Former gang leader turns kids to boxing

Tuesday, October 04, 2016 - 02:21