Gang Violence

Image of three growingchange.org participants harvesting food.
Noran Sanford

Cody Oxendine grew up in a small town in North Carolina dominated by gangs. He joined a gang at a young age and his activities landed him in juvenile court for two counts of simple assault. Three years ago, he was on probation and doing everything in his power to avoid prison. Now, 18-year-old Cody is thrilled to spend a lot of his time at one particular prison.

Oxendine is part of a group of youth leading an effort to flip an abandoned prison in Wagram, North Carolina into a sustainable farm.

Rocky Mount Police http://www.rockymountnc.gov/police/gangawareness.html

Rocky Mount community members and leaders are gathering at Word Tabernacle Church tonight for a public forum. This comes just weeks after four boys were shot on the church basketball court, and another was killed in a drive-by shooting.

Word Tabernacle Church Pastor James Gailliard said the tragedies have been a catalyst for social dialogue. He said he sees people crossing the aisle politically and having constructive discussions about how to combat gang violence, poverty and joblessness in the community.

Gavel, Court
SalFalko via Flickr, Creative Commons

Jorge Cornell was sentenced to 28 years in Federal Prison on Wednesday. The former leader of the Latin Kings gang in Greensboro was convicted last November on federal racketeering charges. Cornell was convicted of engaging in a conspiracy to commit murder, arson and robbery. He and his group feuded with the Greensboro Police.

A coordinated effort among law enforcement, schools, and non-profits would help to combat the impact of gangs in Guilford County. That’s according to a study presented today by UNC Greensboro. Youth Focus, a non-profit for at-risk youth is one of the groups involved in that effort.

Executive Director Chuck Hodierne says he hopes the study will make the community more aware of the issue of gangs. He says gang activity is a very difficult problem to address directly: