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The cheap multi-purpose, rubber sole shoes squeak as 18-year-old Robbie Mc’Clain is marched along a spotless corridor.
"This your first time in the jungle?" Officer Williams makes small talk while they walk.
“What's the jungle?” Robbie inquires.
“Essex County Jail.”
"Yes, it's my first and last time," Robbie replies.
"I noticed you got that itty-bitty, teeny-weeny jumpsuit on. That joint is going to get smaller and smaller, as you get larger and larger." Officer Williams gets a kick out of hiking on first-timers. He possesses the type of personality that can turn any frown upside down. He doesn't mean any harm. He's just helping the day go by. Officer Williams is only three years older than Robbie. Someone so young has been given the tremendous responsibility of managing his peers. Some of them he's probably attended school with, played sports with, chased women with and participated in underage drinking with.
As they continue to mosey along. Robbie receives unfriendly vicious stares and snarls from other inmates. Some briefly stop and exchange a few insignificant words before shaking hands with Officer Williams. Robbie notices that the inmates shake with their right hands, but cover it with their left hands. He doesn't understand why, but he will soon find out.
"Knuckle up guard your grill this is the real deal." Officer Williams warns as soon as they stop in front of a gate. Robbie being naive, has no idea what the heck Officer Williams is referring to. However, he does know that danger and crime is common in Newark, New Jersey. Nevertheless, Robbie does not partake in any criminal activities. He's never engaged. He hasn't even done anything to make enemies. So he's certain that the mean mugs are a case of you look like somebody I know. Robbie thinks nothing of the threatening stares, he looks away.
"Control tower pop the main gate," Officer Williams speaks into his walkie-talkie.
The guard in the control tower takes a look into the camera that is placed up high, attached to a bracket on the wall. Everywhere you look there's an all-seeing eye watching, spying, waiting and recording. That camera sees almost everything. There's no absolute privacy. That would defeat its purpose. Jail is not supposed to be private or convenient. It’s supposed to be miserable and undesirable.
There's a beeping and clicking sound before the gate to another unfamiliar unkind uncaring unprotected world opens up. Robbie steps forward inside, and the gate slams shut behind him.
The lessons Robbie will learn are not taught in a college or by any mentor, or coach. Nor are they taught at a church by a pastor, or at a mosque by Imam or Minister. Nor are they taught at a synagogue by a Rabbi. This experience will make Robbie or break him. Robbie stands there dressed in a ridiculous looking, cost-efficient orange jumpsuit. Referred to as a carrot suit, or pumpkin suit by the inmates. He instinctively surveys his surrounding, as any living creature would do when out of their natural element. The first thing that Robbie notices is the high wattage light bulbs that illuminate the dayroom/lunch- room/multi-purpose room. The light's brightness is blinding. Intolerable for the human eye to look directly at it. The place smells like a hospital. Disinfectants, Comet Cleanser, and Clorox Bleach reek strongly.
There's a 26-inch flat screen television soldered high up on a wall mount. The television is tuned to SportsCenter, and it blares loudly. Ice Cube is discussing his new three-man league called "The Big Three."
He's talking about Allen Iverson, Gary Payton (AKA "The Glove), Clyde "The Glide" Drexler, Julius Erving, Kenyon Martin, and Tim Duncan. Everyone's looking forward to it. It's going to be lots of excitement. Officer Williams abruptly changes the channel to Fox 5 News without warning. TV anchor Diane Sawyer is standing in front of Bradley Courts. Inmates that are familiar with the location crowd together, and listen attentively.
"I'm Diane Sawyer reporting live from N. Munn Avenue. Tonight another homicide has taken place in the city of Newark. I have activist Ruah Waters here with me to share her insight on the senseless violence in the city. Miss Waters, glad to have you here. Sorry, we had to meet today under such unfortunate circumstances."
"Hi, Diane. I'm always here. It's my responsibility, and duty to be here. I grew up here. I live here. I love here." Ruah speaks with a deep intensity. She's all for the people. She's nothing like all of those bloodsuckers who mulch the City dry, then sit back doing nothing but watching while the people slowly die.
"Miss Waters, what do you have to say about the recent tragedy here today?"
"Are you a spiritual woman Miss Sawyer?" Ruah questions.
"Very much so." She replies.
"No one can die unless it is the will of the MOST HIGH. My condolences, my heart, and my hand go out to the family and friends of the victim. I'm here. I say that again. I'm here. I can be reached at www.Ruah.com hashtag Judah Will Rise Again. It was written."
"Thank you very much, Miss Waters, for sharing your personal opinion."
Their eyes connect. Their X chromosomes bark at each other. They're like vicious female pitbulls, anxious to thrash each other. Their leashes are their mental faculties. Both women are civil. They're from two different tribes. One original and the other aboriginal. The battle between the two is totally mental.
"It's not my personal opinion look around you. The sleeping LION has been awakened." Robbie's eyes are glued to the television set. Ruah Waters is his godmother. Seeing her on television gives him hope. He knows that she's going to do everything in her power, and then some to make sure justice is done.
There's some static before a voice shouts from the loudspeaker above: "Pill Call!"
"You take it, and tell me how you like it!" Busy Guns shouts back in response. He is a smart aleck who loves attention. He's also referred to as a play fiend in the penile system. There's always a clown like him in jail that thinks everything is a joke.
There are outbursts of laughter. The clown has an audience.
"Shush. Quiet we're trying to watch the news!”
"Shush deez!" Busy Guns retorts. The disrespectful comment is ignored, but not overlooked by the many who are more interested in what's happening on the outside. They reside in the inside all they have is time. They'll deal with Busy Guns later.
Meanwhile, Diane has moved on to another interview with Pamela Wynn. Pamela is a lifetime resident of the neighborhood. So this plays into Diane's strategy. She starts off the interview with basic questions.
"Do you live in this neighborhood Pamela?”
"Yeah, I live right over there." Pamela points in the direction of her residence.
“Did you personally know the victim?”
“Yeah, we went to Westside High School together." Pamela weeps while she replies. It's very difficult for her to express her grief for the loss of a childhood friend.
"Do you have any idea why this could have happened?"
"All these killings are all about the same thing drugs, gangs, or jealousy. Pamela's big mouth has turned an ordinary murder investigation into a capital murder investigation.
"Are you saying that this homicide is drug and gang related?"
"It had to be. I know it was somebody close to Tank. Somebody that Tank trusted. And trust me, Tank don't trust many," replies Pamela. Diane displays a sad expression. The issue is obviously devastating to the millions of viewers that are tuned in to her arrogance. Nevertheless, it's an act that Diane has perfected. She doesn't give a hoot. She doesn't live in the hood. In her neighborhood poverty doesn't exist. A person must live in poverty to understand the severity of it. Diane looks at the camera and speaks clearly.
"It's sad that a man, a possible father or husband lost his life tonight over something as worthless as drugs and gangs."
"Ooh! Am I going to be on TV?” Pamela asks a stupid ass question, not realizing that she is being recorded live looking a hot mess. Her hair weave looks like it has been copied and pasted, instead of glued or sewn in. SMH. Isn't it depressing how the media finds the worst people to interview in poor communities all over the United States of America? It seems like impediments serve as qualifications: You smoke crack? Fine we want to do an interview with you. Do you use heroin? Fine we want to do an interview with you. Do you smoke meth? Fine we want to do an interview with you. Do you live in a cardboard box? Fine we want to do an interview with you.
Something is wrong with the picture that the media is portraying to the divided people calling themselves Americans.
"Control tower pop the main gate." Officer Williams speaks into his walkie-talkie. The guard in the control tower takes a look into the all-seeing eye then presses a button.
A sound beeps and clicks before the door slides open. The trustee/tier representative enters carrying a mat on his shoulders. His upper body muscles bulge as he advances.
"Control tower close the main gate." Officer Williams speaks into his walkie-talkie. The guard in the control tower takes a look into the all-seeing-eye then presses a button. The gate slides shut.
"Robbie Mc'Clain!" Tommie shouts. Robbie can't hear his name being called over the excessive ruckus and racket. "Robbie Mc'Clain!" Tommy Guns shouts out again. "Look here Robbie Mc'Clain, you better come to get your belongings before somebody else gets it!" This time Tommy's voice octaves over all the pandemonium. Robbie recognizes his name being called and heads over toward the gate. As he walks along, his head full of lengthy, sun-baked, dreadlocks swing below his armpits.
"Come on man how are you going to call out his real name?" Busy Guns shouts out from within the dayroom. He has violated yet another code. There are codes under the Gunner banner that every member is required to honor:
- Never invite a man to your penis.
- Never use real names.
- Never mind anyone else's business.
- Never turn down a callout.
Whenever any of the codes are violated there's always a consequence. It's just a matter of when will it happen. Before Robbie reaches the gate he's met half the distance by Tommy Guns. "You act like you ain’t want your property."
"Actually I didn't hear you," Robbie honestly replies.
"You got to pay attention to what's going on around you at all times. This is jail, you gotta stay ready so you don’t have to get ready. Even when you get out of the shower you got to be ready to fight for your life and not think twice. Toilet, dayroom, lock up, bullpens, courtrooms, you gots to stay ready so you don't have to get ready." Robbie doesn't want him to get it twisted. He's neutral and has every intention of staying that way. Although, the path to hell is paved with good intentions, yet bad decisions made in desperate situations. "You from Newark?" Tommy continues.
"Yes, I'm originally from Newark, but I attend Temple University in Philly."
"Yeah, that's what's up. What they call you?"
"I'm Tommy Guns." The two men don't bother to shake hands. They're not trying to meet new friends. In fact, Tommy's demeanor is intimidating and unfriendly. He towers over Robbie's 6'4 stature. He should be somewhere slam dunking, instead he is jailing and gang banging. "My advice to you is to get in where you fit in. Gunners regulate on this floor. If you a ain't a Gunner, you’re a goner. I ain't got no problem with nobody being neutral. The first time I got bagged I was neutral. Old things end and new things begin." Tommy Guns shrugs his shoulders and weakens his deep, dark stare. This allows the bright brown color in Robbie's eyes to revive feeling alive again.
"I'll get up Zombie." Tommy Guns utters before walking back toward the gate. What was that supposed to mean? Robbie is ignorant to the gang lingo. However, he does know that the word zombie represents something unfriendly, deadly and scary.
"CO Beast Mode!" Tommy shouts, as he stretches and raises his arms up high above his head.
The inmates’ cheer. Their adrenaline is pumping. It's an Alpha male testosterone thing.
"Call him out!" Officer Williams shouts.
"Busy Guns," Tommy calls out the instigator responsible for breaking the hip-hop pioneers Eric B and Rakim's ain't no joke, Nobody's Smiling principle. There are rules and regulations in the jungle. Any infractions or violations will result in a serious life scarring or life departing situation.
"You good with that?" Officer Williams checks.
"I'm great with that! Let’s get it popping. Y'all better place y'all bets on me for the victory in three like Ali." Busy Guns gladly accepts the traditional challenge. This consists of an old school, one-on-one, duke it out duel. This is the Inmates way of settling differences and disagreements.
Gunners begin patting, tapping, banging and beating on the cafeteria tables. The unique sounds systematically intertwine and combine. Together they formulate the rhythm to the 'Gunner anthem,' rapper The Game's song Love it or Hate it: Coming up I was confused my momma kissing a girl. Confusion occurs coming up in the cold world. Daddy ain't around probably out committing felonies.
The four "Beast Mode" rules under the Gunner banner are as follows:
- You are required to fight hard.
- You are required to keep your mouth shut in the event of serious injury.
- You are required to begin fighting when the cell doors lock.
- You are required to clean up your own mess.
"Control tower pop the west wing gate." Officer Williams speaks into his walkie-talkie. The guard in the control tower takes a look into the all-seeing eye then presses a button.
A beeping and clicking sound can be heard before the door slides open connecting to a short stairway that leads to the cell blocks.
The gate slides shut. It's almost time for the main event. The two contenders hurry down the stairs, and into the first unoccupied cell that they find.
Dreadlocks are quickly tied in a tight knot. Also, most clothing articles are removed. The only exceptions are their boxer underwear, and rubber sole slide on shoes. Both men growl and hiss at each other like wild animals. Their stares are powerful. They can't wait to rumble.
The door slides shut. Neither fighter waits for the bell to ring. Two Rocky Balboa, Apollo Creed right hands are detonated with hatred and anger. They both connect like BigHorn Rams colliding at full force. The penetrating impact of the blow ruptures loud and explosively as it collides against facial bones. For Busy the effects are immediate, his legs buckle. He's introduced to a force and power that he's never felt before. For once, he's met his match, as all gladiators eventually do. It's inevitable in battle. Tommy is aware that his opponent has been hurt. So he quickly strikes by maneuvering his left hand behind Busy's head. Shoryuken Hadouken. Tommy crushes his opponent with a vicious flying Street Fighter 2 knee. His precision is cage fighter certified. The blow smashes into Busy's nose. Blood begins to flow profusely from his nasal passage. It's not over yet, Tommy prepares to choke Busy into total tapout submission.
Back in the Dayroom
Cards slam on a table. "¡Asesinato, acabo de atraparte un asesinato! ¡Tienes que beber 4 vasos de agua! ¡Déjame conseguir minas!" The Cortados affiliate playing casino yelps.
This can be translated into English as body! I just caught a body on you! You got to drink four glasses of water! Let me get mine!
The loser begins fulfilling his agreed requirements. Welching on a bet is considered serious disrespect that can and will be dealt with violently.
On the opposite end of the table, two Asians are playing chess.
"Take your time because the wrong move will be your last move." The player with the advantage in pieces and position taunts the disadvantaged. A table on the other side of the dayroom is occupied with four men playing Spades.
"I got my half, what you got?" The Gunner questions his partner.
"I got my half !" His partner replies.
"Spin them, Y'all can plea bargain for 500 pushups, or take it to trial and give us all our push-ups!” The Gunner exclaims. On the opposite end of that same table, there's a checkerboard. The obvious loser is wiggling his arms, butt, hips, thighs, and legs attempting to imitate Beyonce’s booty dance.
Spectators laugh out loud while the winner bangs his fist on the table providing an instrumental. In the midst of the various time occupying and time entertaining activities, Blaze Guns rounds the dayroom. He's rhyming aloud the lyrics to his favorite rapper Yo Gotti's track "Cold-Blooded" out loud:
"He sold crack to his mother. Turned his back on his brother. Killed his partner for the plug. He thinks everything's a hustle."
Blaze Guns has a shot at prevailing and excelling as a lyricist. He just has a pit stop. He's locked up. Nevertheless, he’s exceptionally talented. His story is like most. He can play sports, but he got injured. He can drive, but he doesn't have a car. He can act, sing and dance, but he hasn't been given a fair chance. All these are stories, so what worst luck stories. Irrelevant in a world that's all about victories.
“¡Señorita muy bonita!"
Robbie looks around the dayroom in the direction of the Espanol roaring. He notices another 26' inch television attached to a bracket above. The station is tuned to the popular Spanish show Nuestra Belleza Latina.
Many Cortados members are swarmed in a group cheering like it's Free Taco Day. Robbie's having an extremely difficult time with grasping all of the routines, and restrictions that come along with incarceration.
The bitter reality of him not being free to do as he wants, or go as he wants is almost surreal. He doesn't want to be there, but the real story is he ain't going nowhere. He's facing a life sentence for murder in the first degree like the ANGOLA 3.
"Count up, count up, Gunners, Cortados and others report back to your cells." Officer Williams announces. Chairs squeak as everybody finalizes their recreational activities.
"Control tower pop the west gate." Officer Williams speaks into his walkie-talkie. The guard in the control tower takes a look into the all-seeing eye then presses a button. The sound beeps and clicks before the door slides open connecting to a short stairway that leads to cell blocks 10 west uppers and 10 west lower. The inmates stampede down the stairs. They're all eager to learn the outcome of the bout. Many of them have soups, cakes, candies, zoo zoos and wham whams placed as a wager on the fight.
"Y'all alright in 10 west lower?" Officer Williams inquires.
"Yeah I'm good, but I think homie right here that was doing all of the slick talking needs medical attention."
"Control tower pop 54 lower west." Officer Williams speaks into his walkie-talkie. The guard in the control tower takes a look into the all-seeing eye then presses a button. The sound beeps and clicks before the door slides open.
Busy Guns struggles, but somehow staggers out. If he can walk, he can clean. If he can clean, he doesn't need medical attention. All he needs is time to heal. He has got the point that Eric B and Rakim were enforcing. Now he seems to fit perfectly in the lines toward the end of the rhyme: So maybe I just search for a 9 to 5, if I strive. Then maybe I'll stay alive. The life of crime just isn't for Busy Guns. He drops his head in a manner many defeated fighters have done before him. Humility is evident, and everyone can see it as he retrieves the mop bucket from the tier. Busy is beat up really badly. He has massive discoloration and protrusions on his face.
"Control tower close lower west 54." Officer Williams speaks into his walkie-talkie. The guard in the control tower takes a look into the all-seeing eye then presses a button.
A sound beeps and clicks before the door slides shut.
An exhausted Busy Guns somehow musters up the energy to mop his blood from the cell floor. Finally, someone has knocked some sense in his thick head. He realizes that he doesn't have a good reason for being a Gunner. He has simply followed a popular trend, monkey see monkey do. The vicious beating he's endured has changed his perspective reasoning. Busy will now think twice before he speaks. In addition, he'll surely watch what he says and who he says it too. His likeness to offend again once released is minimal. The lesson learned was painful yet successful.
"Control tower pop 54 lower west." Officer Williams speaks into his walkie-talkie. The guard in the control tower takes a look into the all-seeing eye then presses a button. A sound beeps and clicks before the door slides open.
Busy Guns comes limping and pushing a mop bucket from the cell. He's being banished from the Gunner wolfpack where only the strong survive, the weak fall by the wayside.
"Control tower close lower west 54." Officer Williams speaks into his walkie-talkie. The guard in the control tower takes a look into the all-seeing eye then presses a button. A sound beeps and clicks before the door slides shut.
Hate it or love it, the underdog's on top. And I'm gon' shine, homie until my heart stops.
As Busy Guns painfully moves along, Gunners begin banging with their fists, and patting with their palms on cell walls and doors, formulating the rhythm to their anthem rapper The Game's song Love it or Hate it.
A sound beeps and clicks before the door slides open. This noise reoccurs as the door slides shut. It's all over with.
Tommy Guns is once again victorious. Things soon return to the normal routines. Sounds of commodes flushing invade the tier. The men begin to take their last-minute courtesy dumps. This is a civilized way to abide in a barbaric environment, without having to smell the stench of each other's feces. Once the cell doors are locked for the night. Unless an absolute emergency, in cases such as, there's a baby powder blowing process of odor management that's used to freshen the air. It's all about survival in a systematic, diabolical, experimental system.
"Lockdown in five minutes." Officer Williams reminds the inmates. Before lockdown is typically the busiest, and noisiest time of the night. Especially tonight, the fight is the main topic. Gunners, Cortados, and others are hooting, hollering, yelling and cross-talking like animals trapped in a close proximity. They don't have much time to get things done.
Soon the lights will cut out, and the cells will be locked for the night, so they scurry about while they still have time like cockroaches in the light. Trading, borrowing, buying, selling, collecting and heating food in the microwave to munch on once their cells are locked. It's always a tight squeeze. Everybody waits for the last minute to do what should've been done in the first second. When the lights cut off. Reality will cut on. Three grown men will be packed, and stacked in a cell similar to groceries on shelves. Some will never again smell the scent of a woman during an intimate encounter. This is the ending of their reproduction. 'The real birth control is when the enemy is in control.'
"Lockdown!” "Gunner, Cortados, and others return to your designated cells. Goodnight don't let the bedbugs bite. And don't have any nightmares about Jody doing the nasty with your lady tonight." Jody is a popular penitentiary figure, well known all around the United States of America for romancing women while their men are doing time in prison.
A sound beeps and clicks before the door slides shut. The inmates are now confined to their cells for the remainder of the night. Nevertheless, the captives’ won't be sleeping just so soon. After Officer Williams goes from cell to cell with a clipboard taking his final census the inmates will engage in their nightly rituals.
Before Gunners and Cortados affiliates can shut their eyes, say their prayers, or meditate on how to escape the situations they have a mandated requirement. The cadence call must be performed.
On behalf of the Gunners, Tommy Guns will not be leading the cadence. Hands down, he is the most aggressive and respected in the streets, and also throughout the facility. However, when it comes to so-called politics, qualifications are normally not the factor that makes a difference. Tommy is better qualified, yet Chucky has been appointed Lieutenant Colonel. Chucky's story is as follows: he's a shot caller. He's also the blood brother of Bop Guns. He has been charged with armed robbery and first-degree kidnapping. On the streets, Chucky struggles with substance abuse. Therefore, being confined is his time to shine. It gives him bragging rights and citywide notability. He's well educated on all the hip talk, tactics and methods that are involved with doing time. Chucky's been in and out of correctional programs and prisons since he was an adolescent. And still, he hasn't learned his lesson.
On behalf of the Cortados, Felipe will not be leading the cadence. Hands down, he is the most aggressive and most respected in the streets, and also throughout the facility. However, when it comes to so-called politics, qualifications are normally not the factor that makes the difference. Felipe is better qualified, yet Hector has been appointed Lieutenant Colonel. Hector's story is as follows: he's a shot caller. He has been charged with felony eluding and weapons trafficking. Hector is also the nephew of a prominent underworld crime boss in Mexico City, Mexico. His case is not a city or a state problem. He's waiting on immigration (I.C.E.) it's their problem. Hector was raised in the shadows of crime. He's accepted the bitter reality of his ending options. The cemetery or the penitentiary, either or is worth more than living poor to Hector. That's his ideology.
On behalf of the United States of America, those who've been on the front lines in our communities, developing nations of strong men and women deserve to be president. However, those who haven't done zilch and don't plan on doing zilch are the individuals appointed, and elected president. It's all about so-called politics.
Total silence befalls the west wing. This is the cue for Hector Cortados to begin. Every Cortados member in the entire west wing stands at attention as they Pledge Allegiance, repeating verbatim every spoken word of the creed: “¡Somos uno y uno que somos si luchas contra uno de nosotros debes luchar contra todos nosotros!” This can be translated to English as: We are one and one we are. If you fight one of us you gotta fight us all.
“Knuckle Up guard your grill this is real if you ain't-a Gunner than you're a goner. I swear on my heart, my life, my knife to represent my set before I punk out I’d rather be taken out!"
Chucky Guns leads the Gunna cadence as all the Gunners in the cellblock stand at attention, and Pledge Allegiance, repeating verbatim every spoken word of the creed. This is the highlight of Chucky's life. He actually looks forward to this rather than looking forward to using the talents that he is blessed with to make a better life for himself. Chucky, Hector, Felipe, and Tommy are all fictional characters that represent a hardship, misfortune, and recidivism. These social weapons of mass destruction are all made in America. America has lured the people into bad situations by using their weaknesses against them. The plan is to trap us, enslave us, prohibit us, devalue us and decimate us. SOMETHING MUST BE DONE.
Readers, I added a bonus version to my works. As the Author, I will honestly answer personal questions at the end of each story.
Question: Prior to transitioning, and settling down with your family I understand that you were in the life of crime. When did that life begin for you?
Answer: That all depends on what you consider criminal. Please keep in mind that I was raised in Newark, New Jersey also nicknamed as The Brick City. Life has always been rough there. As children, we participated in bloody fistfights. We threw eggs at the 31 bus on Mischief Night. On snowy days we threw snowballs at moving cars, amongst various other mischievous infractions. However, at age 13 the powerful lure of fast drug money hit my community like an atomic bomb. That's when I had my first run-in with the law. This is a true story that can be verified.
In 1988, I was arrested on my first possession with intent to distribute a controlled dangerous substance offense. At the time of the incident, I happen to be standing next to POP. We were on the corner of Grand and Mountainview Avenue.
The cops pulled up. I should have run. They would have never caught me. Instead, I stood still and played it cool.
Pop took off running. Readers, if you've ever committed a crime while on parole, you know what running for your freedom feels like. The experience is terrifying and loaded with a burst of adrenaline.
Pop made it safely to his home. I was immediately searched. The cops found the narcotics on my person.
Readers, let me bring to your attention that possession is nine-tenths of the law. The detectives were so anxious to bust Pop, they overlooked that law. This is nothing new. Laws are still being overlooked and ignored.
The cops quickly handcuff me, throw me in the squad car, and race around the corner to Pop's place of residence
Pop came out to avoid them coming inside. The look on his face was frightening. His fear wasn't the fear of being incarcerated. His fear was of the unknown. He had every right to feel that way. I was a kid. This was my very first run-in with the law. I had never been tested in the streets. Pop, on the other hand, was a former member of the Country Boys a notorious drug organization. Pop was also the nephew of the legendary Frank Lucas. The gentleman whose life the movie American Gangster starring Russell Crowe and Denzel Washington was based on.
Pop had a lot to lose. His fate was in the hands of a 13-year-old boy. To make a long story short, I took the charge and was arrested. After my release, I became very close to Pop and his family. Back in those days when you stood strong and kept your mouth shut, you received nobility in your community.
I am not saying this to praise myself in any way. This is an example of the catastrophic effects on not only my mind but in the mind of 13-year-old kids residing in low-income communities all throughout this country. This has to stop. Something must be done.
Readers, thank you for your valuable time and attention. You've helped me a great deal by reading my story. If you wish to further extend a hand tell a friend and/or kindly leave a tip. All contributions will be used toward the spread of a positive message. Please stay tuned for much more.