Resolving the beef between the Noose Set gang and the L Street gang rested on the shoulders of a fifteen-year-old . . . .
It was nearly time to bring the two gangs face to face. I was talking with L Street when we were interrupted by a correctional officer escorting Wes. "What up my niggas?" Wes said. He placed his hands on the wall and lifted a leg so that cuffs and chains could be removed from his ankle.
"I am tired of this shit,” he said. “I've been doing this since I was a young buck." Wes was down for a drug charge. A detective claimed that Wes was responsible for a homicide that couldn't be proven. "If I can't get him on the homicide,” said the detective, “I'm going to arrest him on any and everything else. “ And he did.
The L Street members welcomed Wes with hand shakes and half-hugs. Then they sat down to pizza and soda. For Wes, a special treat.
Then it was time.
An officer and I escorted L Street into a room where Noose Set waited. It felt like someone had died. Silence. The two gangs exchanged evil looks like they do on the streets.
Reverend Green laid down the rules, and then stepped aside.
The gangs smirked at each other. One L Street dude used his hand as a gun, pointing it at Noose Set. "Chill out," I said.
The conversation started. “What happened the night of the party,” asked the fifteen-year-old from Noose set. "Y’all were all together, right?"
"Yeah," Wes replied. He was hesitant. He didn't want to share the details.
"Who killed my brother?" the fifteen-year-old asked.
"The nigga that killed your brother is dead."
Then someone asked, "Are we going to squash this shit?"
The Noose Set looked at their fellow gang member, the fifteen-year-old. "It’s up to you,” the said,”He was your brother."
He was about five years old when his brother was murdered.
The fifteen-year-old nodded his head. "Yes."