Gang life in B.C.: 6 'myths' revealed in new police videos
Anti-gang police force releases videos featuring families of murdered gangsters to dispel myths
B.C.'s anti-gang agency has teamed up with parents of young people killed by gang involvement to create a series of videos they hope will help keep youth out of gangs, by dispelling myths of power, money and respect.
The Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit spent a year making the YouTube videos about six "myths" of gang life, as part of its "End Gang Life" campaign:
- Selling a little bit of drugs isn't a big deal (VIDEO)
- As a gangster's girl, you'll have everything you want (VIDEO)
- You'll have plenty of friends and respect (VIDEO)
- Someone will always have your back (VIDEO)
- You'll live a long and happy life (VIDEO)
- No one in 'my' family would be in a gang (VIDEO)
"It started as a very simple, innocent choice," said Desiree Desjardins, who talked about the gang involvement of her son, Sean Murphy, in the videos.
"Someone asked him at school if he wanted to sell some pot for a bit of extra spending money. He said he would, never understanding where that might lead him."
Murphy became involved in the Red Scorpion gang, dealing drugs. The body of the 21-year-old was found slumped over the steering wheel of his car in 2009 in Abbotsford, B.C..
"You don't want your family to go through this pain, this hell," said Desjardins.
'She got pulled into the game'
Carol Kinnear's daughter Brianna was also drawn to gang involvement through a friend, and the promise of wealth.
"She knew right from wrong. She still got pulled into the game," said Kinnear.
"It's very easy. Kids get pulled by the amount of money, the nice stuff you can have, the parties you can go to."
Brianna began dating a gang member and dealing drugs for him, said Kinnear. She was murdered in Coquitlam, B.C. in 2009 at age 22.
As a grieving mother, Kinnear was clear about why she participated in the "End Gang Life" project.
"If I can save one child, one family from going through the devastation and heartache that we face every day after the murder of our daughter then I've done my job."
Myths and Realities: first video
With files from Dan Burritt