LOADING ...

Escaping Gangs: Death, Jail Or Redemption | SPAC Nation

319K+ views   |   4K+ likes   |   310 dislikes   |  
26:25   |   Mar 24, 2019

Thumbs

Escaping Gangs: Death, Jail Or Redemption | SPAC Nation
Escaping Gangs: Death, Jail Or Redemption | SPAC Nation thumb Escaping Gangs: Death, Jail Or Redemption | SPAC Nation thumb Escaping Gangs: Death, Jail Or Redemption | SPAC Nation thumb

Transcription

  • This is London.
  • This is home.
  • Seeing violence...
  • ..deaths...
  • ..shootings, stabbings.
  • But look...
  • ..we was once the cause of it.
  • So who else is best to solve the problem?
  • I went to prison for murder.
  • I went to prison for attempted murder, twice.
  • I went to prison for shootings, a countless amount of times.
  • All my life has been a trail of violence.
  • Violence, violence, violence,
  • and I've only changed in the last year.
  • I stopped because I saw a church that could help me.
  • The gang members that I'm dealing with
  • are the most dangerous guys in the community.
  • They're the most dangerous guys in the papers.
  • They're the most dangerous guys in the society.
  • That's who I'm dealing with.
  • My church, the SPAC Nation...
  • ..is offering gang members
  • everything that the Government can't offer them.
  • Everything that the authorities can't offer them...
  • Do you understand?
  • ..which is a way out.
  • SPAC Nation is a church trying to help gang members
  • get out of gang life.
  • Its head pastor, Tobi Adegboyega,
  • is arriving for the weekly Sunday service,
  • which he's holding in a London hotel.
  • Your watch?
  • Yeah.
  • Always with a watch in your pocket.
  • I like to look good by myself.
  • I just have to be honest.
  • But then it connects to people, I think.
  • It connects to younger people.
  • They, um...
  • They see us part of them.
  • Why are they attracted to Jay-Z?
  • Why are they attracted to all the musicians?
  • Why are they attracted to drug dealers?
  • They just love the face of the drug dealer? No.
  • No matter how much you mean well for people,
  • if you can't get them to listen to you,
  • then nothing is going to happen.
  • You've got organisations out there dealing with knife crime,
  • gun crime, da-da-da-da-da...
  • A bunch of jokes.
  • Nothing is working.
  • Pastor Tobi's young following
  • includes some of the most violent gang members in London.
  • A community is a mix-up of the good, the bad, the ugly,
  • and that's what the church should be like.
  • So, yes, we do have 40% or more of people
  • coming from a very rough background.
  • They could have been gang leaders,
  • major drug dealers in their areas.
  • Tobi made millions consulting on property deals.
  • He believes the answer to tackling the gang problem
  • is by turning gang members into entrepreneurs.
  • Yes, sir.
  • I love that man on the street, that's what I live for,
  • especially when I realise he's got 20 people in his gang
  • and he's already on the streets making money.
  • So what I've got to do
  • is to convince him to jettison that kind of income
  • by providing another kind of income for him.
  • We're going to celebrate a group of men
  • who've taken on the challenge head on.
  • The church uses street evangelists and social media to recruit.
  • During service, there is a big security presence
  • to control rival gangs in the congregation.
  • It's not long before the security team is called into action.
  • It's come to my attention that a certain individual
  • is with us today.
  • He also has a prior with someone who has long been established with us,
  • so he's no longer part of that life.
  • Obviously, this person has beef with him, so to speak,
  • but it's a delicate situation.
  • We are eyes-on.
  • The newcomer to the church is a close friend
  • of ex-gang leader Pastor Kevin, who tries to calm the situation.
  • Eventually the two men from rival gangs are seated far apart,
  • on different sides of the hall.
  • What I want you to do right now
  • is to leave where you are and begin to walk towards me.
  • During the service,
  • Pastor Tobi encourages gang members to come forward.
  • ..is going to change your life forever.
  • If you are a part of a gang till now...
  • ..and you want to stop that lifestyle,
  • you're tired of the angst...
  • ..this is your moment.
  • Coming to church is the first step on a journey
  • which could change their lives.
  • Ex-gang leader Kevin is one of the Church's newest pastors.
  • Church members fund young people to start their own companies.
  • They helped Kevin get out of gang life by funding him with 30 grand
  • to start up his chauffeuring firm.
  • I've just had enough of black boys being spoke about a certain way.
  • I just want to see the brothers win.
  • No-one's going to start selling drugs to just buy shoes.
  • Every single person is selling something
  • because they want a way out.
  • He's now trying to recruit his former gang members to the church.
  • He believes legitimate business opportunities
  • can lead people away from crime.
  • I target the founders of certain street organisations,
  • because from the founders...
  • They are the ones that have the influence.
  • Top of the chain of command and high on Kevin's target list
  • is rapper Young Dizz.
  • I'm perceived as a violent person on these streets,
  • in East London, in Newham,
  • so, if you're in East London and you don't know me
  • then you're playing yourself.
  • cos I'm perceived as as violent as it gets out here.
  • # Man I stabbed that yout' to the core
  • # I didn't kill him but I tried to
  • # Man, I heard that his car broke down
  • # I went round there with a star-9... #
  • Young Dizz's violent reputation is played out in his music.
  • Despite his lifestyle now, he left school with eight GCSEs.
  • GUN COCKS
  • # You know
  • # Last year I was in OT... #
  • All the people that I grew up with, that I looked up to
  • were gang members, like, so that's crazy, man. Get me?
  • My uncles were all involved in the gangs.
  • Everything, man.
  • They'd all been through the gang stuff.
  • When I'm growing up all I knew was gang, gang, gang,
  • know what I'm saying?
  • Young Dizz says he wants to escape the gang environment
  • he was born into.
  • I'm labelled as a gang leader, innit.
  • I'm labelled as a person that runs Beckton, the Beckton community.
  • That's what I'm labelled as in the police's eyes, innit.
  • But...
  • ..I'm not that person.
  • You get me?
  • SIRENS WAIL
  • Today, Young Dizz has his first meeting with the head of the church.
  • He's going to have a meeting with the big boss.
  • It's nice, man. You seen the scenery.
  • Showing all the scenery, innit. It's mad, innit.
  • Look at the cars and that. Get me?
  • Young Dizz says he's currently under investigation by the police.
  • He wants to find out how the church
  • can help him become a legitimate businessman.
  • Is it fair to negotiate with someone like Young Dizz
  • and to provide all the alternatives?
  • I don't know how the Lord will feel about it,
  • but I do know that if we can get one life saved on the street,
  • I think the Lord will feel great about it.
  • The church don't own the companies they help kick-start,
  • but successful entrepreneurs are invited to invest
  • back into other church-affiliated businesses.
  • This also.
  • It's just been mad, innit.
  • I'm just living my life, man,
  • just going through mad stuff, man.
  • By the way, um...
  • ..I heard the name they call you sometimes.
  • What do they call me?
  • Something with "Devil" or something like that.
  • Yeah, they call me the Devil and that, yeah.
  • It's just another name for me, innit. Devil.
  • Did that come from anything that happened or just...?
  • Obviously, um, I got shot and stabbed, innit.
  • How old were you when you got shot and stabbed?
  • Was, like, seven months ago, so...
  • I got shot. I got stabbed.
  • I don't know, 10, 11 times, something like that.
  • Maybe even more. What?
  • Yeah, man.
  • There's just so much blood,
  • and then one of the wounds, it was a big wound,
  • cos where I got shot it was close range, innit, so...
  • He couldn't get any closer.
  • Basically I got shot how close we are right now, innit.
  • Whoa. You get me?
  • People always ask me, "Why are you always so angry?
  • "Why are you, like...?"
  • I'm telling you, I'm just angry, man.
  • I'm pissed off, man. 24-7.
  • We've got to change that now. You've got to keep what is alive.
  • No, man. I'm just telling you, I don't know what it is, man.
  • God kept you alive.
  • These things happen.
  • But...
  • ..I think success is the best way...
  • Mm
  • ..to retaliate.
  • What is the deal with this,
  • and I'm going to be very strict with you, if you don't mind.
  • Here's the deal. You love music.
  • Yeah. You want to do music.
  • What I'm saying is this.
  • We've got to take this music thing.
  • I think we will have a studio now come into Beckton.
  • We're going to take it to the next stage,
  • but I need guys like you.
  • You guys can connect to the next generation.
  • Are you going to make money from this?
  • I'm willing to put as much as it takes in.
  • The only thing I can't put into is violence.
  • Now, you and your guys go through this bit,
  • what I'm trying to do as well.
  • We've got to pass a positive message.
  • That's my thought. What do you think?
  • I'm taking it in. I respect that.
  • I respect everything you're saying.
  • Yeah? You get it, so...
  • This is my, you know, temporary accommodation.
  • Being let out of prison has, you know...
  • It's brought me here, so...
  • I mean, I'm in this place trying to, you know, give myself some space
  • and give myself some time and give myself a better responsibility
  • and make myself a better person in society.
  • Junior is a father of two and has another child on the way.
  • He's been living in a hostel since he got out of jail.
  • He was convicted of supplying drugs and possession of ammunition.
  • Every time I look outside...
  • ..I see everything as opportunity.
  • You know, I always say the world's my oyster.
  • This is London, innit. The land of opportunity.
  • So I'm just trying to make the best out of the situation
  • and get the best outcome that I can possibly get.
  • Junior has been in a gang for nearly 15 years
  • and has a long rap sheet.
  • Aged 18, he was charged with murder through joint enterprise
  • but found not guilty.
  • In the streets, it's not diplomatic.
  • It's like, "Look, I want to make some money, you want to make money,
  • "but I don't want to make money with you - you're not my friend.
  • "So, if you're not going to make money with me, you're my enemy.
  • "Fuck it."
  • So then stuff like that ends up leading to a lot of gang rivalry,
  • a lot of shoot-outs, a lot of stabbings and...
  • ..a lot of situations that you think to yourself, like, raw,
  • like, you know.
  • I was always in the midst of things.
  • I was always the brave type of guy.
  • I was always the guy like, "You know what?
  • "If we're going to go do something, let's just go do it.
  • "Fuck it.
  • "We ain't got no time for this talking. Let's just go there."
  • I was deep. I was very, very deep.
  • Very deep.
  • Junior is now looking for a way out of gang life.
  • He has started coming to Kevin's weekday service in East London,
  • which attracts hard-core gang members.
  • You don't need it any more!
  • It's holding you down.
  • You have to let it go.
  • It is coming now in the name of Jesus.
  • Despite his willingness to change,
  • Junior is facing a battle to leave his past behind.
  • A man once said to me, "Always be ready to meet your killer."
  • And, to be honest, I'm always ready.
  • So if that day ever comes, it comes, innit?
  • You are the light in your family! You are the light in your kingdom!
  • The transition is like 80/20.
  • I'm not saying I'm involved in that life,
  • but there's still people that I still talk to that are involved.
  • There's still people that I hang around that are involved,
  • and it's so easy getting caught up in that.
  • It's easy for someone to live in Brixton
  • and sell drugs. Very easy.
  • There'll always be people
  • leading you on to do that.
  • Brought up by a single parent
  • in one of the most violent areas in Brixton,
  • 16-year-old Jahiem is surrounded by gangs
  • and dangerously close to getting sucked into the lifestyle.
  • Growing up was just really tough.
  • People would tell you, "Do you want to sell drugs?"
  • or, "Do this with me,"
  • and I wouldn't do it because, I'm saying,
  • that's why it's really tough.
  • Anyone could do that. There was always, when I used to grow up,
  • there was gangbangers all over, you're surrounded.
  • To stay away, very hard. Very, very, very hard.
  • I was going to call you the other day as well, man.
  • Once you listen to them,
  • then he'll say, "Go bust that shop for me." You bust the shop.
  • Then he'll be like, "Oh, go pick up that for me."
  • Could be a weapon - gun I'm talking about, knife I'm talking about.
  • Weed I'm talking about, class A drugs I'm talking about.
  • It leads on from there.
  • Jahiem has managed to avoid being in a gang,
  • but he did start selling drugs.
  • Now, with the help of the church, he's trying to escape the dangers
  • that come with dealing.
  • SIREN WAILS
  • I wasn't doing this drug thing for a very long time.
  • I wasn't doing it for long.
  • It was only, say, like, two months
  • and that's like everything happens for a reason
  • cos someone came to talk to me about SPAC.
  • See, today...
  • ..man's going to do the church thing right now.
  • That's what's going to happen.
  • Get some blessings, hear the word of God.
  • But I need a lot of blessings, man!
  • Young Dizz says he's been arrested twice for attempted murder,
  • but he's only received convictions for minor offences.
  • People called him Satan. People call him Satan's cousin,
  • but that's them.
  • Do you understand what I'm saying to you?
  • And people are so quick to judge.
  • I've come out of the jungle, should I say.
  • And these men are still in the jungle.
  • The whole mission now is to just get them
  • and expose them to a new gang.
  • INDISTINCT SPEECH
  • THEY RAP
  • At the service, the rapper is experiencing
  • the sounds of gospel drill.
  • The artists are from gang backgrounds
  • and still wear balaclavas as part of their act.
  • The church has offered to back a music business with Young Dizz,
  • but he'll have to give up his violent lyrics as part of the deal.
  • It's time for change.
  • It's now time for a new life.
  • That's my only fear out here, God's judgment
  • and that worries man, you get me? You know what I'm saying?
  • Man's not worried about nothing else, know what I'm saying?
  • Obviously he knows certain things in my life happen for a reason.
  • Other than that, there's certain things I shouldn't be doing
  • and he knows that, innit?
  • GOSPEL SINGING
  • The service was good.
  • I feel blessed. I come out there feeling refreshed.
  • Regardless if I change my life or whatever, yeah?
  • I'm always going to have to keep another two eyes behind my back
  • because... You get me? ..people will hold me accountable.
  • I've got to keep coming, you know what I mean?
  • I've got to keep coming to see where my journey goes. You get me?
  • Junior is back in the area where he was deeply involved in gangs.
  • This is my place. I grew up here, I was born here, innit.
  • But when I do come back here,
  • there's always going to be trouble when you come back here anyway.
  • Because, you know, there's a lot of rivalries that's going on.
  • You know, in Newham as a borough and as a whole.
  • So you've always got to be on your toes.
  • But at the same time, this is my place, innit.
  • Of course, man. I'm trying to change my life out here.
  • Get out of the bullshit, man.
  • See ya later, guys. See ya.
  • They're, you know, some good young lads.
  • They ain't seen the errors of their ways yet
  • but eventually they will.
  • Gang life for Junior started when he was 13.
  • A person gave me an opportunity to become a street pharmacist.
  • I couldn't ask my mum for pocket money,
  • my dad wasn't around, so what am I supposed to do?
  • So I had to do something for myself. I had to seek an opportunity myself.
  • In the past, Junior's had legitimate jobs with prospects
  • but, in spite of the risks, he's always been tempted back to dealing.
  • I could make a phone call and everything will change.
  • It'll change like that, in an instant.
  • Like, I'm not gonna sit here and lie.
  • Growing up in south London and surrounded by gangs,
  • Jahiem is now facing decisions about his future.
  • He's seen the devastating effects of violence in his community.
  • Five people's gone, and we're halfway through the year right now.
  • So that's just way too much.
  • In this area right now, there's one
  • and there's one over there and there's one right there.
  • So it's three people in this short area right now where I'm in
  • who were so close to me, who were 16 to 18, who's died.
  • The ones that I personally know, just getting stabbed.
  • That's the main one, getting stabbed.
  • Or there's one what happened recent
  • where you're just playing in the area
  • and then someone just comes out and shoots you.
  • That's the most recent one.
  • If it wasn't for SPAC Nation, I would have struggled.
  • What goes on in the environment is that people just sell drugs.
  • If you sell drugs, you're also going to walk with a knife
  • because you don't want people to take your drugs off you,
  • otherwise you shouldn't do it.
  • So you sell drugs, you're gonna have a little bit of strength on you,
  • so you're gonna go with a knife too, right?
  • And when you see someone, anything could happened.
  • It just makes me feel like more help's needed.
  • And it only ends up jail or dead, jail or dead.
  • You know.
  • HE RAPS: # Don't slip or slide, two shotguns and a ride
  • # Don't slip or slide, two shotguns and a ride, pick your side
  • # You know the six straight head shots leave man fried
  • # Touch one of ours, it's a known fact
  • # Touch one of ours and one will die
  • # Dem are sending shots in tracks
  • # Us, man, we send shots in rides... #
  • Young Dizz is in the studio, recording his latest track.
  • He's still considering the church's offer.
  • They'll go into business with him,
  • but only if he stops rapping about violence.
  • The music's violent.
  • That's what I like to do, I like to do violent music.
  • Whenever I get in the booth... When you hear me on a tune,
  • you know you're going to hear some violent stuff.
  • I'm not going to come to fucking turn on the radio
  • and start fucking listening to fuckin' Adele or something.
  • I ain't got no problem with Adele,
  • but man's not into that, know what I'm saying?
  • Don't want to be listening to no fuckin' love songs and that shit.
  • That's not me, man, you get me?
  • I want that violent shit 24/7.
  • HE RAPS: # A young boy's ready for war
  • # Of course we step to notoriety
  • # Kill, what you take this for? #
  • Gang life has put Dizz in danger.
  • But it's also given him money and notoriety,
  • making it hard for him to leave behind.
  • Will I be able to change?
  • That's the big question with a big question mark at the end, you know?
  • Will I be able to change? Boy.
  • It's a very big question, you know.
  • HE RAPS: # The six don't bang
  • # We've take most of their chillin' spots
  • # Now we don't even know where they hang
  • # We invested our lives for the cause
  • # This is more than a gang... #
  • Dizz is just 21.
  • But the rest of his life will be shaped
  • by whether he chooses gang...
  • ..or God.
  • It's not easy.
  • My eyes are just opened, innit?
  • My eyes are just opened to reality, man. Know what I'm saying?
  • It's been like this for a while, man. Get me? My eyes are open, man.
  • This life's...
  • You weren't put on this earth to live the way you live.
  • We weren't put on this earth to be bad people.
  • Need to get away from this bullshit, man.
  • You get me? I want to have a family and that, you hear me?
  • I want to do normal things, you get me?
  • The way I live, like...
  • The way my life's set out,
  • it's not gonna end well, know what I'm saying?
  • He's coming out in 15 minutes.
  • Kevin is ready to recruit a member of his old gang
  • as he's released from prison.
  • That him? Yeah, that's him. That's him!
  • And the church have to move Jahiem to a safe house.
  • It wasn't really a choice.
  • I just went cos I didn't want anything to happen to me.

Download subtitle

Description

First in a new observational documentary series following the radical work of Church SPAC Nation as it tries to help young Londoners escape gang culture.

Former gang leader Kevin has just become a pastor. He is now trying to persuade high-ranking members of his former gang to turn their lives around. We see Kevin’s struggles as he tries to bring Beckton drill rapper and gang leader, Young Dizz - reputed to be one of the most dangerous young people in London - into the church. Young Dizz finds it hard to give up the violent music and lifestyle, despite Kevin's efforts to help him escape. Meanwhile, the church is worried that new recruit, Jahiem, 16, is being sucked deeper into drug-dealing in Brixton.

This is the first of three films in the series, released each Sunday.

*Typo at #, should read 2018
--
Click here to subscribe to BBC Three: http://bit.ly/BBC-Three-Subscribe

Did you know that we’re up to other things in other places too?

Best of BBC Three: www.bbc.co.uk/bbcthree
iPlayer: http://www.bbc.co.uk/tv/bbcthree
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/bbcthree
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/bbcthree
Instagram: http://instagram.com/bbcthree
Tumblr: http://bbcthree.tumblr.com

Oh, we’re on Snapchat too - just in case you were wondering… add us, bbcthree.

Trending videos