Few hundred attend rapper’s gang summit in Los Angeles
Organizer, Rapper The Game wants men to have ‘much-needed conversation’
LOS ANGELES (AP) — An overflow crowd gathered Sunday at a community center in south Los Angeles for an anti-gang summit organized by the rapper The Game.
The Game called the town hall style meeting with Los Angeles-area gang members to discuss ways to curb violence. He put the word out last week on social media, inviting leaders of the Crips, Bloods and other street gangs to come together for “Time To Unite: United Hoods + Gangs Nation.”
For those who couldn't get in because of the amazing turn out… We got a huge screen for them to take part in what's going out out here… It's beautiful out here today people & together we are going to makes waves in the direction of saving this city & others from the re-occurring plague of death here & worldwide. Be apart of the solution….. I'll lead the way. #HUNT #LosAngeles
Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck, performer will i.am, along with anti-gang activists and gang members were inside the center. Outside, the crowd was peaceful and water was being handed out to help battle the heat.
Before going inside, Beck chatted with the crowd outside, but it was unclear whether he would speak during the meeting. Beck shook hands with The Game and the two hugged.
Beck said the meeting was a step in the right direction toward peace, especially considering the police shootings Sunday morning in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Beck said LAPD would double air for officers on the ground who respond to calls.
“We’re making sure that there’s no one-person cars responding to emergency calls,” Beck said, adding that beginning Monday, all officers would be in uniform.
However, there wasn’t a big police presence at the summit, where a few hundred people had gathered.
The Game, who grew up as Jayceon Terrell Taylor in nearby Compton, said he wants men to have a “much-needed conversation” about their influence on young people and how to serve as better role models.
“Because the sad truth that no one wants to face is, before we can get our lives to matter to anyone else… We have to show that our lives matter to us,” he wrote on Instagram July 14.
Snoop Dogg and Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan had been expected to attend.
Earlier this month, The Game and Snoop Dogg led a peaceful march to Los Angeles police headquarters, where they met with the mayor and police chief and urged improved relations between authorities and minority communities.
The rappers are among many activists and celebrities calling for change following the police-related killings of black men nationwide and the shooting deaths of five police officers in Dallas by a lone gunman motivated by racial hatred.