SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A former gang member and other community leaders went door-to-door knocking on homes to create a conversation about gang violence.
Bishop Cornelius Bowser is a former Crips gang member. He saw his best friend get killed in a park in Logan Heights when he was 22 years old. That’s why he’s going around from house to house talking to people who live in the gang “hot-spots.”
Bowser says, “If you can address the needs of the community and bring resources into the community and help empower them, you can bring crime rates down.”
He says starting a conversation creates a bond and people are more willing to talk if they know you. During their walk, they learned that underage kids are drinking at the park after dark and stolen cars are showing up on Marcy Avenue. Now they will take that information to the police.
Bowser also goes to a crime scene and the hospital after a shooting to be there for the victim and the family.
Bowser and his team were also handing out resources like phone numbers, upcoming community events, and information on locking up guns to protect kids from accidental shootings.
Liliana Hernandez is one resident who opened her door for Bishop Bowser. She saw two killings on her street last year and is very grateful for their support.
Hernandez says, “I always try to find ways as to what’s going on in the community and sometimes I’m just lost.”
Tracy Swafford lost her 17-year-old daughter to a drive-by gang shooting ten years ago. She walks and knocks on doors, too.
Swafford says, “It is important because it lets the people know we are here for them.”
There is a community meeting Tuesday, April 16th at 6:30 at Logan Heights Library. They will be discussing the AB 392 “use-of-force” bill that will hold law enforcement accountable if they are found criminally negligent in an officer-involved shooting.