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Former Gang Members Come Together to Teach Kids Violence Must End

KARK - A fun event at Franklin Elementary School has a deeper meaning, with former gang members coming together to teach the younger generation the violence must end.

From the sizzle on the grill, to the buzz of the clippers, you could quite literally hear the community come together at Franklin Elementary Saturday afternoon.

Bobby Wesley, made sure every belly was full, cooking up hot dogs.

"We're all family," said Wesley.

But it wasn't just the smoke, and smell of barbeque in the air, there was something else circulating. 

"Trying to make sure all our kids come together and stop the violence in Little Rock," said Wesley.

A message, to bring an end to the horrific violence on the streets.

"I've seen killing, I've seen robbing, I've seen raping, I've seen it all," said Wesley.

He's not alone. Former gang member, 18-year-old Keshawn Kelly, said he knows those images too.

"People get shot up and that's stuff like that," said Kelly.

It's in the school's parking lot and playground area, former gang members united to teach the younger generation, the violence must end.

"It's a slow go, these are no there's no easy quick fixes to these issues," said Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola.

Stodola commended those leading the event. He said it takes those that know the violence, to stop it.

"We're excited to have them helping us anything we can do to make sure we have victory over violence is very important." 

Important for everyone, but as Kelly said, it's most important for these kids. To be a good example for them.

So while the music turned up, and more hot dogs came off the grill, it's not only those sounds heard, there's unity too.


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