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Gangster Finds Forgiveness

Gang life leads to prison where Tommie meets his redeemer. Read Transcript


WE'VE SEEN IT ALL AS KIDS

IN BROAD DAYLIGHT.

PEOPLE SHOT IN FRONT OF

OTHER LITTLE KIDS PLAYING

JUMP ROPE, AND A DRIVEBY

SHOOTER CAN COME BY AND JUST

SHOOT EVERYBODY, KIDS AND

EVERYTHING.

Reporter: TOMMY SCOTT

GREW UP AMONG GANG VIOLENCE,

DRUGS, AND POVERTY IN SOUTH

CENTRAL LOS ANGELES.

HIS FATHER WAS IN AND OUT OF

PRISON THROUGHOUT HIS

CHILDHOOD.

SO TOMMY FOUND O OTHER MEN

TO LOOK UP TO AND JOINED A

GANG.

THE GANG MEMBERS, THEY

HAVE THE JEWELRY, THEY HAVE

THE CARS.

THEY HAVE THE GIRLS -- THEY

HAVE EVERYTHING.

I SAID, THAT LOOKS LIKE A

WAY OUT.

I'M PART OF SOMETHING.

I CAN GET RESPECT AND I CAN

GET LOVE.

IT'S LIKE A LITTLE FAMILY.

Reporter: AS TOMMY GREW

UP, HIS RESPONSIBILITIES IN

THE GANG GREW WITH HIM.

WHATEVER I CAN DO FOR MY

NEIGHBORHOOD TO SHOW THEM,

HEY, I GOT YOUR BACK,

SELLING DRUGS FOR THEM,

DOING DRIVEBYS FOR THEM.

EVERYBODY OUTSIDE OF OUR

NEIGHBORHOOD HATES US, SO

WE'RE GOING TO HATE THEM

BACK.

SO I BECAME THE ENFORCER,

SHOOTING AT ANYBODY WHO CAME

INTO OUR NEIGHBORHOOD THAT

WASN'T SUPPOSED TO BE

THERE.

JUMPING OTHER PEOPLE.

BEATING PEOPLE UP THAT

WASN'T SUPPOSED TO BE IN OUR

NEIGHBORHOOD, EN MY

NEIGHBORHOOD.

Reporter: GANG VIOLENCE

CLAIMED THE LIVES OF SEVERAL

OF TOMMY'S FRIENDS AND

FAMILY.

AS MY FRIENDS STARTED

DYING OFF, GETTING KILLED, I

BECAME NUMB TO DEATH.

I HAD NO EMOTION.

IT WAS LIKE A DEAD

NOMINATION.

IT WAS LIKE A VOID.

I HAD TOTAL HATRED FOR

ANYBODY, ANYBODY OUTSIDE OF

MY RACE, ANYBODY OUTSIDE OF

MY RACE.

THAT RAGE I HAD, A LOT OF US

HAD THAT RAGE, AND WE JUST

FLARED EACH OTHER'S RAGE.

WE WOULD SIT AROUND, NOTHING

TO DO, GETTING DRUNK AND

LOADED, AND THEN, HEY, LET'S

GO ROB SOMEBODY.

Reporter: JUST LIKE HIS

FATHER, TOMMY SPENT YEARS IN

JAIL, IN PRISON.

I WAS THIS BIG, BAD KID

COMING IN.

BUT WHEN I WAS STUCK BEHIND

THAT DOOR, I JUST KNEW IT

WAS JUST ME, IT WAS ONLY ME

NOW.

THE FEAR SET IN, THE

LONELINESS, THE

HOPELESSNESS.

IF YOU SHOW WEAKNESS, YOU

WON'T LAST THAT LONG.

WORRY HIS INVOLVEMENT IN

GANG FIGHTS AND RACE RIOTS

LED TO EXTENDED TIME IN

SOLITARY CONFINEMENT.

YOU CAN'T MOVE.

I'M A HUMAN BEING, AND I'M

SITTING IN A CAGE WHERE I

CAN'T FUNCTION.

I REALLY WAS LOSING MY

MIND.

I STARTED GETTING SUICIDAL.

I STARTED THINKING OF NOT

LIVING NO MORE.

I WAS, LIKE, IF THERE IS A

GOD, IF THERE IS SOMETHING,

YOU NEED TO COME AND DO

SOMETHING NOW.

Reporter: THE NEXT DAY

TOMMY SAYS HE FELT COMPELLED

TO GO TO THE PRISON CHAPEL

SERVICE.

FOR SOME REASON I

COULDN'T SIT STILL.

SOMEONE WAS SAYING, GO, JUST

GO.

AND HE WAS TALKING ABOUT HOW

GOD CAN FORGIVE US, NO

MATTER WHAT WE'VE DONE.

AND I'M THINKING, LIKE, YOU

MUST DON'T KNOW WHAT I DID.

YOU MUST NOT KNOW, THE LIVES

I'VE DESTROYED, THE FAMILIES

THAT ARE TORN UP.

Reporter: AT THE END OF

MESSAGE, TOMMY PRAYED WITH

THE PASTOR AND ASKED GOD TO

FORGIVE HIS SINS.

IT WAS LIKE MY HEART WAS

TORN OUT AND ANOTHER HEART

WAS PUT IN.

IT WAS JOY.

IT WAS PEACE.

IT WAS FORGIVENESS.

I MEAN, I KNEW FOR A FACT

THAT I WAS SAVED.

THERE WAS NO QUESTIONS AT

ALL.

I KNEW I WAS FORGIVEN OF

EVERYTHING I DID AT THAT

MOMENT.

SPIRITUALLY, I KNEW THAT I

WAS CLEAN.

I NEVER THOUGHT I COULD FEEL

THE PEACE.

I NEVER THOUGHT I COULD FEEL

THE JOY.

I NEVER THOUGHT I COULD FEEL

JUST THE FORGIVENESS FROM

THE INSIDE.

Reporter: HE BEGAN

SHARING WHAT HAPPENED TO HIM

WITH ANYONE WHO WOULD

LISTEN.

I WAS TALKING TO

SKINHEADS, I WAS TALKING TO

ENEMIES.

I WAS TALKING TO EVERYBODY I

COULD.

I JUST KNEW WHAT CHRIST HAD

DONE FOR ME.

Reporter: TOMMY IS FREE

TODAY, AND CONTINUES TO TELL

PEOPLE THAT IT WAS JESUS WHO

CHANGED HIS LIFE AND FORGAVE

HIM OF ALL OF THE WRONGS HE

HAD DONE.

IF HE CAN GIVE ME ETERNAL

LIFE AND GOD CAN REACH DOWN

AND TOUCH ME, I KNOW FOR A

FACT THAT HE IS GOING TO

GIVE EVERYBODY THE

OPPORTUNITY TO SURRENDER

THEIR LIVES IN THEIR

LIFETIME.

I WANT EVERYBODY ELSE TO

EXPERIENCE THE LOVE OF

CHRIST LIKE I HAVE.

WITHOUT CHRIST, I HAVE

NOTHING.

AND THE LIFE I LIVE NOW IS

TOTALLY SURRENDERED TO HIM.

EMBED THIS VIDEO

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