By David M. Kennedy
"Part jeremiad, half gripping crime thriller,"* do not Shoot is David M. Kennedy's chronicle of his decades-long campaign to resolve one among America's so much urgent and shameful social difficulties. Kennedy, who engineered the "Boston Miracle" within the Nineties, slicing adolescence murder by way of two-thirds on the top of the crack epidemic, unearths the historical past and the tactic at the back of his common sense but innovative method of finishing crime. He has subtle an method during which everyone-gang contributors, drug purchasers, police officers, and neighbors-comes jointly in a massive group assembly, an intervention and an confirmation of a shared wish for defense and peace. The evidence is within the outstanding effects. do not Shoot deals a daring means ahead in struggling with certainly one of our country's so much intractable social difficulties.
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Additional info for Don’t Shoot: One Man, A Street Fellowship, and the End of Violence in Inner-City America
If you believe that, then you’re going to shoot other young men just like you for disrespecting you. That’s going to go right sometimes, you’re going to kill them, and the pain of their mothers and fathers and sisters and brothers is going to burn like fire. That’s going to go wrong sometimes, you’re going to kill wonderful young schoolgirls sitting on their porches or doing their homework in their bedrooms, and the pain is going to be even worse. You have a problem, you’re not going to go to the police, your friends aren’t going to let you go to the police, you’re going to handle it yourself.
They are, none of them, what they seem to be from the outside. They are, none of them, their stereotypes. They are, all of them, in their own ways, strong and aspirational and resilient. They are, all of them, dealing as best they can with a world they did not make. They are all doing profoundly destructive things without fully understanding what they do. There is, on all sides, malice, craziness, and evil. But not much, it turns out, not much at all. There is, on all sides, a deep reservoir of core human decency.
Much more. It’s all a work in progress. But we know enough to act, now. We do not have to live with the death, and the hatred, and the gunshot survivors who walk the streets with their canes and colostomy bags, and the young men who say matter-of-factly that they expect to be dead before they see twenty-five, and the warrior-priest cops who go through door after door after door and it never changes, and whole communities of black men going to prison, and whole communities that are unable to get anywhere on anything of substance because people are afraid to go outside, and poisoned relations between those who need each other the most.