Crime & Justice

The Game's anti-violence summit draws big crowds

Rappers The Game, left, and Snoop Dogg, center, appear at a peaceful unification march outside of the graduation ceremony for the latest class of Los Angeles Police recruits in Los Angeles, Friday, July 8, 2016.
Rappers The Game, left, and Snoop Dogg, center, appear at a peaceful unification march outside of the graduation ceremony for the latest class of Los Angeles Police recruits in Los Angeles, Friday, July 8, 2016.
RIchard Vogel/AP

An overflow crowd gathered Sunday at a community center in South Los Angeles to hear pleas for peace from current and former gang members, entertainers, activists and preachers from the Nation of Islam.

Police Chief Charlie Beck shook hands with The Game outside the venue and said the meeting was a step toward curbing violence, especially considering the killing of police officers earlier Sunday in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

The Game fought back tears as he recounted the recent killing of a former gang member that he grew up with in foster care in nearby Compton.

He says he was moved to call together Los Angeles gang members for an anti-violence summit because he wants to help create a safer world for his 5-year-old daughter.

Mayor Eric Garcetti called the town-hall style conversation on curbing violence "historic" and referenced the 1992 L.A. riots.

"Just after the unrest we saw in 1992, a historic gang truce brought the crips and bloods together to say no more violence," Garcetti told KPCC. "Today, we see national violence resulting in local action. Dr. Dre and The Game, who used to be affiliated with the Crips and the Bloods, respectively, have come together to preach peace and to preach a message of supporting our police officers."

Speakers and screens were set up outside for those unable to get in. Free water was being handed out to help people endure the hot temperatures.

The Game and fellow rapper Snoop Dogg put the word out about the event, called "Time To Unite: United Hoods + Gangs Nation," via social media on Sunday morning — only a couple hours before it was set to begin. 

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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.

Mayor Garcetti acknowledged that, "We're not perfect. We've got a lot more work to do." 

But he also encouraged Angelenos to thank police officers for their service and to build bridges between law enforcement and communities.

"This isn't our first rodeo," Garcetti said. "We've gone through the pain that the nation is experiencing more than 20 years ago. And we should be able to lead, not just here locally but in the nation."