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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Wanting to Break Free

For Paris Garrett, being in a gang meant being with family."It was a new family. Every day I was hanging out with them, and they showed me nothing but love," the 16-year-old said. He met those friends a couple of years ago at school in Des Moines."At that point I was feeling like, whatever it takes, I just wanted to hang," he said.But then Garrett started getting into trouble. He would get into fights, and he said he stole a car with friends. He was arrested twice and had friends die as a result of street violence. So Garrett recently decided he no longer wants a gang lifestyle, he said. He wants to improve."After a while it was starting to feel like it wasn't worth it. They're not really your blood family, once you think about it," he said. "Knowing that you're putting your real family through pain, with your mom crying because you're getting locked up or you're doing something out there that might jeopardize your life — that stuff hurts."

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