The Peacemaker: L.A. Gang Wars
The Peacemaker: L.A. Gang Wars is a new reality TV/Documentary following gang intervention and prevention expert Malik Spellman as he drives the streets of South Central Los Angeles, meeting up with gang leaders and trying to diffuse deadly gang rivalries, mediating to bring gangs towards peace agreements.
It’s not the worlds safest vocation, but he seems to have the respect of the local gang populous, and has all the right words – I lost count of the number of times ‘you feel me’ was uttered, sometimes multiple times in a short sentence.
It’s an interesting look at South Central Los Angeles, how people live, and I guess, how you don’t have much choice but to be with a gang. Spellman spends each episode driving back and forth talking to two different gangs before bringing them together to talk, shake hands and promise to be good. Then we’re told by bullet points just before the credits of what happens later.
It’s an interesting enough show, and surprised me that it was always different Bloods gangs fighting each other or different Crips gangs fighting each other and not Bloods fighting Crips.
The only issue I have is that it does feel a little surreal. Here we have these tough gang members admitting what they’ve done, on camera. You have to wonder how much of their posturing and bravado is for the camera. At least in one of the episodes, one of the guys Spellman was talking too had his hoodie up and a bandanna covering his face, and he just walked away when the questioning got to much.
I guess being a white boy from Pukekohe, I’m not exactly qualified to say if it’s real or not, but it does offer an interesting window on another world.
Reviewed by: Jonathan Read