- 2012elections - 9/11 Special Coverage - aca - africanamericanalzheimers - aids - Alabama News Network - american - Awards & Expo - bees - bilingual - border - californiaeducation - Caribbean - cir - citizenship - climatechange - collgeinmiami - community - democrats - ecotourism - Elders - Election 2012 - elections2012 - escuelas - Ethnic Media in the News - Ethnicities - Events - Eye on Egypt - Fellowships - food - Foreclosures - Growing Up Poor in the Bay Area - Health Care Reform - healthyhungerfreekids - howtodie - humiliating - immigrants - Inside the Shadow Economy - kimjongun - Latin America - Law & Justice - Living - Media - memphismediaroundtable - Multimedia - NAM en Espaol - Politics & Governance - Religion - Richmond Pulse - Science & Technology - Sports - The Movement to Expand Health Care Access - Video - Voter Suppression - War & Conflict - 攔截盤查政策 - Top Stories - Immigration - Health - Economy - Education - Environment - Ethnic Media Headlines - International Affairs - NAM en Español - Occupy Protests - Youth Culture - Collaborative Reporting

From Behind Bars to a Full-Time Job

Carib Press, Feature, S. Virtue Posted: Feb 22, 2009

At a time when job losses are the norm in Los Angeles, this felon is now holding down a full-time job.

His name is Derrick Brown, and hes a Caribbean-American youth who is currently working for a private bus company in South Los Angeles. He plans on attending college to take business courses, and has dreams of owning a home some day.

Sounds like a standard story until you consider that Brown is working to overcome his recent incarceration for shooting a young man. He has moved ahead to the sheer joy of watching his children jumping, hollering and laughing at play, as they did on a recent afternoon in a pink-and-blue birthday bounce house.

Life is wonderfulI am free, Brown says.

Brown says hes also back on track with his full-time job, feeling lucky for a second chance that has given him new lease on life.

Its the first time in awhile that the 23-year-old could make those claims. Hes fresh from five months in five months in the Wayside correctional facility on the northern edge of Los Angeles County. Thats where he landed after a trip to the city of Inglewoodsouth of Los Angelesended in a shooting. Brown says went to Inglewood with family members to take care of some personal business. The trouble started when he spotted someone he knew on the streeta young man hed had run-ins with before.

Brown immediately predicted trouble and tried to head away from the guy. They clashed, though, first in argument that led to harsh words. Brown says he feared for his life and wanted to protect his family, so he drew a guna weapon purchased from a licensed dealerand fired away.

The shooting left his nemesis with bullet wounds in his chest. Neither Brown nor any of is sustained any injuries.

Brown fled the scene and faced arrest several weeks later. The courts apparently gave weight to Browns account, and he was released after his relatively short sentence in February 2008.

Brown is now one year into a five-year probation periodso far, so good.
Would he carry a gun again?

No, my life has changed, he says. I was hanging with the wrong set of people, and now I am spending more time with my family and kids.

The tough economy recently led Brown recently since moved back with his parents. A year since his release from jail, he credits his Belize-born parents for helping him to get through a difficult time in his life. His mom says her son understands that he has to live by the laws of the land. He now has a better understanding of dealing with challenges. She adds that her son isnt the only troubled youngster to find help at the Browns homethe family is known in their community for helping folks in need.

The names in this story have been changed to protect identities.

Page 1 of 1




Just Posted

NAM Coverage

Civil Liberties

Why There Are Words

Aug 10, 2011