A new film made by a Butte County public defender illustrates the negative impact gangs have on our local youth.
The film features 40 different families sharing the story of how someone they care about has been affected by gang violence.
Ron Reed decided to make this film because he said with all of the gang violence happening around Butte County, he was looking for a way to get his message out.
“How would you feel when your mother came to prison [to visit you] and she was crying?” said Reed.
That’s a question Reed asks too many times.
He’s been dealing with kids who are involved in gangs for the past 28 years and says he sees kids in Butte County standing in front of a judge far too often.
He decided to make a film called "Lagrimas De Mi Madre: Tears Of My Mother.”
Over the past year and half, Reed interviewed more than 40 families and law enforcement across Butte County. The results of those interviews on display for a crowd of nearly 200 people inside the Oroville State Theatre Thursday night and all part of Local Crime Victims' Rights Week.
“My motive was to educate people of what gangs can do and the danger of them,” said Reed.
Top law enforcement officials spoke at the event. In the film, families and former gang members share the struggles associated with gang life.
“They're not going to school. They're bringing their other friends over and bringing them into the house,” said film viewer, Pakou Cha.
Cha said she has a friend whose family member is in a gang.
“One of his brothers is in a gang and it's definitely hard to actually deal with,” said Cha.
In 2012, there were eight gang-related crimes just in the city of Oroville, but there were many more across Butte County.
Investigators said one of the problems they have fighting gang crime is that the gangs are not concentrated – they can be anywhere in Butte County.