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Dallas group helps men focus on forgiveness, 30 years after violent shooting

OGU Dallas Violence Interrupters are working to help neighbors and communities crack down on violent crime.

DALLAS — It has been a tough year for many people across North Texas. This holiday season appears to be even tougher for a couple of men from Dallas.

Raymond Reed and Mitchell Kennedy are focusing on forgiveness. It took them 30 years to get to this point.

A violent crime that happened in the early ’90s connects the two men. Kennedy shot Reed in the face after an altercation near Bruton Road and Lewiston Avenue in the Pleasant Grove area. The crime left the men avoiding one another and feuding over three decades.

“I’m sorry brother. I really apologize,” Kennedy told Reed as they met for the first time.

The two men shed tears as they hugged. They say getting to this moment was tough.

”I have no hatred toward you. Nothing like that. No ill feelings. It was just, I guess the heat of the moment. But we’re good,” Reed assured Kennedy as they sat with a small group of friends and supporters.

The OGU Dallas Violence Interrupters organized the meeting. The group, which is focused on stopping senseless violence, is now partnering with the City of Dallas to address increasing violence. Its team of trained specialists, or Violence Interrupters, is working across some of the city’s known hot spots for crime.

RELATED: Dallas-based violence interrupters focus on strategies to combat issues in crime hotspots

”The work that we’re doing is changing dynamics by having these guys who are indigenous to those neighborhoods, inside of those neighborhoods, talking to individuals before violence happens,” said OGU Dallas Violence Interrupters trainer Antong Lucky.

The group’s work is already seeing some results. Reed and Kennedy say their meeting proves resources and forgiveness can be key in helping to curb violence.


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