September 19, 2021

FROM THE ARCHIVE: ABC7 News intern, Omega Boys Club take viewers inside on impact of drugs, teens in Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — Again in 1989, ABC7 appeared into the drug points and gang violence impacting youth teams in the Bay Area.

The late Steve Davis, longtime ABC7 News reporter, launched us to Lamerle Johnson.

Nearly a yr earlier than Davis and Johnson met on the Omega Boys Club in San Francisco, he was in custody and going through six years in jail. He was then 17 and already had a protracted document, based on Davis.

The Omega Boys Club is now referred to as Alive & Free and is a nationally acknowledged youth improvement and violence prevention group based mostly in San Francisco. It was based by Joseph Marshall Jr. and Jack Jacqua in 1987, based on its web site.

Alive & Free’s purpose is to “keep young people alive and free, unharmed by violence and free from incarceration.” It supplies younger individuals with “opportunity and support to build positive lives for themselves and to move into contributing roles in society.”

Lamerle Johnson’s private background contains his father leaving him when he was a child and his mom turning to medication. Johnson bought medication on the streets to feed himself.

To assist inform the story of somebody who understands medication and life on the road, Johnson was employed as a summer season intern at ABC7 after he enrolled in faculty.

“There was a compelling honesty about him that remained alive in spite of all that had occurred in his life,” Davis stated.

Johnson selected the interview topics, performed the interviews and picked up info with no interference from Steve Davis nor ABC7 administration.

“I sell. I distribute. Collect. I just live off of it,” stated “Susan,” whose voice was distorted for our interview. She admits to promoting medication on the road.

“There’s not a girl that knows me that wants me to help them get into it. But I don’t really want to do that. I don’t feel that I should help anybody make the money that I’m making. They getting a cut of my money. That’s my money” she stated.

“I’m not going to be stupid and be greedy and stay in the game and end up being killed,” she continued. “I see myself getting out real soon. Probably within the next year or so.”

“I’m not trying to glamourize what you do. I just want you to tell the truth,” Johnson advised “Susan.”

Within the fourth and closing half of the sequence, Steve Davis asks Johnson: “There’s a lot of ego in the game, isn’t there?”

“Yeah, a lot of ego. They get a nice car and jewelry and some nice clothes and all of a sudden they think, ‘I can drive on forever,'” Lamerle Johnson stated of the “the game.”

“A lot of ego behind nothing… something that kills… and sometimes guys get to thinking they’re bullet proof.”

Editor’s Notice: Within the course of of producing this publish, ABC7 came upon Lamerle Johnson handed away on December 7, 2016 after a canoe accident at a non-public lake close to Calistoga, based on the Sonoma County Sheriff’s workplace. Witnesses say Johnson fell out of a canoe and presumably drowned. A dive workforce later positioned his physique the place was pronounced deceased. He was 45.

On this version of “From The Archive,” you may watch the four-part sequence that aired in November 1989 in the media participant above.

You’ll be able to watch extra tales on the “ABC7 Bay Area” app on Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Hearth and Android TV in the “From The Archive” part.