News

A Score for the Rev

Nice to see the Denver Broncos kicking down some cash in the memory of Darrent Williams, in hopes of steering kids away from the gangster path that his killers apparently chose.

This week, the team committed $50,000 to Reverend Leon Kelly's Open Door Youth Gang Alternatives, with a matching $50,000 contribution coming from a publishing company. As shown in this story, the "Rev" -- as Kelly (above, left) is known -- takes his program to Wyatt Edison Elementary after school, keeping kids off the same streets that have claimed the lives of their older brothers, sisters, uncles, even parents.

The murder of Williams, a 24-year-old cornerback and originator of the 'frohawk, has been traced to an SUV owned by a notorious Denver gangster. And since that news broke shortly after the January 1 slaying, people are suddenly paying attention to the gang problem that's been growing in this city for twenty years.

Williams' death is a tragedy in a long line of tragedies, as innocent lives are lost to gangland gunfire. And programs like the Rev's are the only thing that will prevent another generation of gang violence in this city.

To keep future pullers-of-the-triggers off the streets, it's going to take a lot more than $100,000. Still, that's a drop in the bucket compared to the $100 million it will cost to build a new prison to lock them up. -- Luke Turf

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun