After a frightening and violent confrontation aired on WWL-TV, those involved in the altercation met with the reporter and Mayor Mitch Landrieu Tuesday to resolve their differences and offer solutions to curb violence in the future.
Earlier this month, WWL reporter Eric Paulsen interviewed Kwame Gates, a rapper known as K-Gates, and his friend Joel Johnson, known as Easy Money, about violence in New Orleans. During the interview, a man, later identified as Joseph Winley, started yelling at the group, and a fight broke out. Though Winley had a gun, no shots were fired.
The confrontation offered viewers a look at the gun violence that often makes headlines in the city. On Tuesday, Paulsen, Gates, Johnson and Winley met at New Orleans City Hall to settle the dispute.
If you can’t see the video, click here. Warning: It contains graphic language and imagery.
“First off, I want to apologize to my mother and father and my family for the role I played in that scenario that day. I was very much embarrassed so I want to say that first,” Winley told WWL. “I’m human, I speak for my age group, for guys his age - we have a story to tell as well.”
The trio also met with Landrieu in his office for about 45 minutes, WWL reported. Gates said the mayor appeared genuine in his concern for stopping violence.
Winley said he told Landrieu that he wants to teach youth other ways to handle their problems, adding that his background will give him credibility.
“I wasn’t on the sidelines. I was in the gang with them, so when I speak they’re going to believe me,” Winley said. “So if he can go through it and get past it and get over it and still be better and bigger and lead by example then we all can. We can teach our children to resolve problems peacefully versus getting a gun or even fighting.”