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KCMO organized sideshow seeks to steer teens to right choices

Smoke the Tires Not the Homies
Posted at 10:54 PM, Sep 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-28 00:09:18-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The spinning wheels and smell of burnt rubber are part are the deafening car stunts, notorious on city streets, known as sideshows. But on Sunday, one sideshow was purposely reined in on a course near East 31st Street and Paseo Boulevard.

Smoke the Tires Not the Homies, organized by Desmound Logan, is intended to curb the surge in violence around the Kansas City metro.

"We can't stop was what was going on right now. We could just try to slow it down and try to look to the future, to try to stop it," Logan said.

The event is a "fun way to open up," according to Ava Marie Foster, one of the attendees.

"You have fun, but you actually talk about some serious things," she said.

Logan said he believes providing this form of entertainment in a secure environment is a way to make that connection.

"We are trying to get to the 15-year-olds so by the time in the next five years, we won't have the same violence going on and on because right now, the 20-year-olds, they are pretty much set in their ways," Logan said.

So far this year, almost a quarter of suspects in Kansas City, Missouri’s homicides have been between 17 and 24 years old.

"When you spend more time -- trying to spend time -- on taking care of the present, you totally forget about the future," Logan said.

Devion Blackwell, 12, was among those who entertained families at this sideshow.

"I hope that other kids can grow up without just dealing with gun violence or using gun violence or any kind of violence at all," Blackwell said.

Sunday's event, held at the Justice and Dignity Center, is the third of its kind that Logan has hosted. He plans to take the show on the road to help raise funds for a permanent sideshow site in Kansas City, Missouri,

"I feel like I'm obligated to give back to the community because as a young man, I helped destroy my community," Logan said.

But he is now trying to fix it by steering teens twoard the right choices.