A chance encounter in Esquimalt, BC led to life-altering consequences for Nicholas Chow Johnson, a visitor to this Victoria suburb. Nicolas was walking on a street late at night. He had no gang affiliations; but he was wearing a red jacket, and red is the colour of the Bloods street gang. He didn't realize the significance of this until confronted by a group of youths who were members of a rival gang, the Crips.
The beating that followed left Nick incapacitated for life, in a wheelchair and with a brain injury.
This victimization of an innocent youth illustrates the problems with gang violence that now crosses all sectors of society in Canadian cities. The Red Jacket is a powerful discussion starter for teens on how bad decision making carries lifelong consequences.