*Darel Evans, a former gang member who was featured in the award-winning Sundance Channel series “Brick City” and the Pivot reality series “Jersey Strong,” was shot to death late Monday night in Newark, NJ, reports TMZ. He was 33.
So far, authorities are investigating the motive and have released no details about the incident. No arrests have been made and no suspects have been identified, TMZ reports.
Evans, who went by the nickname Creep during his days as a Crip in Newark, had become a youth counselor by the time he was featured in “Brick City,” along with his girlfriend Jayda, a former member of the Bloods.
Executive produced by Forest Whitaker, the series aired on the Sundance Channel in 2009. Evans attended a panel for the series at the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour that year. Ironically, Newark’s police chief at the time – also featured in the film and sitting alongside Evans on the panel – was Garry McCarthy, the Chicago police chief fired last week in the wake of LaQuan McDonald’s fatal shooting by an officer.
Evans told TV critics that McCarthy’s presence in the film made him view cops differently.
“When you look at the documentary, you’ll see different aspects but you get a better understanding,” Evans said. “From where we look at it, the police are always doing something. But when you watch the documentary, you see they have a job to do and they have families and this is not as personal as people would think it would be.”
Evans was also asked if he feared reaction to the documentary series among his fellow gang members and in his community, once they see he’s trying to change his ways.
“I believe there’s conflict with everything that’s different. It’s change. You see that we’re human. So humans tend to hate, you know. So I think if you really sit down and try to grasp what’s going on, the change, we’re evolving to something totally different and better,” Evans said. “Once you grasp that, I mean, the conflict shouldn’t be with us, it should be with yourselves.”
Below, watch Darel and Jada in a clip from Pivot’s “Jersey Strong,” in the promo for “Brick City” and meeting “Brick City” EP Forest Whitaker for the first time