Root of Gang Violence: Respect - 10.27.02

Peter Ward, Lowell Sun Staff

It can start with something as simple as a nasty stare or disrepectful comment, then escalate into violence. While gang battles in other cities may start from turf wars or drug dealing, Lowell's start with something as simple as a question of respect, former gang members and those pushing for peace say. "We've talked about this, and everyone's on the same page. It's over colors," says Gregg Croteau, executive director of the *United* *Teen* *Equality* *Center*. "That's really the essence of what's been happening. It's not that deep. We don't see it over drugs or territory."