Imagine finding out one day that your daughter is a member of the LA Bloods gang. That is what happened to unsuspecting mother, Valerie Goodloe, Lu Parker's KTLA reports.
Goodloe was so shocked and concerned about the path her daughter, 22-year-old Nafeesa Toney, had taken that she decided to make a documentary, "Gang Girl," about Toney's story. Unfortunately, the story isn't unfamiliar in Los Angeles. The city is home to 400 gangs and 41,000 gang members, a growing number of whom are young girls, according to KTLA.
Toney was raised in a middle-class Muslim home in LA and says she "never considered my life bad."
And yet, over the years, she's run away, dropped out of school, done drugs, struggled with her sexuality, spent time in jail and lost friends to gang violence.
"Just two weeks ago, I lost a home girl. Just last week, a friend of mine was shot," Toney told KTLA.
"I'm afraid of Nafeesa being killed. I'm equally as scared of her killing someone," her mother shared.
Even though Toney says she isn't ready to stop -- as she calls it -- "bangin," she appears to have grown through the documentary-making process.
"Am I maturing? Absolutely. Am I making more sound decisions, am I thinking through certain things before I actually go about doing them? Absolutely," she said.
Toney and her mother hope to get a distributor for the film and be able to bring it into schools and community centers.