NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — It was three decades ago when Stacey Robinson and Norfolk Police Chief Larry Boone first met.
At the time, Boone was a young cop and Robinson was a notorious kingpin.
Robinson was convicted of drug kingpin charges in 1992. He spent almost 25 years behind bars.
He received a pardon from President Obama and was released in 2015. Now, he dedicates his time to stopping violence on the streets where he grew up.
“I feel like I had a part in this, in my youth,” explained Robinson. “From 18 to 22, a lot of these guys looked up to me out here, you know, for the wrong reasons. I’m trying to change that legacy to one of a person that wants to give back.”
A month ago, he ran into a familiar face at a “Guns Down” rally in the Young Terrace neighborhood of Norfolk.
“He introduced himself to me, and I get that all the time, but I recognized that name,” said Boone.
Now the two work together to combat gun violence.
Early Wednesday evening, Boone held his third “Guns Down” rally, this time in Norview. The chief wants the community to step up and play a part in reducing gun violence.
“If you know someone that is in possession of a gun, that should not be in possession of said gun, please, please report it to local police,” urged Boone. “You have a role in this. Your role is not to sit on the sideline and say ‘that poor person.’ Okay. It affects you! If it doesn’t effect you, it soon will.”
It’s already affected Robinson in more ways than one.
“I lost a son, you know, to violence while I was away. I also had a son that committed a crime while I was away, so you know it’s real personal with that,” said Robinson.
The fourth, and final, “Guns Down Community Gathering” will be in Ocean View on August 8 from 6 p.m. to 8 pm.