November 26, 2018

Reformed gang member killed outside his book launch


Copenhagen isn’t the first place that comes to mind when one thinks of mean streets and turf wars.

Turns out the Danish capital is rife with gangs like the Black Cobras, AK81, and the Guerreros trying to gain a dominate hand in the Scandinavian drug trade. But like any gang member in the world will tell you, you can’t just leave. Sometimes you can never leave.

According to the BBC News, Nedim Yasar, the 31-year-old former head of the Guerreros, seemed to have done just that. After becoming a father, Yasar swore off gang life, got a job as a radio host where he spoke about emerging from the criminal underworld to a clean honest living. Yasar’s show was so popular that he was offered a book deal, resulting in Rødder: En Gangsteres Udvej (Roots: A Gangster’s Way Out). The publication date was November 20th.

What should have been an inspiring story ended tragically at Yasar’s book launch. After the event, which took place last week, Yasar left the venue only to be gunned down by an unknown assailant. He was rushed to a hospital and declared dead a few hours later.

The murder shocked even Denmark’s justice minister, Soren Pape Poulsen, who tweeted: “How sad and infinitely meaningless. I met Nedim once. I met a man who with all his heart wanted to create and new life and make a difference for others. My thoughts and compassion go to his friends and family.”

The radio station where Yasar worked was also hung at half-mast.




Michael Barron is an editor at Melville House.