Tariq Khamisa

Azim  Khamisa’s  20-­‐year-­‐old  son  Tariq  was  shot  and  killed   by  Tony  Hicks  who,  at  14,  became  the  first  juvenile  in   California  to  be  tried  as  an  adult.  He  pled  guilty  to  first-­‐ degree  murder  and  received  a  prison  sentence  of  25   years  to  life.     Azim  has  joined  with  Tony  Hicks’s  grandfather,  Ples  Felix,   to  create  the  Tariq  Khamisa  Foundation  (TKF),  which   aims  to  teach  children  that  they  have  the  ability  to  choose  nonviolent  solutions  to   problems.  Azim  speaks  to  numerous  audiences  throughout  the  U.S.  and  has  been   involved  in  efforts  to  stop  the  expansion  of  California’s  death  penalty  law.

Azim  says,  “I’ve  found  that  you  have  to  look  beyond  the  act  of  the  murder  to  ask,  how   did  this  come  to  happen?  How  did  we  as  a  country  get  to  a  place  where  14  year  olds   need  to  join  gangs  in  order  to  feel  respected  and  protected?  I  decided  to  become  the   enemy  not  of  my  son’s  killer  but  of  the  forces  that  put  a  young  boy  on  a  dark  street   holding  a  handgun.  Tony  now  writes  letters  from  prison  that  we  use  in  our  programs   and  that  we  see  having  a  positive  effect  on  other  kids.  Think  of  how  many  kids  he  may   save.  That’s  going  to  bring  me  a  lot  more  healing  than  if  he  had  gotten  the  death   penalty.”


One Response to Tariq Khamisa

  1. Shari says:

    There is a qualitative power that emerges for change when the families of victims and families of those who have committed the crimes come together and work for change. People on both sides of the equation come and listen. Thank you for joining up Azim Khamisa and Ples Felix to address the root of the problem and thereby have an authentic impact for preventing it for other youth. God bless you and your work! Thank you to the writer of this article.

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