From 2-1 to Zero

They Made their kids paint over the graffiti and throw out the gang clothes, and they thought they'd seen thelast of the 2-1 Click. Then one of their sons turned up dead in a richfield parking lot.

More than 400 people showed up for the funeral. Not just Henry's high-school friends in the 2-1 crowd, but friends he'd had in Kenwood when he was just a little guy, every teacher he'd ever had from kindergarten on. Nancy Moormann asked mourners to make donations in Henry's name to Big Brothers and Sisters of Greater Minneapolis in the hope that some other kid might find the mentor she now believes might have helped her son.

"Henry was special," his mother says. "There were so many people who were working for him. But he was on this collision course.... I always had this wonderful vision of him turning the corner the way his sister did." Her fantasy included a version of events in which Henry went back to school and tripped across some English or art course that got him excited about something broader than his gangster image. "Some of his friends have said they've made the turn. Henry didn't do it."

There are those who insist the 2-1 Click died on the Richfield parking lot with Henry Moormann--if not before. "2-1 is a dead issue at Southwest," says Assistant Principal Nancy Glenn. Among parents, it's the same story. "It's over. It's done. It's history," says Hokeness. "Hopefully this article in City Pages will be the last we ever hear of the 2-1."

Brian Stauffer

In one sense, the adults are correct. The graffiti is gone. The baseball caps emblazoned with the clique's logo have disappeared. Pershing Park and the neighborhood around it have remained quiet so far this spring. "We eliminated the things that define a gang as a gang," says Johnson. In other words, the semantic debate has been resolved.

But the Moormann shooting has brought renewed attention to the quiet neighborhood. Television crews from ABC's Primetime Live shot footage last summer for a segment that never ran. They're back, hoping to update the story. "It's the media [that] glorifies the thing," Hokeness complains. But with Charlie Seepersaud on the court calendar for June 15 in the first of the four trials connected with Moormann's death, and Justin Stiles up next in August, there should be no shortage of news coverage.

But even after these raw reminders are memories, the problems that gave rise to the 2-1 Click remain. If anything, to hear the kids tell it, they're worse. "The older people in my neighborhood want it to be this little community where nothing goes wrong and there's no problems," says Moy. He says the atmosphere has been poisoned. "I used to love walking around my neighborhood. Now I hate it. I could care less about it. I hate it. I hate everybody. I hate all the people. I hate a person who is scared. I hate a person who is disrespectful. I hate a person who ignores the fact that I'm alive. That's how all of the older people act."

Moy says his baggy pants and baseball cap flag him as an outsider now, a danger to his community. "I'm walking down the street and I see someone and they look at me a certain way and I know exactly how they think of me. I know I'm not like that. If you're nice to me, I'll be nice to you. But if I'm looked on as an asshole, I'm going to be an asshole to you."

Under the testosterone posturing there's an elegant truth to what he's saying, which is very simply that every society gets the children it deserves. It's a truth that won't wash away with the graffiti. "It's too late for my age group," says Delude, "but for the kids coming up, I've seen them, like, basically almost following in our footsteps."

Inspector Johnson of the MPD believes that the problem has simply gone underground. "People get lulled into thinking that the problem doesn't exist," Johnson warns. "The individuals in the gang who were committing the criminal acts are still doing that."

How closely the up-and-comers follow the 2-1 creed remains to be seen. Moormann's death might dull their excitement. Or it might make the idea of an outlaw clique even more glamorous. The answers seem likely to come along with warm weather and the end of the school year.

Henry Moormann, for one, was concerned. "He was very worried about the upcoming summer, about what was going to happen, what was going to go down, how safe it was going to be, who was going to be doing what with whom," his mother says. "He was very apprehensive."

What Nancy Moormann has heard from Henry's friends since he died worries her, too. "They're angry," she says she's heard, "and they want to retaliate. What they're doing is maybe not going forward, but falling back on the same old stuff. The kids are desperately unhappy.

"They're feeling very guilty. His friends feel guilty that it was him alone, that they weren't there for him, that there wasn't safety in numbers." She pauses and thinks that one over for a while.

"Yeah, there he was alone. So much for the 2-1 Click."

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