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For over a decade, Cobe Williams has been a Violence Interrupter, a highly-trained conflict resolution expert working to stop the killing. Alongside thousands of workers across the country, many of whom he trained, Cobe intervenes in street conflicts before they result in murder.

Interrupting Violence follows his evolution from a gang leader to a vanguard of a social justice movement. More than a memoir, Interrupting Violence spans three generations of trauma to portray a radically optimistic vision for addressing urban violence.


Born into the notorious Black Disciples, Cobe rose through the ranks as a drug dealer, hustler, and shot-caller. His father, an influential gang member, was murdered before Cobe turned 11. Five men, his father's so-called friends, beat him to death in the lobby of a public housing project. Cobe spent years seeking answers to what happened that night.


As he rose through the ranks—at one time, commanding over 100 men throughout the city while still in high school—a gang war turned his world upside down. Its escalation overshadowed his ascent. The war, stoked by police, who fanned the conflict's flames, would engulf friends and family, nearly costing him his life. Ultimately, Cobe would end up behind bars for attempted murder he didn't commit.


Interrupting Violence follows Cobe as he undertakes this redemption journey, offering new hope for the nation's most violent communities. Cobe takes readers into an often misunderstood and misrepresented aspect of the Black experience in America. As the country wrestles with the inequities exposed by the coronavirus pandemic and the complex intersections of urban violence, racial issues, police brutality, and poverty in the aftermath of George Floyd's murder, this book provides an inspiring blueprint. Cobe's story demonstrates how the country can resolve the issues plaguing our inner cities.


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