Tard Carter Safe Streets Success
“My credibility is real, man,” 34-year-old Tard Carter of Safe Streets, the Baltimore-based Cure Violence partner explained. Before working with the organization Carter had been incarcerated on three separate occasions. His firsthand accounts of life in East Baltimore give credence to his violence prevention mission.
Carter received a call from a local hustler claiming that someone in the area, presumably his competition, was referring to him as a snitch. It was bad for business, the man asserted, telling Carter he was prepared to take action. The Safe Streets worker accompanied him to ensure that the confrontation didn’t erupt into violence.
As Carter observed the conversation between the two men, he noticed that it was quickly heading in a bad direction, as aggressive body language indicated trouble. The hustler pulled a gun, but Carter’s quick response probably saved a life and kept his client out of jail.
“At the age of 34, within the last five or six years, I’m really learning what it is to be a man,” said Carter, the father of three children. According to Carter, the influence of violent culture spurred on by participation in drug activities strikes early, as drug lords want to keep young kids “at the bottom…stagnated.” When he was younger, Carter “had a fantasy of being a drug lord.” It takes years and maturity to examine these situations and realize the faults of this method of thinking.