Docuseries gives gut-wrenching glimpse of Philadelphia's gun violence crisis

"You see young people being taken away from our neighborhood at an alarming rate," said executive producer Anton Moore.

TaRhonda Thomas Image
Thursday, January 5, 2023
Docuseries gives gut-wrenching glimpse of Philly's gun violence crisis
EMBED <>More Videos

The "Weight of Death" goes in-depth on the heartbreaking stories of gun violence victims, including an innocent child who was the victim of gun violence in 2014.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A new docuseries is giving an eye-opening look at the impact of violence in Philadelphia.

"The Weight of Death" goes in-depth on the heartbreaking stories of gun violence victims, including an innocent child who was the victim of gun violence in 2014.

Three-year-old Tynirah Borum's story is the focus of the second episode of "The Weight of Death." The episode was released on YouTube this week.

"You see young people being taken away from our neighborhood at an alarming rate," said Anton Moore, the executive producer of the docuseries and South Philadelphia native.

"I grew up in South Philadelphia. Tasker Home projects," said the 36-year-old, noting that times were much different as he was growing up.

"It was cool. We played cards, hung out, had fun... you didn't see a lot of young kids killing each other," he said.

Seeing things change for the worse prompted him to create the nonprofit Unity in the Community (https://www.unityinthecommunity215.com/).

"I started out with a block party," he said. "Help at-risk youth, do coat drives, find jobs for people."

When that wasn't enough, he combined his activism with his experience at BET to create "The Weight of Death" docuseries.

"We wanted to bring it to the big screen," he said. "What's the real stuff?"

The docuseries features gut-wrenching stories of people impacted by gun violence. It also features the voices of community leaders, law enforcement, politicans like former mayor Michael Nutter, and local influencers like DJ Diamond Kuts.

"Seeing it from different angles. The mental health perspective, law enforcement perspective, hip hop perspective," said Moore.

Hip-hop voices included in the docuseries include Meek Mill in episode 1 and Black Thought from The Roots in episode two.

"I lost my father at a very very young age to gun violence in Germantown," revealed Black Thought in the docuseries.

The docuseries also features the stories of those left behind like Tamika Borum, mother of three-year-old Tynirah Borum. She was killed by a stray bullet in 2014 as she got her hair braided on a front porch in Gray's Ferry.

"We have to tell Tynariah's story because we have young guys that need to understand when you shoot that gun, there's a lot of other people impacted," said Moore.

The show comes with raw emotion and honesty from people like Jesse Walker.

"I was in the streets," he admits of his past wrongdoing. "I knew something was going to happen to me. I had a feeling. Just kept having a feeling like something was gonna happen to me."

Walker's feeling was right.

"I got shot," he said. "(I was) 12 years old. I thought my life was over."

Not only was Walker paralyzed, but he was also imprisoned at the age of 13. His cellmate was his father who was never a part of his life growing up. Living the rest of his life in a wheelchair, Walker says he doesn't regret the decisions that led up to him getting shot.

"I know if I was still on my feet, I'd either be in jail or I'd be dead," said Walker, who now shares his message in hopes of preventing other kids from making the mistakes he made.

Walker began by funding the docuseries himself. He has since gotten generous donations to help fund the project. The next step is to take the docuseries' message from the screen to schools.

"We want to go to schools. We want to go to rec centers. Show them this documentary," said Moore.

His goal is to be the voice of reason to stop the violence.

"That's what we try to teach our young kids every day," said Moore. "You don't want this life."

Moore hopes to have four or five more episodes of "The Weight of Death" out by the end of the year. The two episodes that have been released so far can be viewed at the following links:

Episode 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mu-C3EpIgeY

Episode 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=-jwjGni0aUE&feature=youtu.be

For more information on "The Weight of Death" click here: https://theweightofdeath.com/

RELATED: Check the 6abc Neighborhood Safety Tracker