Shelf Life Community Story Project
Amplifying community voices, learning from neighborhood stories, and interrupting narratives of erasure in Seattle's Central District.
IMG_0396 copy.jpg

Youth Boxers and Drug Trade

Photo by Jill Freidberg

Photo by Jill Freidberg

Cappy Kotz has lived in the Central Area for 30 years and has operated Cappy's Boxing Gym in the neighborhood for over 15 years. 

Cappy Kotz

The presence of the drug dealers on the corners was a lot more present then. We moved into our space on 22nd and East Union in probably 2001, and shortly after that, that corner on 23rd and E Union was known as the city's worst drug corner. It was a thriving intense business. And you had to be really careful who you looked at, who you connected with when you drove through it.  And we did lose one of our youth boxers to that drug trade. That was hard. Quincy Coleman was one of our boxers for a couple of years and we watched him go through the process. He decided to become a messenger for the drug business there on that corner. So we went from seeing him in the gym to seeing him on his bicycle doing his thing. 2008. They had just, just finished the Quincy Jones Hall at the Garfield. It was Halloween night, and he was shot on those steps. Brand new steps, brand new everything. He was a really cool kid to work with. He brought back stories of how he went to school at Washington Middle School, and he would take his training and influence kids and talk to kids. He was the person at school who helped others. I remember him saying he got that from his training.