Toronto’s Gun Crime: The Jamaican Connection
Dear Immigration Reformer:
The simple assertion by a shy Linda Frum, under prompting by Los
Angeles tough non-nonsense Chief of Police William Bratton says it all.
Bratton asked: “Tell me, the gang violence that you are
experiencing, what is the racial or ethnic background of the gangs?”
Frum replied: “That’s a refreshingly blunt question. Some say it may
be as high as 80 per cent Jamaican. But no one knows for sure, because
people here don’t like to talk about that.”
Chief Bratton’s blunt response: “You need to talk about it. It’s all part of
the issue. If it’s Jamaican gangs that are committing the crimes, well then,
go after the Jamaican gangs. And don’t be afraid to go after them because
they’re black. That’s the last thing you need to be concerned with.”
Of course, the disgraceful outgoing Prime Minister Paul Martin was already
pontificating even before 15 year’s innocent track star Jane Glenn Creba’s
blood had trie3d where she was caught in a crossfire between gangs of Black
gangbangers, that Canada would have to do more for “marginalized” youth.
Toronto’s equally wacky mayor David Miller carried on in like vein and there
was talk of more money being tossed at self-appointed “marginalized” youth
spokesmen and more basketball courts to be built.. There was also much
finger pointing and America-bashing as the source of many of the guns on the
streets in the U.S., as if somehow George Bush was parachuting them into the
gangsters at night.
The Chief’s comments are a bracing blast of clean cold air. First, he
insists on honesty. Instead of the frequent press and political cover-up as
to the background of the criminals – gang is seldom accompanied with an
adjective such as Black or Jamaican, to let us know who the stone cold
killer gunmen are – we need to identify the perpetrators. You can’t begin to
solve a problem, if you can’t even talk about it.
The Chief’s next piece of advice is so obvious, but not to our politically
correct political and police leadership: Target the known killers. Racial
profiling? Of course. If the gangsters, robbers, drug dealers and gunmen are
overwhelmingly Black, target Black youth, especially males. The only public
official brave enough to say the obvious was Toronto councillor Michael
Thompson, himself black, who urged that police target Black youth for
searches. This suggestion came during last summer’s eruption of Black
killings, many of them involving completely innocent bystanders, including a
four year old boy shot in the penis, among other places. Councillor was
roundly denounced as a media hound, publicity seeker, hopelessly ill
informed and only his black skin saved him from the ultimate smear “racist.”
A few braver than average journalists have broached the “J” word before. In
her January 3, 2006 column, the Globe and Mail’s Margaret Wente, noted: “The
gun murder rate in Jamaica is among the highest in the world. But nobody
mentioned that. In fact, the word ‘Jamaica’ can’t be found in any of these
penetrating analyses, even thought he police will tell you off the record
that 80 per cent or more of the city’s gun crime is Jamaican-related. The
violent culture of Jamaica sheds far more light on Toronto’s gun-and-gang
problem than Mr. Harris’s cruel decision to shut down the Anti-Racism
Another Globe columnist, Jeffrey Simpson argued that there was no crime
epidemic in Canada, but, rather local outburst of violent crime: “Canada’s
particular problems, however, are inner-city, drug-and-gang-related:
aboriginal gangs in some places; Indo-Canadian ones in B.C.’s lower
Mainland; Jamaican-Canadian ones (and a few others) in Toronto.” (Globe and
Mail, January 4, 2006) In other words, much of the “gang” violence is the
result of our lax and failed immigration polices:
• a failure to screen for people with skills and aptitude and the right
attitude to make a contribution here: a cycle of welfare mamas, baby mothers
breeding children by serial gangster fathers and doing it all in taxpayer
subsidized housing just doesn’t cut it;
• failure to deport convicted non-citizen criminals
• failure to put the blame on the criminals, rather than creating
smokescreen alibis about racism, marginalization, lack of basketball
facilities, etc. As Chief Bratton says: “We erroneously believed that crime
was caused by racism, poverty, the economy, demographics. None of those
things cause crime.”
The Jamaican family culture tends to be dysfunctional. With casual parenting
in well over half the Jamaican families, is it any wonder that many Negro
children just tumble up, rather than be nurtured and raised. For many, the
nihilistic “gang” becomes their family.
Black Rev. Eugene Rivers, writing from Boston for the (Globe
and Mail, December 2, 2005) offered a stunning indictment of dysfunctional
Jamaican family life”
“Nearly 50 per cent of all black children under 14 in Canada have just one
parent. Two in three black children from Jamaica are being raised by a
single parent. What can black Canadians do about black-on-black,
gang-related violence beyond denouncing others’ failures and racism? If
black political and religious leaders are to successfully engage the issue
of black-on-black gang-related violence as a social and public policy
question, they must first own it, morally and politically. They must accept
their moral complicity by having so far failed to effectively engage this
crisis. Only by publicly acknowledging their failures can they legitimately
criticize the failures of others. Such moral transparency is a prerequisite
for any rational discussion of the delicate topic of race and violent crime
in any Western society.” That is to say, that when your son is picked up by
the police (in what they hope is a ‘sensitive’ manner) — because he and his
friends have systematically terrorized and extorted sexual favours from
a (white) female schoolmate over the course of years — the preferred
maternal response is not to howl and berate “the racist system” that would
pick on your boy.
“Between 1996 and 2002, 10 per cent of all violent crimes committed
in Toronto were linked to young men of Jamaican origin. This is high,
considering that Jamaicans make up only 3.5 per cent of the city’s
population. [Remember in the Maclean’s interview, the rate of gang-murder
activity is estimated at more than 80% Jamaican participation. Actually,
in a straight 50-50 proposition, if Jamaicans account for 3.5% of the
population, males of Jamaican derivation would account for a bare 1.75% of
the city’s make up, but my sense is that, because of the pull
of domestic/child care work, care giver, nanny, it is primarily women who
emigrate out of Jamaica — and due to fractured family structure, few
would subsequently be sponsoring a “husband.” Also, we must take into
account the relatively high proportion of Jamaican males incarcerated at any
given time, and, finally, the proportion of YOUNG males will
understandably be smaller than whatever the overall population of males
might be. Thus, at any given time, the percentage of young,
active, Jamaican males will be well below that most optimistic 1.75% point
of departure — but a group nevertheless accounting for 10% of all violent
crime]] … The island nation has one of the world’s highest homicide
rates: In 2004, the rate was 44 per 100,000 persons. In Canada, the rate
was 1.9. The world average is about eight. …. Today, a third of all
Jamaican homicides stem from dispute; another third are about reprisal.
Minor disputes in Jamaica have the potential to be deadly. Police reports
show that quarrels over the ownership of a cooking pot, payment for a pack
of cigarettes or a bingo game can lead to murder [and] the gun is the main
weapon used. (Globe and Mail, November 10 2005)
Perhaps, this sends some light on the recent Jamaican gang killings.
Two resulted from a gangster with the street name of Cheesehead deciding to
kill another gunman Jamal Hemmings for impregnating his girlfriend while he
was in prison. Apparently,Hemming‘s friend, Amon Beckles, witnessed the
slaying, but refused to talk to police. Nevertheless, he was shot dead on
the steps of the Seventh Day Adventist Church during Hemmings’ funeral. was
Writing in the National Post (Octrober 27, 2005), Bruce Garvey
decried Jamaica’s “born fi dead’ culture being imported to the streets of
Toronto – another vile result of poorly screened immigration and
multiculturalism polices that encourage immigrants to hang on to their
culture, no matter how dysfunctional of destructive. Writing of Toronto’s
wave of gang shootings, Garvey noted: “Almost all of the victims and
perpetrators are young black men, … It is widely – if quietly – acknowledged
that a disproportionate number of the criminals and victims hail from
Jamaica. To understand why that it, it helps to understand the place that
they come from. By early September, the Caribbean island – with roughly the
same population as Toronto, had recorded 1,157 murders, almost all of them
involving guns. It was the country’s highest ever by that date, and well on
track to top 1,500 by the end of the year, eclipsing last year’s total of
1,469.. … But it’s still a fact that since independence in 1962, when the
murder rate was 3.8 per 100,000, Jamaica’s crime rate has been getting
steadily worse. By 1976, it had risen to 17.6, and by 2001 jumped
dramatically to 43.”
John Macfarlane, editor of Toronto Life (February, 2006) observes:
“Nobody wants to talk about it, but the increase in gun-related homicides in
Toronto has a cultural component: many of the young men involved – shooters
and victims alike – are of Caribbean descent and many are from fatherless
homes. As the Globe and Mail observed recently,” Tewo in three
Jamaican-Canadian children … are being raised by a single parent. The U.S.
trend of radical fathrelessnesss’ – in which the majority of children in an
apartment building, on a street or in a neighbourhood, lack fathers —I
shitting Toronto like a tsunami.’”
In the following report from the Canadian Democratic Movement,
article&sid=800 looks at the culture many Jamaicans bring to Canada:
“There was a grotesque aspect, generally unnoted by the press, to the
shooting at a church funeral. Police apparently arrived in force within a
few minutes of the shooting. In some cases, they were greeted by shouting
and spitting. Spitting on police arriving at a murder goes a rather long way
to explaining the lack of help or cooperation. … Change is not possible
without cooperation from black residents who have information or informed
suspicions. It is irresponsible for people to refuse to cooperate with the
police, just as it is irresponsible to spit on police arriving at an
emergency, behavior whose long-run effect is to guarantee the continued
public murder of black men by other black men ….
…..Jamaica, birthplace for many in Toronto’s black community and,
according to police, birthplace for the gang culture now taking hold of the
city, is an exceedingly violent country. With a population roughly the same
as Metro Toronto’s, it has about 1200 murders a year, and likely this is an
undercount. Jamaica also is home to some hateful social attitudes. A recent
popular song there has words about burning alive a “chi chi man,” the
Jamaican expression for a homosexual. So, too, a favored local swear word
refers to a woman’s menses. [Rass-clott ?? Bumba-clott ??]
I don’t cite these unpleasant facts to deprecate Jamaica, but they make an
important point about Toronto’s problem. I am almost exhausted of hearing
and reading, after each of these gruesome murders, that it is somehow
Toronto’s fault or Canada’s fault for not spending enough on social programs
for the young men doing all the killing. [[Evidently it is Canada’s
spending on social programmes in Jamaica that really falls short of the
The truth is that murder rates for Toronto, except for the murders in this
new special group, are at record lows. The city has been growing in size and
in complexity with great diversity of population while its murders remain
steady or shrink, again except for this special group of murders. A
relatively small group of people are responsible, comprised of utterly
ruthless and remorseless psychopaths. They are not poor people, typically
using expensive automatic handguns and driving away from the scene in
Contrary to what some politicians say, I do not believe that such people are
made by their surroundings. I find the mayor’s public question about how
does a child get the hard eyes of a killer? hopeless melodrama. You can
mistreat a child and produce a bully or a miserable person, but most people
cannot be trained to kill in civilian life … Canada, in fact, is
exceptionally generous to immigrants. Every immigrant receives free medical
care, free public education, and subsidized college and university
education; qualifies for employment insurance, daycare assistance, social
welfare, and subsidized housing ….”
Speaking of Canada’s endless generosity and leniency to immigrants
and even those communities producing the gang killers, there’s evidence that
a strict and ruthless deportation policy for non-citizen gunmen might be a
deterrent.The French riots began on October 27, 2005, but began to drop off
steeply “a few” days before it reported as pretty much over on Nov 14th
“Mr. Sarkozy has caused deep anger in immigrant areas by describing
troublemakers as ‘rabble’ or ‘scum.’ But his remarks yesterday coincided
with a steep drop in the number of gasoline-bomb attacks, giving the
government cautious optimism that France may be slowly returning to normal.
… [He] ordered the immediate expulsion yesterday of any foreigner
convicted of taking part in the country’s riots. … He told parliament
regional administrators have been instructed to remove ‘without delay’ such
offenders, whether living in France legally or illegally.” (National Post,
November 10 2005)
According to psychologist Richard Lynn, , Jamaican IQs average 72
(North American Negroes score 85; Whites 100). Then, add in indifferent
parenting and superior motor skills and you’ve got real trouble.
CANADA FIRST IMMIGRATION REFORM COMMITTEE
( Maclean’s January 14, 2006)
Q&A with former NYC chief of police, William Bratton
‘If it’s gangs that are committing the crimes, well then, go after the
gangs. And don’t be afraid to go after them because they’re black.’
William Bratton has earned a reputation as the most effective police chief
in America. As chief of police in New York City from 1994 to 1996, Bratton
is credited with the miraculous turnaround of that city’s crime spiral.
Currently chief of the LAPD — the only individual to be chief of both major
cities — Bratton is achieving similar miracles. A pioneer of the “Broken
Windows” theory of law enforcement, Bratton works on the principle that by
cracking down on petty “lifestyle” crimes — prostitution, drug use,
aggressive begging — a city makes itself less susceptible to more serious
crime. Crime is viewed as an “epidemic”: tolerate small offences and
criminals will become emboldened to commit ever greater crimes. By the time
Bratton left the NYPD, murders in New York had fallen to 984 a year, from a
high of 2,262 in 1990. During his first two years in Los Angeles, overall
crime has dropped 13 per cent, homicides 20 per cent. In Canada, the number
of homicides committed in 2004 increased in six of our nine largest cities.
Chief Bratton, have you ever been to Toronto?
Yes, quite a few times.
So you know a little bit about our city? You know about our problems? A
27-per-cent increase in the number of homicides from 1995 to today. A Boxing
Day slaying where a 15-year-old innocent bystander was gunned down during a
gang shootout on a major shopping street. Can I tell you — it would be nice
if you were our police chief.
Well, thank you. Tell me, the gang violence that you are experiencing, what
is the racial or ethnic background of the gangs?
That’s a refreshingly blunt question. Some say it may be as high as 80 per
cent Jamaican. But no one knows for sure, because people here don’t like to
talk about that.
You need to talk about it. It’s all part of the issue. If it’s Jamaican
gangs that are committing the crimes, well then, go after the Jamaican
gangs. And don’t be afraid to go after them because they’re black. That’s
the last thing you need to be concerned with.
Oh boy, I can see the complaints coming in already. You have to understand
the climate here. The major local daily in Toronto, the Toronto Star, says
it doesn’t believe in “gratuitously” labelling people by ethnic origin.
Well, that really helps identify who they are, doesn’t it? The next step
will be to refuse to allow the police to identify people by their race or
ethnic origin. That type of societal consciousness really goes to extremes.
I’m sure you heard that Toronto’s mayor and our prime minister blame the
Boxing Day shooting on you Americans. . .
Mm-hmm, yes. They talked about the problem of guns coming in from the United
States. But whose hands are the guns in? You have to look at all sources of
the problem. It is a combination of lax gun laws, which certainly
contributes to our problem here in the United States, but ultimately the
responsibility is on the individual who pulls the trigger.
Back to my fantasy about you moving to Canada. What are the top three things
you would do to rescue our cities?
I would never put myself in the position of trying to tell your chiefs of
police what to do. You’ve got a very able chief of police in Toronto. I know
him personally. What you should do is take a look at what is working
elsewhere and then see what applies to your particular situation.
Is there any reason the Broken Windows approach cannot be applied to
No two cities are alike. Each patient has his own illness. But there are a
number of things that have worked generically in the United States, and,
indeed, around the world. One is the idea that police can prevent crime. And
the focus has to be on the prevention, as much as the response to it. And
that’s a very critical distinction. In my country in the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s
— as a result of the societal changes in our country in the ’60s — the
focus of policing went from the prevention of crime to the response to
crime. And that’s because we erroneously believed that crime was caused by
racism, poverty, the economy, demographics. None of those things cause
crime. But they can be significant influences at given times. In the case of
Toronto, you’ve got the issue that a large part of your violent crime
problem seems to be influenced by race. So that’s an influence. But what the
police need to focus on is the behaviour.
But our current political class finds that a very offensive proposition. Our
federal minister of justice, for example, has stressed that he wants to
“combat the causes of crime as well as crime itself.”
Well, that’s where you’re going down the wrong path. Certainly, you try to
improve the economy and create more jobs. You can’t arrest your way out of
the crime problem. But arrests may be an appropriate strategy for a period
of time — particularly focused arrests where you are going after the 10 per
cent of the population that traditionally commits about 50 per cent of the
crime. Police exist, in a democratic society, to control the behaviour of
individuals. The challenge and responsibility is to do it constitutionally,
to do it consistently — meaning you don’t police minority neighbourhoods
differently from majority neighbourhoods — and compassionately — meaning,
in a broader sense, that you do it respectfully, not in an uncaring,
indifferent manner. You have to be concerned with the rights of people. You
have to be concerned with how you interact with people.
On that front, in your first year as chief of the L.A. police, you managed
to reduce the homicide rate by 23 per cent, but complaints against the LAPD
went up 12 per cent. . .
But if you look at the totality of complaints, a 12-per-cent increase
amounted to fewer than 1,000 additional complaints in a city where we have
millions of interactions every day.
The Broken Windows approach to policing is assertive and increases the
frequency of interaction with citizens on a daily basis. Is it a method of
policing that is possible only with the right political will behind it?
Political will is absolutely critical. In other words, if your government,
your society, is saying, “We don’t want you focusing on the little things
because we’re concerned it might be seen as racially incorrect,” or, “We’re
concerned that it’s not appreciative of the ethnic backgrounds of people” —
well, that’s the lame excuse that got American policing into so much trouble
in the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s. The attitude was, “We’re not going to police
some of these minor crimes in the minority neighbourhoods. After all, what’s
the harm? There are really no victims to prostitution, or gangs hanging on
the corner and drinking.” But what we didn’t understand was that the victim
was the neighbourhood. It was like a cancer eating away at that
neighbourhood. And all the people who lived there were ultimately the
victims as their neighbourhoods deteriorated. It’s guaranteed that if you
don’t control those minor types of violations, you are going to create a
climate in which the people perpetrating them are emboldened to try and get
away with more. And that’s exactly the cancer that was eating away at New
York until the ’90s when Giuliani and I came in.
Giuliani provided the political will and leadership. And I, together with the 38,000 cops around me, provided the tactics and the strategy and the philosophy.
In a speech to the Conference of Mayors in May 2000, Giuliani put it like
this: “New York City during the 1960s, ’70s and into the early ’90s served
as a symbol of decline. I keep a national magazine cover describing New York
City in 1990 as “the Rotting Apple,” a city in decline. And at that time,
people in the City of New York accepted it. They accepted the idea that this
was our lot in life: that we were an old city that had seen our greatest
days.” These comments address the idea that a mayor and a police chief can
decide how much crime they are prepared to tolerate. As a society we can
have a lot more control over the quantity of crime than we imagine. . . .
That’s going to be the great risk, I think, for you in Canada — the danger
is you are going to end up putting all the blame and fault on the police.
When, actually, in a democratic society, the police are responsive to the
political leadership. So if you have political leadership that’s not going
to empower the police to do what needs to be done — then you are going to
go down the same slippery slope the United States went down in the ’70s and
NDP Leader Jack Layton has pointed to “despair” and “poverty” as the root
causes of crime.
When you put too much emphasis on the idea of poverty being the cause of
crime, you’re as much as saying that just because you are poor or
disadvantaged, you are going to resort to crime to get by. And that’s a
phenomenally racist and insensitive attitude. The vast majority of people
who are poor do not resort to crime. A small percentage do. But he is
correct that one of the influences on crime is poverty. If you make a city
safer, you will create more jobs. In our case in Los Angeles, and in your
case in Toronto, you’ll create more tourists coming in, who will spend more
money, create more jobs and create more tax revenue. But if the place is
deemed to be unsafe, you are not going to have that economic benefit.
Rather than focus on social and economic causes, you’ve said in the past
that one of the most important ways to reduce crime is to go after
narcotics. . .
Well, what are the Jamaican gangs up there fighting over — who controls the
Exactly. So to do it, they are going to do the same thing they do down in
Jamaica, which is resort to violence as the first way of dealing with it.
Whether it’s your Asian gangs that are trying to control the gambling or
your gangs coming in from Eastern Europe trying to control the credit card
fraud, they all have their specialties. It comes back to core principles.
The criminal justice system, if properly co-ordinated, and properly
supported politically and publicly, can in fact control crime. And the way
you control crime is through controlling behaviour.
So the situation in Canada is far from hopeless. . .
The good news is we know what to do about crime. You need to have political
leaders, police chiefs, and the community working together, under the
community policing partnership principle. You need to develop priorities and
develop focus. And also go from the underlying understanding that crime is
caused by individual behaviour.
And that’s where the police should focus most of their energy — on controlling that behaviour. But they have to do it in ways that are minority-sensitive and are not seen as racist, brutal or corrupt. And the best way to do that is to be very transparent about what you are doing. The good news for Canada is that right next door you have a
lot of successes — and you have a lot of failures. You can learn from other
communities. We’re not so dissimilar. What works for dealing with the flu or
cancer in the United States works in Canada too.
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