"Thibault Ehrengardt pens a provocative work that transcends
the violence and mayhem that bleed through its every page. This is
clinical journalism. It is insightful, investigative and written with sheer brilliance.
It is how a story should be told. It is raw and cutting, dragging the reader
into the trenches of an urban battlefield."
G. Ashby, The Gleaner.
Read it straight from the fruit
The Gangs of Jamaica chronicles a society turned on its head. Poverty, despair, greed, drugs, prostitution and murder create a social catacomb. Crooked cops and politicians add to an asphyxiating crisis - one that will take years to remedy. Not that law enforcement isn't trying. The Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption unit has nabbed scores of 'dirty' cops and the PNP's political brass has vowed to clean house. But scepticism persists.
The JCF is hamstrung by a shortage of advanced technology in intelligence gathering, logistical problems, corrupt personnel and officers who have psychologically unravelled under the pressures of an unforgiving profession. But there are officers who are worth their salt. The reader is introduced to hard-working officers such as, Sasha and Sergeants Adams and McKenzie of the Mobile Reserve.
And the legend of Trinity and Reneto Adams - the "Schwarzeneggers" of law enforcement in earlier years are juxtaposed with Rico, Ricardo Hilton, Duane Waxteen and Dudus, some of the most notorious gangsters. And in a twisted way, in this business of gangstarism, "until you are known as a monster you are not a star". In this battle of wills, we hear all sides including the views of National Security Minister Peter Bunting and those of Commissioner Owen Ellington. After decades of strife, the Jamaican is psychologically scarred. When law-enforcement personnel and 'dons' collide, M16s, Glocks, MP 5s and AK 47 blaze ammo with abandon. The outcome is predictable. Blood. Urban Jamaica has become a laboratory for the criminal psychologist, the child psychologist and the sociologist.