In search of a better life, these new migrants arrived in New York City from the poverty-stricken and violent ghetto of Western Kingston, Jamaica. Predisposed to violence and experienced in the life of the street, they aged between twenty and thirty-five. They were different from all those that came before them from this exotic island.
With the potential for a drug sale at any time, these new arrivals squared-off against one another in the streets of New York City, fighting for control of the illicit yet lucrative cocaine and crack market. From Brooklyn to Queens, Manhattan to the Bronx, the city was divided into three gang strongholds, basically no-go areas.
Joe Dog and the Loyalist posse took control of South Jamaica, Queens; Blacka and the Raiders posse control Brooklyn; and Fowl and the Centralist posse controlled the Bronx.
In addition to the Jamaicans, there were two black American gangs, one came out of Brooklyn and the other from Queens. When they crossed paths with the Jamaicans, it was war.
Then there was the Gem Girls. This was a gang of girls from western Kingston led by a light-skinned lesbian named Patsy. These girls were as ruthless as their male Jamaican counterpart.
The desire for instant gratification and material satisfaction was impetus for the violence and killings that followed. None dared to stand in their way.
This violence caught the attention of the newly elected mayor Jack Jackson, who established a gang task force, headed up by a no-nonsense former Vietnam veteran named Todd Sullivan. On Todd’s first day on the job, he shook his head and swore. “These fucking Jamaican posses are turning our city into a fucking killing zone. We are going to send every fucking one of them to prison.”