The Shower Posse is a Jamaican gang which is involved with drug and arms smuggling. Its home is in Tivoli Gardens in Jamaica, but it primarily operates in the Canadian provinces of Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba and the US states of New York, New Jersey, Florida, and Pennsylvania.
|Founding location||Tivoli Gardens, Kingston, Jamaica|
|Territory||Jamaica, Canada and United States|
|Membership||1,500–2,000 in Jamaica and 4,000–5,000 in other countries|
|Activities||Drug trafficking, arms trafficking, racketeering, and murder|
|Allies||Jamaica Labour Party|
|Rivals||Dog Posse |
Junior Black Mafia
Tel Aviv Posse
The gang has a strong international presence among expatriate Jamaican communities in North America. In the United States, a branch was founded by Vivian Blake and it has a prominent role in the New York City drug trade. The gang also has a large presence in Toronto.
There are differing reports on the origin of the name. One theory is that it comes from the promises of its associated politicians to shower supporters with gifts. Another view is that it is a reference to the gang showering opponents with bullets. A third theory is that the gang got its name from the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) election slogan 'Shower', which was a response to the PNP's 'Power' that was coined from Manley's 'Power for the people' slogan in the 1970s.
On 4 August 1985, a gun battle erupted at a picnic attended by approximately 2,000 Jamaicans in Oakland, New Jersey, during which elements of the Shower Posse and Spangler Posse from Brooklyn and the Bronx fought with the Boston-based Dog Posse and Tel Aviv Posse. Three people were killed, nine were wounded, and police retrieved thirty-three handguns from the scene.
In 1989, former member Charles "Little Nut" Miller was charged with drug trafficking but agreed to testify against other gang leaders in order to receive immunity. In his testimony – in which he implicated himself in nine murders – Miller revealed his connection to the JLP as a "political enforcer", as well as to the CIA, going as far to state that "the United States made me what I am."
In 2009 the United States began to demand that Christopher Coke, then leader of the Shower Posse, with extensive and well-known links to the JLP, be extradited to New York, where he would face charges of smuggling drugs and weapons. Then prime minister of Jamaica, Bruce Golding, who was also the Member of Parliament for that district (West Kingston), initially questioned the legality of the request, claiming that warrantless wiretapping had been used to collect information on Coke. However, he eventually relented, after public indignation to what many Jamaicans viewed as a cover-up to protect a politically connected drug trafficker, and on 17 May 2010 an arrest warrant was issued for Coke, leading to a state of civil unrest within Kingston, and especially Tivoli Gardens. Coke was eventually arrested outside of Kingston on 22 June 2010. On Friday, 15 June 2012, a New York federal district court sentenced Coke to two consecutive sentences: 20 years for racketeering and conspiracy, and an additional three years for conspiracy to commit assault.
In popular cultureEdit
The 2014 novel A Brief History of Seven Killings, by Marlon James, features a gang called Storm Posse, who share many features with Shower Posse, based in a fictionalised version of Tivoli Gardens named "Copenhagen City".
- James R. Zazzali,Organized Crime: 25 Years After Valachi
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- "Police raise curtain on the 'Shower Posse'" Colin Freeze. The Globe and Mail. 5 May 2010. p. A11.
- "The Cokes then and now - News". Jamaica Observer. Archived from the original on 20 February 2015. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
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- Investigations, United States. Congress. Senate. Committee on Governmental Affairs. Permanent Subcommittee on (1988). Organized Crime: 25 Years After Valachi : Hearings Before the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the Committee on Governmental Affairs. U.S. Government Printing Office. p. 726.
- Street legends: Aaron Jones Seth Ferranti, GorillaConvict.com (25 October 2011)
- "The CIA, the Cold War, and Cocaine: The Connections of Christopher "Dudus" Coke". NACLA. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
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- "This is not Somalia, we hope", The Gleaner Archived 9 September 2009 at the Wayback Machine
- "Jamaica Declares State of Emergency". The New York Times. Reuters. 23 May 2010. Retrieved 25 May 2010.[dead link]
- Lazar, Zachary (23 October 2014). "'A Brief History of Seven Killings' - Marlon James". The New York Times. Retrieved 11 December 2016.
- "Where niggas goin' shower posse just to get by". Genius.