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Lockdowns And Rbdf Ordered On The Streets In Crime Fight

National Security Minister Dr Bernard Nottage speaks in the House of Assembly.
Photo: Shawn Hanna/Tribune Staff

National Security Minister Dr Bernard Nottage speaks in the House of Assembly. Photo: Shawn Hanna/Tribune Staff

By KHRISNA VIRGIL

Deputy Chief Reporter

kvirgil@tribunemedia.net

WHILE murders in the country continue to escalate at an alarming pace, National Security Minister Dr Bernard Nottage announced several anti-crime strategies including “lockdowns”, mobile police vans and an armed forces partnership as he admitted the killings are affiliated with people connected to “gangs, drugs and guns”.

Dr Nottage also said intelligence has suggested that there are connections between many violent incidents on the streets of New Providence and inmates at the Bahamas Department of Correctional Services and recently released prisoners.

This comes as eight people have been killed since Friday, taking the country’s murder count to 28 for the year. The latest victim, a woman, died in hospital in Grand Bahama on Tuesday.

The rise in murders also led Prime Minister Perry Christie to liken the situation to the “Wild West” earlier this week as he said the recent wave of murders in the capital must solicit a “major” and “continuous” effort by his administration to “flood the streets” with officers in a bid to do “all that is necessary to bring this madness to a halt”.

Speaking of the gang problem Dr Nottage said: “We have the One Order gang, we have the Mad Ass gang (and) some of these gangs have sub-groups in them. I am a little reluctant because some of these people may get high or I may be considered to be promoting their existence but the truth is you cannot deny that they exist because they do exist and it is affecting our people and we must do something about it.”

He also named the Monster Nation Section of the Dirty South gang, the Kemp Road Order and the Tiger Nations as he referred to leaders of these groups who are behind prison bars, saying a small group of thugs would not be allowed to ruin the country’s future.

In response to this scourge of deadly violence brought on by these criminal organisations, Dr Nottage said nearly a dozen crime-fighting strategies will be implemented with immediate effect.

“I want to put it in clear context so that members of the public will have a better understanding of exactly what has been taking place,” Dr Nottage told parliamentarians yesterday. “Police officials are fully aware that these incidents mostly involve a small group of prolific violent offenders, some of whom were on bail for serious violent crimes.

“Most of these incidents have their nexus in ongoing feuds between persons affiliated with gangs, guns and drugs. In fact some of these persons may be wanted perpetrators today and become a murder victim tomorrow.

“As we all are aware, a number of the suspects have been charged in some of these incidents and others are being sought and can be expected to be taken into custody and charged shortly. You should also know that due to intelligence and proactive police operations, several would-be murderers have been prevented.

“Not surprisingly, these incidents have raised the fear of crime in members of the public, who use homicides as the barometer by which the level of crime is measured. Each murder is one too many and we must do everything in our power to ensure that crime in general and homicides in particular continue to be addressed comprehensively.”

Crime fight

He said given the ongoing crime situation, the government had to take urgent steps to prevent these acts. He said this must involve a greater police presence through targeted and focused police actions.

He said the strategies include:

• increased foot patrols in inner cities and crime hot spots;

• the activation and placement of specially designed mobile police vans to serve as manned police stations in communities where crime is a challenge for police;

• aggressive stop and search of suspicious persons and suspicious vehicles throughout all policing divisions;

• periodic road checks at various intersections;

• purposeful lock downs of communities and crime hot spots where large teams of law enforcement officers execute search warrants, arrest warrants and search for illegal drugs, firearms and stolen vehicles;

• implementing larger Urban Renewal teams for the improved surveillance of crime hot spots;

• Royal Bahamas Police Force and Royal Bahamas Defence Force joint operations;

• a closer working relationship between the police and the Bahamas Department of Correctional Services;

• dedicated teams of police officers to ensure all persons being electronically monitored comply with bail conditions;

• the expansion of the CCTV system by increasing the number of cameras throughout New Providence to be manned on a 24-hour basis.

Several other medium-term strategies are also being implemented, Dr Nottage said.

“The establishment of a violent prolific offenders initiative in which the most violent offenders will be targeted, swiftly prosecuted and severely punished if they are found guilty,” he said,

“We are making full use of all of our law enforcement agencies to address this crime issue as each of them bring skills, expertise and resources that can be tapped into to assist with crime prevention and detection (with) the establishment of a gun interdiction task force.

“The task force will be made up of members of the Royal Bahamas Police Force, the Royal Bahamas Defence Force, the Department of Corrections, the Bahamas Customs Department and the Immigration Department to protect our country and its borders. They will be mandated to effectively reduce the influx of illegal weapons including firearms and ammunition in the country.

“I wish to send a strong warnings that in all cases in which persons have been charged with possession of an illegal firearm and/or ammunition, the prosecution will be objecting to bail.

“The establishment of violence breakers throughout high-risk communities who will serve as positive mentors for at-risk youth. Violence breakers are reformed offenders who have completed specialised training to assist their communities by steering selected youths away from becoming involved in crime.”

Dr Nottage said the proliferation of gangs in New Providence is “real”. He told the House of Assembly that these criminal enterprises are impacting communities, the prison and some schools. He said the government would not allow a small group of thugs - who have demonstrated that they are not interested in changing their ways - to ruin the country’s future.

“We will enforce the new anti-gang law that we passed in 2014. Persons convicted of an offence under this act are liable to a fine of $500,000 and to imprisonment for 20 years.

“Very often we have situations where people receive fines and or periods of incarceration less than the law permits, but it is our hope that those who have that responsibility will take into consideration the havoc that gang members in carrying guns, in protecting drugs and turf that are influencing our young men and our young women and school children. They have to be stopped.

“One thing we know is when we have them in prison the incidents of shootings and the violent crime does go down.”

Comments

Well_mudda_take_sic 5 months, 1 week ago

Watch out Bahamians! Sleepy lame brained Nottage is about to unleash on us military hardware, tear gas, rubber bullets, stun guns and other formidable crowd and riot control equipment that the Crooked Christie-led corrupt PLP government has acquired from Red China. Nottage is one helluva loonie-tune.

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Reality_Check 5 months, 1 week ago

Nottage must think we are all as dumb as he is. Someone needs to whisper in his ear that all of us know his crime fighting words are without any truth whatsoever because our prison system is already choc-a-bloc overloaded with incarcerated criminals and there's nowhere to put any additional thugs the police may round up and the courts may convict. Bottomline, Nottage is a LIAR, period!

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Well_mudda_take_sic 5 months, 1 week ago

Nottage knows full well that for every newly convicted hard core criminal put in prison today one must be set free early by commuting of sentence to make room for the new arrival. This is why we have so many hard core criminals roaming among us today, just waiting for the opportunity to cause serious harm to their next victim.

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TalRussell 5 months, 1 week ago

Comrade Tourists Welcome To The New Bahamaland, fast becoming the most dangerous neighbour to our newest tourism competitor - Cuba!
By the way, when you get caught up in the mobilization of our island nation's battle dressed army on the streets of our Nassau Town, it's just a minor symptom of a fast becoming a failed little islands state.
No worry, be happy and unafraid. Relax, tan, snorkel and enjoy our friendly, known be polite policeman's.
Some may suspect this declaration of force is a state of emergency - without the PLP cabinet, saying so?

Bob Marley-Don't worry be happy

............//https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oo4OnQpwjkc

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ThisIsOurs 5 months, 1 week ago

This is about the zillioneth time Nottage has rolled out the zero tolerance strategy. In four weeks he'll tell us how well it's working and then we'll have another spate of murders. And then he'll blame the police AGAIN. #mulberrybush. #thisisnotaplan.#nonewideas #shouldhavebeenremovedfouryearsago. We don't need no more police. We need a comprehensive monitoring system on the entire island, but that might interrupt your sweethearting so they probably won't do it. We need to brainwash the primary school kids back to good morals and honest practices. We need Alfred Grey, Maynard Gibson, Brave Davis, Fitzgerald, Hanna Martin to ALL RESIGN and apologize to the nation. That would do much more to fight crime than 1000 policemen

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banker 5 months, 1 week ago

Isn't the Mad Ass gang in power now in the Bahamas? The Minister of Social Services is Dirty South and Mad Brad is representative of Monster Nation.

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sp1nks 5 months, 1 week ago

Dr. Nottage, civilized societies don't turn their militaries on their people. "All the peacemakers turn war officers"

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TalRussell 5 months, 1 week ago

Comrades! You think this latest taxpayers funded "Revitalisation Of The People In Da Communities Program" - is to be headed by Chief Strike Force Commander "Mother" Cynthia?

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jackbnimble 5 months, 1 week ago

True to form our leaders are always reactionary! They always wait until the crisis hits and then pretend to find answers to deal with it.

These lame-brained politicians just need to admit that they just don't have the answers and they are too old and tired to come up with any fresh ideas!

And to think Nottage is running for a seat in Parliament AGAIN and God forbid that the PLP wins the election, his lame-brained leader will likely put him right back into National Security to continue screwing up the country with their so-called "fresh ideas" on dealing with crime.

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sheeprunner12 5 months, 1 week ago

BJ has ordered the Army on the streets with the Chinese weapons ......... prepare for martial law in Nassau ghettos

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Itellya 5 months, 1 week ago

Suggestions from an outsider. While it will take much more than the police to bring crime to a minimum there's still some things the police might need to do. There probably will be a lot of backlashing.There may be a need to move away from what the traditional way or "the way we've always been doing things"

(a) Could the Police department do more with the manpower it has until its able to get the body's it needs?

Example- In other countries the Prime Minister or President is protected and chauffeured by the military. Rather than putting the Defence Force on the street to fight crime, assign them to chauffeur the PM and whom ever else and also have them guard his home and office and whom ever else is chauffeured and guarded by the police which will allow these police officers to return to the streets.

(b) I've seen police vehicles (small bus) have at times six officers riding. 6 persons = 3 patrol cars or 6 patrol cars if its done the way it is in the US......I watch TV so its just thought.

(c) Until the crime situation is brought to a minimum, could the police band which has 30-50 maybe more police officers not sure, go to regular duty? If a state funeral comes up pull them or give overtime pay?

(d) Make the fire department a civilian department. Win win situation there, as it provides more officers on the street and jobs for persons interested in being firemen but not in being a policeman.

(e) Not sure how many work in this area but Civilianize the police dispatch area with well vetted, intelligent and trained persons, probably leaving a police in charge of the area. That should put more police on the street and more jobs for civilians.

(f) Is there really a need for the 15 or more police stations around this island of 21x7? Is it putting a dent in crime? dismantle them all build one central police station/jailhouse because jail is different from prison right? Use half the amount of officers stretched across these stations to facilitate the Central station/jailhouse and the other half put them on the streets.

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Itellya 5 months, 1 week ago

Continued; (g) Maybe time to revamp the training program at the police college if it hasn't already been done? The whole thought of policing has to be super updated. Officer out of training should be ready for and given his service weapon, paired with a seasoned policeman, and put in a patrol car instead of flooding downtown with police in ceremonial uniforms. Put traffic wardens instead to direct traffic and give tickets on Bay..Win win more civilian jobs.

(h) is there a need for a whole " traffic divison"? or should that be every patrol vehicles business to investigates accident. Could still keep some cycle officers for special escorts and traffic surveillance and the part that deals with serious accidents. That should add more to the streets...I don't know but just saying.

(I) All for an air wing area but why not with a helicopter instead of a plane to patrol from the air. It works in other countries.

(j) revamp the K9 unit and use them more on patrols to search for those who "fled on foot". put more K9 Unit patrols vehicles each shift

(k) Seriously beef up CCTV and those to really monitor it fulltime. Police cant be everywhere but where they fall short CCTV should pick up the slack. Put elevated sky watch or mobile patrol tower stations in hotspots manned by an officer or two.

(L) beef up the reserves. Sweeten the pot so to speak. Volunteerism in this area may not be working. Revamp it make it part-time with FULL medical coverage and pay more, properly account for the hours they work and train them properly, put them in a patrol car.

(M) Is there a computer generated study of hotspot statistics?

(N) Police should be a well paying profession because of all they put on the line. Compensate them well for the job they do, give them the up-to-date equipment they need. Some of my cop friends say they have to hustle uniforms. Provide all of them with regular and up-to-date training, training, and more training.

Just some suggestions but then you hear the words, "we're not ready for that", "that's a US thing", "that will never happen", "this is the Bahamas",.....All it amounts to is a venting session. Im just a simple fellow who watches TV.

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sheeprunner12 5 months, 1 week ago

Why are you making suggestions?????? ......... and to who???? ....... certainly not the PLP Mafia

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sp1nks 5 months, 1 week ago

Great ideas... I would honestly email these to both Christie (not sure if it'll help now) and to Dr. Minnis. We have a very big problem with inefficiency. It would be a new way of thinking for us but we're in a crisis. Let the general population relax and live with an 'island' attitude. Our police, marines, and other first responders need to be run in world-class fashion.


Further to 'F'... build a brand new prison and renovate the existing Fox Hill as a centralized Jail/Remand/Detention center. No matter how you feel, Fox Hill is not fit for any kind of human occupancy. The Commissioner and Prime Minister are constantly seeking the public's assistance. There are decent Bahamian people who don't cooperate because they don't want their children and grandchildren in Fox Hill. If we had a new facility that could reasonably house prisoners, the public might be more inclined to help.


Further to 'J'... acquire and train gun sniffing dogs (they are trained on the scent of gunpowder and residue) Keep them in the communities, ports of entry, and on defence force vessels to assist during at-sea inspections.

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Itellya 5 months, 1 week ago

Why not sheeprunner? I think we all do, hoping that the right persons see it and takes it into consideration.

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sheeprunner12 5 months, 1 week ago

Good point ............. Sheeprunner has done it for many years!!!!!!!!!

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SP 5 months, 1 week ago

.................................... As Usual, Haitians Are Given Another Pass ................................

BJ Nottage made a point of mentioning all the Bahamian gangs but somehow neglected to mention *"Zoe Pound, Top 6, True Haitian Posse and Zoe Mafia Family, , these violent Haitian gangs are highly suspected of human smuggling and known to control arms and drug dealing/distribution in the Bahamas!

http://www.hipwiki.com/Zoe+Pound

Zoe Pound is a Haitian-based international criminal enterprise/organisation which started in the streets of Miami, FL. The Zoes are Florida's largest and most dangerous gang with sets all over the state, and the 5th largest Black gang in the United States with members all over the U. S.

So why didn't Nottage see fit to mention these thugs??

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banker 5 months, 1 week ago

Zoe Pound has a small following and a "training ground" off Cowpen Road. However their activities here are limited to smuggling and not the violent warfare that one sees on the streets. (Look at the names of the killers and killed -- all Bahamian foundation family names.) Why -- because they are kept in check by the Haitian population who send remittances back to Haiti. The remittances are huge from the Bahamas, and one of the biggest players is Omni Money transfer. They cater almost exclusively to the Haitian population, and although they have nominee ownership, they are managed by a guy who provides financial counselling to Potcake Miller, and who once was arrested for fraud after he was fired from his banking job.

However, the Haitian population keeps Zoe Pound out of the gunplay, because it would ruin the remittance business back to Haiti from the almost 70,000 Haitians in New Providence.

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SP 5 months, 1 week ago

..................................... You Missed The Point .....................................

Haitians gangs CONTROL human smuggling, & drugs and arms dealing which contributes in a very big way to this ongoing war. Haitian criminals deserve a rightful place of mention along with the other scum destroying our country!

Let's not be like too late PM Christie and wait until Haitians decide to start a war before sensitising ourselves that the problem is real and needs to be addressed.

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EasternGate 5 months, 1 week ago

Why doesn't this tired, old bag retire. Talking about fighting crime and can't fight himself out of a paper bag!

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John 5 months, 1 week ago

It is good to see that the minister and the armed forces (police, defence force, prison, etc.,) is taking much needed action to quell and, hopefully, stomp the vexing and destructive incidence of murder and violence in this country. But let me be the first to tell you, Mr. Nottage, Mr. Prime Minister, Mr. commissioner Of Police: If you go into these communities with more force, and more military power and lock down the communities and lock up people and you do not take with you social workers, and spiritual leaders and drug and substance abuse counselors, and jobs and economic opportunities, you will fail! You may stifle the murders for a short while, for just a little bit but when it re-surfaces, it will be much worse. Much worse. , When a baby is crying, you don't go to crib and holla,' Shut Up' and expect him to stop crying. You may startle him at first with your insensitivity, but unless you find out why he is crying you will not fix the problem. it may be a dirty diaper, a diaper rash, gas pain, hunger ou just a need to be held. The problem with many of our leaders in this country, maybe through no fault of their own, is they were schooled and trained in the United Kingdom rather than the USA. The problem we face in this country with guns and drugs and gangs and violence and murder, is a spillover of what is happening in the United States, where there is a race war going on. Black people have been induced with drugs and alcohol and bee further incited to arm themselves and join gangs turn against themselves and kill each other in every major city in the US. They have been denied social and economic opportunities. What we are getting here is a spillover of what is happening over there. We have promised our young men jobs and delivered few, but call our young men lazy, and drug using violent prolific offenders. They see other segments of societies advancing when they were being held back by the invisible glass of discrimination. Only difference here is it is blacks on the backs of other blacks. You have made empty promises to them over and over.

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John 5 months, 1 week ago

And like Dick Gregory said more than 60 years ago. "When you riding on the back of someone and they don't say nothing you may have a smooth ride. But when you riding on the back of someone and they tell you to get off and you don't get off you are in for a bumpy ride. And when you tell them they that you will not only gonna ride their back (sides) but on the backs of their children and their grand children, they look you squarely in the eye and say, "nigga is you crazy?' Before I let you continue to ride me or on the backs of my children I would rather die first. You already tell the world i was violent and lazy. This is where we at Perry, and Nottage and Greenslade dem; Time to get off the backs of the young people dem and stop denying them a part of the future of this country. Stop giving false promises and denying social and economic opportunities to young men. what you afraid of aye.. America was afraid of Blacks becoming the majority population in the US, that's why they trying to destroy young Black men. Why bahamas are you scared of them advancing? and then you know who the real criminals are.

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ashley14 5 months ago

Hi John, If these boys had hope and a future they would not be so influenced by the gangs. At twelve and thirteen they should be out side playing ball with their friends having dinner on the table at home at 7:00. Parents that are involved, and of course school in the morning. As you know education provides choices in life. It breaks my heart that so many of them are lost and losing their lives so young. These are hopeless you men. So many things could be done to change things. I read this newspaper everyday. I see that many have good ideas and realize what has happened, but I don't see anyone doing anything. Starting programs after school for kids that would be going to a empty house because parents are working.

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ashley14 5 months ago

Hi John, If these boys had hope and a future they would not be so influenced by the gangs. At twelve and thirteen they should be out side playing ball with their friends having dinner on the table at home at 7:00. Parents that are involved, and of course school in the morning. As you know education provides choices in life. It breaks my heart that so many of them are lost and losing their lives so young. These are hopeless you men. So many things could be done to change things. I read this newspaper everyday. I see that many have good ideas and realize what has happened, but I don't see anyone doing anything. Starting programs after school for kids that would be going to a empty house because parents are working.

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ThisIsOurs 5 months, 1 week ago

I am sick and tired of them calling up Defence force officers willy nilly as some cure all. Those officers have jobs to do. We have Chinese and Dominican poachers raping our waters, we have drugs running from Jamaica, we have illegal immigrants sailing up in droves from Cuba and Haiti, RBDF een gat time for foolishness. Come up with a sensible strategy that involves more technology and less brute force. More bodies will NOT solve this problem. And having Algernon Allen and Mother Pratt handing out Wonder bread does NOTHING for crime. PLEASE STOP WASTING MONEY ON UR. If you want to hand out white flour bread give that job to social services.please resign.

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John 5 months, 1 week ago

America chose to destroy its economy and export its jobs to Mexico and to China and Japan just because they wanted to destroy the lives and livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of working class Black Americans. And so they have made cities like Detroit and St. Louis and Chicago desolate and battlefields for unemployed and desolate Blacks to war and kill each other. While America exported its jobs, The Bahamas government imported workers, thousands of them, while Bahamians sat st home, unemployed, hungry and begging if for only the crumbs of the table and now you don't know why they are angry, and mad and strung out on drugs and anti social and disillusioned and apathetic even to the point they are not registering and will not take part in your society and your election when even the more educated and the more advanced and more fortunate are doing the same thing. Listen now to the latest ranting software Donald Trump, " He didn't realize the mess he was inheriting."

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Greentea 5 months, 1 week ago

  1. I hope those mobile police vans are bullet proof - remember Tivoli Gardens in Jamaica - it is only a matter of time 2. The police department need to get in physical shape for this fight. The majority are obese, unable to physically perform the functions of their job beyond desk duty and walking people to court. We don't need any police officers on desk duty. Their weight speaks to a profound lack of discipline from the top down - and that slouching officer who is always next to Greenslade- does nothing for optics. He might be the most briliant man in the room but his look and body language make him seem utterly clueless and undisciplined. Straighten ya damn back man. At least try to give the appearance of alertness. 3. The police department needs better metrics, better detective training. I have met some bright police officers, but by far I question the intelligence of far too many 4. Nottage and the police seem to think the less information they give out, the better it is. How is that working for you? Bahamians don't need to be in the dark. The names of those shot and their suspected ties to other murders should be made clear. The names of gangs should be known. Keeping people in the dark and ignorant never solved anything- look at the country as a whole. 5. Agencies need a coordinated computer system - Defense Force, Police, Immigration, Family Services and the department of corrections need to be in constant conversation - a certain level of information should be accessible to all. 6. The Police need to update its damn website and use it to disseminate information, get tips etc. That website is a damn embarrassment in this digital age. The inability to maintain it and use it effectively reflects poorly on the police 6. This excuse that its only a few bad apples and if we get those few it will be over is absolute hogwash. This is a living virus and is constantly spawning new delinquents. 7. It is amazing how many gangs are on New Providence. Obviously a lot of splintering going on. Sounds like they have constituencies just like the politicians and can't unite under a leader partly because if you look at the Mad A$$ gang - these so called leaders seem to get kill before they can consolidate anything. 8. Families- stop lying to yourself about where ya bad a$$ children die. This "died at the Princess Margaret Hospital " foolishness in the paper need to stop. While I don't expect you to say "Died in Ms Major yard after being shot on Kemp Road and stumbling there for help" maybe it is time not to say anything. Have a nice weekend my people. Let us hope we all see Monday morning.
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sheeprunner12 5 months ago

Where da hell is Windsor Lane????????? ........... Is it anywhere near the University of Wulff Road?????? .............. Time to lock that area down and erase that block once and for all

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