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EDITORIAL – Saving the Judah Gails; are we doing enough?

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#Turks and Caicos Islands – Saturday August 4, 2018 – Was enough done to rescue murdered man, Judah Gail?  I admit to not knowing all of the intimate details of the life of the man gunned down in the parking lot of a popular Providenciales lounge early on Friday morning, but I do have an understanding of this type of story and it is continues to be, to me, deeply distressing.

If you have been following the reports, you would have read or heard that Judah Gail seems to have been a menace to society, who was cold and heartless, with no respect for the rule of law and, by his own words in a video posted two weeks ago, willing to kill anyone who got in his way.

It is a sad eulogy and those who knew him best are not surprised at his demise.

I did not know Judah Gail.  I do know that his name means Praise and that his life appeared to be exactly the opposite of one which would be praised in a civilized society.

I did some asking though.  I learned that as a little boy, Judah – who is Turks and Caicos, Jamaican and Haitian – lost his mother.  A little boy was suddenly all alone and left to raise himself pretty much by himself.  I have been told that his mother’s sister did come over from Haiti eventually to assist in rearing the child, but perhaps it was too little, too late.

Perhaps no one really considered how the loss of his mother affected him emotionally and how, if left unaddressed, his feelings of sadness and hurt, turned inside out could become a monster and maybe it did.

Learning this about Judah Gail’s life caused me to read the words of other people who lost their mother or father or both parents while still young children.  These words were particularly striking to me:

The sad fact is… there is pain which there is no cure for. This is such pain.
You can’t do anything to fill that void, nor take away the pain.

Life sucks when you lose a single parent let alone both. You stop being a child. Your loss is presented to you daily (friends with their both parents etc.) which all hurt and you can’t really prevent it. You hear the word ”Dad” out of your friends mouths which hurt too…because you can’t use that word anymore (or the word Mom)

Judah, born in the Turks and Caicos Islands, inherited a string of apartments and rented them in his community of Kew Town in Providenciales.

Despite this blessing, young Mr. Gail, was no stranger to incarceration found himself walking through a revolving door.  Judah was in and out of jail since his teenage years.

At around 14, Judah Gail was sent by the Turks and Caicos Islands to a boys’ correctional institution in Jamaica.  There, I am told, Judah saw drug peddling, Judah saw violent stabbings, Judah witnessed murder and bloody assaults.  Judah was hardened and not helped by this experience and then he returned home.

I am also told that the Jamaica boys’ institution to which teen trouble makers were banished by the Turks and Caicos were all ruined not rehabilitated.  These teenage boys were toughened, now as young men, they threaten the peace and serenity of the Turks and Caicos Islands today.

There is an image of Judah Gail flashing a ‘gunk’ of money in his grasp and video of him boldly smoking illegal marijuana as he gives a commentary about street life and rules, using the most profane language.

I asked if the money was authentic and if Judah’s sentiments were his credo.  I am told the money was very real and Gail, without getting regular employment, was living the high life.  There were brand new cars, ‘money like dirt’, and he was a bossy guy and a bully of a man with a deadly habit.

Judah Gail, loved to credit the stuff he sold.  That stuff was said to be illicit drugs.  Gail would borrow the drugs – marijuana and cocaine – with the promise to flip it and pay a profit to the lending drug-dealer.

I know. Sounds fantastic right? And not in a good way!  It is very concerning.  But it is what I am told.  

This is the life young men, too many of our young men are living and loving in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

The Judah Gails are on brilliant display and our young boys are watching the show.  They are lapping up this apparently luxurious life which seems so very possible, so very profitable when compared to the stories and sagas of their working fathers and uncles.

Gail and his cohorts are earning thousands of dollars per week without a traditional job.  They seem to have all they want and more than they need.  And while the risk is high and the life is illegal, the rewards may seem to be worth the while.  After all, the hard working, honest fathers and uncles are struggling to make ends meet and to buy even a little Japanese car to get around.

Honesty is devalued.  Hard work on a job site is scorned.  The criminal life can become a glamorous alternative to a silly kid bombarded with silly notions about what really matters in life.  Our problem, as those who chose the honest path, is not in the not knowing.  Our problem, as leaders and movers and shakers, is in the not doing enough.  Turks and Caicos must recognize, that despite headlines of falling crime rates and modernisations in policing; we have a problem where a life of crime is dangerously camouflaging itself as good and this is a gross misrepresentation.

The spiritual enemy, which so many of us believe exists due to our predominantly Christian faith, is working creatively and assiduously to delude and deceive our young men and the Satan we know will kill them, steal them, destroy them.   

In keeping score or a tally by strictly looking at the national murder rate, we may be distracted and duped into believing we are way ahead of that enemy’s game.

But a murder rate is not a true indicator of what is really happening among our youth and young men in a broader sense.  In one day, two are killed and what a tragic loss this is… but in the one day, we also see how many more young men are rejoicing in the killings, endorsing the murders and prepared to keep on taking lives and creating havoc.

Crime and criminality is not a Turks and Caicos problem.  But the ongoing spree of violence – which we have seen is unafraid of threatening preachers, teachers, executives, government ministers, law enforcers, grand-mothers, little children or tourists and guests – begs the question, are we doing enough?  Are we finding creative and effective ways to represent a life of rightness and discourage a life of wrongness.  Are we there for each other at those critical, pivotal, life-shaping times.  Is there enough energy toward empathy? Are we investing the time, creating an equitable environment and are we willing to invest the sweat today to shape the Turks and Caicos we want for tomorrow?

I do not believe we are there.  I want to be wrong. I need to be wrong.

Magnetic Media is a Telly Award winning multi-media company specializing in creating compelling and socially uplifting TV and Radio broadcast programming as a means for advertising and public relations exposure for its clients.

Crime

Five Cays Shooting Death

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***MEDIA RELEASE***

June 22nd, 2024.

Homicide detectives of the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force are actively investigating a murder in Five Cays, Providenciales.

Initial reports indicate that shortly after midday, the Police Control Room received several calls stating that gunshots were being heard in the area of the Community Center.

RT&CIPF officers responded to the given location and found the lifeless body of a male with what appeared to be gunshot wounds about the body.

The RT&CIPF is asking anyone with information that may help in this investigation to contact the closest police station, 911, the Serious Crime Unit at 231-1842, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-8477 to provide any information anonymously.

Additionally, individuals are encouraged to download the Crime Stoppers P3 app to share information.

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News

Rescued

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Media Release

June 22nd, 2024.

 

Two occupants of an aircraft were rescued around 3:28 p.m. today (June 22) following an intensive sea search around Providenciales.

The occupants –two males- are currently receiving medical attention.

The Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force can confirm that shortly after midday, the Air Tower received a report regarding an aircraft landing on water (ditching) approximately 11 miles from Northwest Point, Providenciales.

The aircraft had departed from the United States and experienced engine failure.

Having received reports of the incident, a Strategic Coordinating Group with representation from the RT&CIPF, the TCI Civil Aviation Authority, the Airport Authority, the Department of Disaster Management and Emergencies, and the Ministry of Health was activated to coordinate the search and rescue.

The group worked closely with partners from OpBat and received confirmation that a United States Coast Guard helicopter had successfully rescued the two persons after three hours.

The victims were brought ashore.

Acting Assistant Commissioner of Police Mat Newton said, “I wish to express my profound gratitude and acknowledge the invaluable support of our national and international partners.

“This successful rescue operation is a testament to our collective strength and coordination. With the full support from our US partners and the local marine community, I extend my heartfelt thanks to our OpBat partners and the crew of the US Coastguard helicopter, as well as the Marine Branch of the RT&CIPF, the staff of the Department of Environment and Coastal Resources (DECR), the Department of Fisheries and Resources Management, Caribbean Cruisin, and vessels from the TCI Search and Rescue Association.

“We are now in the process of initiating an investigation into the accident in close liaison with the Civil Aviation Authority.”

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News

Swiss-Canadian Pilot speaks from Hospital bed; was THREE HOURS in TCI waters after Crash Landing

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By Wilkie Arthur, Danae Dennie, Deandrea Hamilton

Editorial Team

 

#TurksandCaicos, June 22, 2024 – For three hours in the wide open Atlantic Ocean, the two men who were aboard a twin engine aircraft forced on Saturday to crash land in waters near Providenciales held onto hope and each other, certain they would be rescued. Miraculously both men are now back on dry ground and are expected to make a full recovery, with local doctors reporting only superficial wounds as evidence of their harrowing experience.

Islanders in the Turks and Caicos learned about the aircraft mayday around 12:30 p.m.

“The Coast Guard received information from dispatch.  Survivors contacted dispatch by satellite phone saying they can see the helicopter.  Two persons in the water wearing yellow life jackets.  Several boats, as well as helicopter still actively searching,” was a key update shared with us around the time the men were pulled from the water.

It was shared with Magnetic Media that the private flight took off from Palm Beach, Florida around 8 a.m. on June 22 that the duo ran into some problems over the Turks and Caicos where they had planned to make a fuel stop.  Instead of refueling, there was an “orchestrated decent”; something pilots are trained to perform in the event of an emergency.

Wilkie Arthur of Eagle Legal News secured an interview with the man piloting the plane. He confirmed it was a twin engine aircraft, that both people on board survived and that he was Swiss-Canadian, his passenger, a Frenchman.

“The water was warm (pilot laughs) and I knew it was important for us to stay together, with each other and I had the watch and he had the phone and we just tried to get somebody to find us because it is hard to see such a small airplane in the swells but if they know that some people are alive, then they keep searching.”

The Swiss Canadian who opted to withhold his identity said that he was in good spirits and commended the rescue effort.

“I guess everybody is happy.  It was good coordination from local and US Coast Guard and the folks here, taking care of us.”

The men are being treated at the Cheshire Hall Medical Centre in Providenciales, brought in by ambulance minutes before 5 p.m.

Mr. Arthur spoke to the pilot as he lay, bandaged but grateful in a hospital bed.

In a press release, the Turks and Caicos Minister for Aviation, Arlington Musgrove expressed his thanks to the various agencies and the TCI boating community for their rapid response.

“Your service is commendable and is demonstrable of the rich community spirit that exists in the Turks and Caicos Islands.”

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