Claude Massop

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Claude Massop (16 April 1949 - 4 February 1979) was the leader and strongman of the Phoenix Gang, later renamed the Shower Posse Gang, belonging to Tivoli Gardens, Wellington Street, Rema, Denham Town and the surrounding areas of West Kingston, Jamaica.

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.

A gang is a group of associates, friends or members of a family with a defined leadership and internal organization that identifies with or claims control over territory in a community and engages, either individually or collectively, in illegal, and possibly violent, behavior. Some criminal gang members are "jumped in", or they have to prove their loyalty and right to belong by committing certain acts, usually theft or violence. A member of a gang may be called a gangster, a gang banger, or, less specifically, a thug.

Tivoli Gardens, Kingston in Kingston, Jamaica

Tivoli Gardens is a neighbourhood in Kingston, Jamaica. Developed in a renewal project between 1963 and 1965, the neighborhood continued to suffer from poverty. By the late twentieth century, it had become a center of drug trafficking activity and social unrest. Repeated confrontations took place between law enforcement and gunmen in the neighborhood in 1997, 2001, 2005, 2008, and 2010.

Contents

Early life

Massop, who was nicknamed Jack, was born in 1949 [1] in West Kingston's Denham Town. He spent his early life in petty criminal activity mostly as a street hustler and pimp. He then moved into building contractor work (as the chief contractor). By the time he was 18 (1967) he was already the acknowledge leader of what would later become known as the infamous Shower Posse, a gang that was later headed by the notorious Lester Lloyd Coke [2] (Jim Brown).

Denham Town Residential neighbourhood in Kingston, St Andrew, Jamaica

Denham Town is a predominantly residential neighbourhood in western Kingston, Jamaica. It has a reputation as one of Kingston's more violent areas.

Gangleader and gangland don

By 1967 Massop was a big influence in what would later become Tivoli Gardens, which was at that time nothing more than emerging housing projects for the urban poor. By 1967, Massop's main gang rivals were George "Feathermop" Spence, Winston "Burry Boy" Blake and Anthony (Tony) Welch from the nearby area of Arnett Gardens (Jungle). [3] They were known for their infamous violence and the methods they used to enforce their edicts. Blake and Spence led a motorcycle gang for nearly ten years (1967-76). They were political thugs and enforcers for the then housing minister Anthony Spaulding. The gang included at least thirty men at this time and terrorised victims in the Tivoli Gardens, Rema and surrounding areas. Massop had a string of arrests, which included several charges of murder and armed robbery, perjury and shooting with intent but no charges could produce convictions. [4] In January 1978, his chief claim to fame was the so-called "political truce" (Peace Treaty) between him, his close associate and chief lieutenant, Carl "Bya" Mitchell (JLP) and Aston Thomson ("Buckie Marshall" (PNP), infamously known for his prowess with a sawn-off shotgun). Before that time, a brutal bloody battle ensued between the two political factions, famously producing more than 800 deaths in the 1980 general elections between the two political parties (PNP and JLP).

Peoples National Party Jamaican political party

The People's National Party (PNP) is a social-democratic political party in Jamaica, founded in 1938 by activist Osmond Theodore Fairclough. It holds 30 of the 63 seats in the House of Representatives, as well as a majority of local government bodies, with 151 of the 228 divisions. The party is democratic socialist by constitution.

Death

Massop met his death on 4 February 1979 by being shot dead by police (at least 40 times, according to newspaper reports [4] ) along with two other men named Lloyd Frazer and Alphonso Trevor Tinson, following a police car chase after leaving a football match in Spanish Town involving the Tivoli Gardens Football Club.

Spanish Town Town in St Catherine, Jamaica

Spanish Town is the capital and the largest town in the parish of St. Catherine in the historic county of Middlesex, Jamaica. It was the Spanish and British capital of Jamaica from 1534 until 1872. The town is home to numerous memorials, the national archives, and one of the oldest Anglican churches outside England.

Tivoli Gardens F.C. association football club

Tivoli Gardens Football Club is a Jamaican football club, based in Kingston.

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References

  1. Obika Gray, Demeaned But Empowered: The Social Power Of The Urban Poor, Mona: University of the West Indies, 2004.
  2. The Yardies:BBC news documentary covering the Shower Posse and Lester Lloyd Coke (Jim Brown) and Tivoli Gardens Jamaica in the 1980s includes footage interview with 'Chubby Dread' 1994 "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 28 May 2010. Retrieved 17 April 2010.
  3. "Burry Boy and Feathermop: The violent duo that helped and shamed the PNP", Jamaican Observer, 20 January 2008.
  4. 1 2 The Daily Gleaner, 6 February 1979.