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Funeral T-shirts glorify gang culture

Guardian Senior Reporter

Published: May 06, 2013

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The customized memorial T-shirts worn by hundreds of mourners at the funeral of Julian ‘Heads’ Collie on Saturday, appear to refute claims by his family that he had no ties to the Fire and Theft gang.

Collie, 34, was killed in a hail of gunfire outside a girlfriend’s home on April 17.

Shortly after his death, his friends started selling T-shirts with Collie’s photo with a reference to gangster rapper Tupac Shakur’s song “Thug Mansion” on the front.

The shirts also bear the words, “Fire and Theft” and “All Guns Out” and were sold for $20 each.

Another shirt has the images of six murdered men, including Collie, with alleged ties to the gang on the back.

Superintendent Paul Rolle, head of the Central Detective Unit, told The Nassau Guardian yesterday that in spite of Collie’s mother’s denials that he had any gang ties “his own colleagues came out and identified him with a gang.”

Rolle said, “Many families do not know that their relatives are in gangs, although everybody else knows. I don’t fault her. The truth of the matter, she very well may not know.”

Rolle said he did not consider it his place to refute Mrs. Collie’s claims.

He said police hoped to bring closure to Collie’s murder “sooner rather than later”.

Rolle said, “We try to be cautious in revealing too much.  If these fellows find out we’re looking for these people, the other people may go looking for them too.”

According to Rolle, there are several gangs in The Bahamas.

He said that the One Order gang, which has international ties, is the most organized.

Rolle said police are trying to avoid a resurgence of other gangs that have gone quiet.

“We are trying to prevent that from happening,” he said. Rolle said while most people join gangs for protection, gang membership usually leads to an early death.

“Gang membership may seem like something good to them, but the facts speak for themselves,” he said.

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