If I told you I’d have to kill you
From: Gang Life
meet thirty-two-year-old Jeremy and thirty-year-old Dawn. Jeremy is a scrawny transporter of guns, drugs, and money for various gangs. Despite having Aboriginal
blood, he passes as white, which he uses to his advantage as much
as he can. He is a hard-core alcoholic and crack user, as is his wife
Dawn. He is fond of saying, “If I told you, I’d have to kill you,” by
which he means if he discloses too much about his involvement
in serious gang crimes, he would have to take my life to prevent
me from telling anyone else these details. He has served time for
beating two men so viciously that they are now brain-damaged.
His reason for assaulting them was that he believed they had
harmed women, something he will not tolerate in others, but
he routinely beats his wife. Dawn has AIDS but doesn’t protect
herself when working the streets, nor does Jeremy protect himself
when they are having sex. Both are comfortable living on the
streets, but they were living on a reserve at the time we met.
MARK TOTTEN is a professor of criminal justice at Humber College in Toronto whose research focuses on organized crime, corrections, sexual exploitation, human trafficking, mental health, violence, and gender identity. Over the past decade, he has collaborated with groups in Ontario and Western Canada in the development and evaluation of multi-year gang prevention, intervention, and suppression strategies.