With Gerald ‘Shiny’ Tillett dead, friends and family are in mourning, citizens are on alert and police officers have amped their patrols, checkpoints and preventative measures. Dianne Finnegan who works with the Youth Apprenticeship Program spoke to Love News on the impact of Tillett’s death.
“I think it’s the 20th that Pinky had died which is only a couple days from now and they never got over his death. I know Shine’s family, his mom, awesome lady Ms.Laverne; and I’ll tell you I’ve had the opportunity to be in the midst of the family and I normally just observe things, I stay on the sidelines and I observe. Whatever she does, how she socialized, her children are with her; whether we go to the river, whether it’s just at little gathering, her children are with her and if one is missing she is on the phone; she’s calling asking how they haven’t reached yet; asking where is that one or go check on that one and railing up with the next one that he is not checking. So people on the outside don’t get to see how they communicate but for me it’s an awesome privilege to be able to see them at a personal level ,at a level of family.”
As has been mentioned, Tillett was known to be the lead street figure for the George Street gang and with that title that he has carried even after death; we asked Finnegan who has interacted with the gang members, to tell us just what makes a gang leader.
“He is a very personal individual, I guess he only socialized and kind of spoke within his own setting but he would acknowledge you either by nod of the head or just a smile. I think it’s just an individual that has done his part for individuals who probably are vulnerable themselves, who needed someone to look up to, who needed to be involved in some kind of initiative that makes them feel as if though they have a sense of purpose. I am still trying to figure out what this whole gang life is all about. It’s confusing because each intervention that I do I end up being so amazed and have so many questions to these affiliates because I didn’t think that what I’m hearing is what gang life is all about; which I often say to them that they are imitating something that has no space in our country because they themselves don’t have it together.”
As part of the mitigation process, Finnegan told Love News that there was an intervention session held at the Racoon Street Police Station on Sunday.
“It’s hard to speak to broken hearts and torn souls. On Sunday we did an intervention, Chester and myself at the Raccoon Street Police Station and Shine’s brother was there, Troy and of course close friends and people who were connected to him, some of them and it was hard to do a regular intervention with them because as I said you’re talking to individuals who have lost a valuable, purposeful individual who has made a difference in their lives and that is their story to tell. My own experience in crossing paths with him is his quietness, his silence but one thing I will say I think and I felt that if he considered you a friend you’ve got a friend for life and he is going to go the extra mile for you and I guess that is what those who are connected to him see and have experienced.”
As we reported earlier, Tillett was killed on Saturday night in Dangriga, Stann Creek District. He was the father of ten children.