Meanwhile, the siege of Tivoli continued apace. Long after the military phase ended, the psychologi- cal operations (Psy-Ops) continued. All indications of Dudus’ rule over Tivoli were systematically erased. Security forces set up their headquarters inside Java, Dudus’ old Tivoli nerve center. Confiscated snapshots of a young Dudus posing in front of Snoop Dogg and Ice Cube murals sporting a two-finger ring were dis- played by security forces almost like trophies.
One morning Tivoli residents awoke to an outrage: orange PNP graffiti on their walls. “Ah police dem do it,” a disgusted elderly woman told TV newsmen. All of the murals of Jim Brown and other beloved gunmen have been painted over. Seaga’s murals, however, are left untouched.
TRIAL AND TRIBULATION
On the Afternoon of November 29, Christopher Coke walks into courtroom 24-A of the Daniel Patrick Moynihan United States Courthouse in Lower Manhat- tan. Wearing an orange prison suit, Dudus appears to be just another alien defendant facing the full might of the United States judicial system.
He turns and waves to his supporters, who, on this day, are mostly female, their high arching eye- brows and shiny black wigs conspicuous in the court- room. When the defendant speaks (“Yes, Your Honor”), he does so vigorously and with an almost American accent. U.S. District Judge Robert J. Patterson asks the defense why they need another adjournment. For starters, one of his attorneys explains, they must transcribe thousands of hours of taped conversa- tions collected since February 2007. Then they need time to petition the Jamaican Supreme Court to release warrants stating who gave the order to tap the don’s phone (information that the court has been reluctant to provide).
Jamaican law forbids the unauthorized intercepting of phone calls, but according to an investigator who spoke anonymously to the Jamaica Observer, “Wire-tapping communication is an insignificant part of the evidence against Coke.” The paper’s source claimed that U.S. prosecutors have sophisticated satellite data so detailed it shows Jamaican government officials smoking spliffs in the Tivoli Gardens Community Center.
Judge Patterson sets the next hearing for February 10, 2011. Dudus walks out blowing kisses to his supporters. He seems calm, confident, a man more certain of his fate than his circumstances might suggest.
“There may be one or two evidentiary challenges,” says David P. Rowe. “But I don’t think any witness with a straight face is going to say, ‘Oh well, Christopher Coke is not involved in any wrongdoing.’ It’s known he murders people. It’s known that he sends women up to New York with cocaine in their vaginas. These things are well known. It would be like if I came up to you and said, ‘I need to prove that your taxicabs in New York are yellow.’”
But not everyone sees it that way. “You know that Dudus don’t know nuttin’ about Shower Posse,” says Miss Kidd-Deans. “When Shower Posse finished, Dudus was going to Ardenne [High School]. His father was Shower Posse. But he himself don’t know nuttin’ about Shower Posse. Every day in the paper you see ‘Dudus Coke: Leader of Shower Posse’ and everybody’s laughing… It’s all perception, a ghost story them turn to reality.”
While the United States justice department has put Coke on its “world’s most dangerous” list, according to the State Department’s Website, the entire island of Jamaica accounts for just 1 percent of the drugs flowing into the United States.
“I hate to dispel the myth, but Dudus is not Jim Brown,” says Curtis Scoon, producer of the BET American Gangster episode on the Shower Posse, who is currently developing a movie about the gang. “That was another era. When you actually read Christopher Coke’s indictment, it does not make sense. Why is the United States government going to such lengths to arrest this person? It’s not an enormous amount of drugs. And where are the murders? It begs the question: Why Dudus? Why now?”