Jonathan Wayne Lee Anderson (aka Tommy Da) Feb 14, 1980 - Mar 14, 2020
I typically write about the organized crime world with very little sympathy toward the criminal. Having said that, I have walked in the shoes of those in organized crime. So, here is my two cent empathetic take on this young man.
Those who know me know that I am no stranger to violence or the streets. I am certainly no stranger to organized crime or prison - in fact all of these things that make up the streets have been my comfort zone for both work and play. I say this not in pride but to give some context to where I come from - I spent my life in among the most dangerous of criminals.
After leaving behind that world of blood and darkness nineteen years ago, I made a decision to try shine light in a way that would make a difference - a light to draw people out of it or a light of truth to show its folly. The first city I attempted this in was Regina, Saskatchewan and it opened my eyes to a world that even I had not seen.
Behind the scenes of the "queen city" - the famous training depot of the RCMP, is a very dark and sinister picture. There, nestled in the heart of the city is one large hood where the despair is sickening. It is a place where little native girls as young as eleven and twelve years old are openly trafficked, where boys the same age are lured into gangs in hopes of belonging - it is a place where living past your twenty-fifth birthday really is an accomplishment.
It is a place where there is no hope and the perimeter of the North Central area is a prison wall that children are born within and their only aspiration is to look up to another abused minority.
It is violent, it is horrific, it is cold and miserable - it is "disorganized crime" at best but that is what makes it all the more insane and dark.
It is against this backdrop that I watched many like the boy in this video, live and die without hope. It is at city hall in this picture perfect place that more reports will waste paper every year studying the "hood". It is in the same city that another little girl or boy is being turned into a whore or a gang member as I write - it is in this city that the darkness hidden in most cities is blatantly open for all those who dare peek into its center.
It is life in this despair that Tommy sings about in the above video - no need to wonder why he took his life...no need to wonder why these boys and girls grow up and take lives.