M.O.B. (money over bitches)

Thug life ain't no good life, but it's my life.

In a 10-count federal indictment returned by the grand jury in July, Max and Richard Daniel were charged with a variety of felonies, including the sale of crack cocaine, marijuana, and firearms to the C.I. Toussaint was charged with one count only: conspiring to sell firearms.

At a July 30 detention hearing, federal prosecutors say Toussaint admitted that he was planning to sell three of the six weapons found at his house for $1500. He also said he was trying to convert the weapons to full auto, and added that he was a regular user of marijuana. He has two prior convictions for pot possession.

Police rounded up three other men that morning on state charges. North Miami residents Raphael Goris Pratt, a 20-year-old Eastsider, was held on an outstanding traffic warrant. Odley Alcy, 19, recently shot in the shoulder during a drive-by a block from his house on NE 141st Street, was pulled in on burglary and aggravated assault charges in connection with a June 19 incident at the home of his former girlfriend, Junia Augustin. Police say Alcy threatened to kill Augustin and her mother, and was carrying a handgun.

Steve Satterwhite
Watson Chery, shortly before his murder, holds a friend's child and throws a Westside sign; his mother Catherine cries out for answers
Watson Chery, shortly before his murder, holds a friend's child and throws a Westside sign; his mother Catherine cries out for answers

The third man grabbed that day was Nathaniel Henry, Jr., the survivor of the May 29 drive-by. He's a Westsider. Picked up on a burglary charge, Henry says that while being interviewed at the North Miami police station, he caught glimpses of the other five men -- the Daniel brothers, Toussaint, Alcy, and Pratt. But, he says, he did not consider them his enemies. "We say, 'What's up?' We got no beef," he explains.

Alcy and Pratt were freed on bond. Charges against Henry -- accused of ransacking a North Miami home of $20,000 worth of jewelry and clothing -- were dropped. But Toussaint and the Daniels are being held without bond in the federal lockup in downtown Miami.

As of November 11, however, no one has been charged with any of the killings. And the gunfire has subsided, although not stopped completely. On November 2 someone pumped high-caliber rounds into 21-year-old Rosemond Erome, dropping him dead on the sidewalk at NE 5th Avenue at 174th Street in North Miami Beach. Police suspect the killing is related to the summer outbreak.

Nonetheless, they are also confident that major players have been taken off the street. Ballistic evidence is in, and Assistant Chief Stepp says murder charges are imminent.

Still, no one is certain the war is over.


Traditionally, Haitian parents don't spare the rod. But in this country the disconnect between Haitian-born parents and their Americanized kids can grow as wide as the Straits of Florida. "I get calls all the time from [mothers and fathers] who want me to discipline their children," says Ofcr. Andre Mesidor, 62 years old, one of only five Creole-speaking members of the 120-officer North Miami police force. "They say, 'Arrest my child; he won't obey me.' Then I have to explain that police can't do that."

By age 18 or 19, however, children turn into adults. They're often out of their parents' reach even if they do still sleep in the next room. At that age, most kids won't take a parental beating.

"Second-generation immigrant children may also use their greater knowledge of American culture as a tool against their less-informed parents," says Alex Stepick, the FIU sociologist. "They may say that a grade of F means 'fine,' that physical discipline against them will bring the police and cause the parents to be thrown in jail."

"The kids know the law better than the parents," adds Reverend Pierre of St. James Catholic Church. "They tell their parents they will call DCF [Department of Children & Families] if they hit them. Haitian parents love their children dearly. But they are so busy chasing the dollar, working two jobs, they are not home, not getting involved in the community."

At Notre Dame d'Haiti in Little Haiti, associate pastor Reginald Jean-Mary sees the frustration of parents weekly. They have high aspirations for their kids, he says. But during Holy Communion, "parents come in holding up pictures of their kids who are in jail, doing drugs, leaving the house. They are shamed; these misdeeds are the shame of the family."


Ernest and Catherine Chery have never met Tony and Maricienne Toussaint. But the couples live just a mile apart, and have much in common. All four were born in Haiti and came to Miami in 1979, where they met and married. Each couple has four children. Each has worked hard, sometimes holding down two jobs, in order to move their families out of tiny rented apartments in Little Haiti to comfortable, $90,000 single-family homes in leafy North Miami. Both are paying mortgages.

And for such couples, North Miami is not the last stop. Many Haitian families have their sights set on Broward County -- Miramar or Hollywood, for example. Still by most measures, these two couples are exemplars of immigrant success.

Yet each couple was also bedeviled by the behavior of their eldest sons. "If I am a chef," says Edwin Toussaint's father, Tony, who is 48 years old and the head cook at Sundays on the Bay in Key Biscayne, "then I want him to be a lawyer or a doctor, to pass me."

« Previous Page
 |
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
6
 
7
 
8
 
9
 
All
 
Next Page »
 
My Voice Nation Help
0 comments
 
Miami Concert Tickets

Around The Web

Loading...