INCARCERATED dancehall deejay Tommy Lee Sparta is urging Jamaica's youth to stay on the straight and narrow.
He took to social media to share his message yesterday.
“Mi a behave miself. Crime an' violence must stop…it nuh pay; it cost. Love is the way,” he posted on Twitter.
According to statistics released by the police, there were 37 deaths in the first eight days of 2022, January 1 to January 8, 2022 — a number which represented a 32 per cent increase over the corresponding period last year.
According to the 2019 United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) Jamaica Country Report, Jamaica ranks fourth in the world for homicide rates.
Tommy Lee Sparta was also pleased about his daughter's recovery, following a March 2020 shooting in Flanker, St James, which left her hospitalised and a nine-year-old boy dead.
“My baby hand is getting well, nah lie. Unno fi gi mi props, enno,” he said.
Tommy Lee Sparta's daughter is seen on Twitter performing multiple rotations on an exercise machine for hands. She had sustained injuries to her hand from the gun attack.
In March 2021 Tommy Lee Sparta was sentenced to three years in prison for illegal possession of firearm and two years for illegal possession of ammunition in the Gun Court division of the Home Circuit Court in Kingston.
He will, however, serve three years as the sentences are to run concurrently.
According to the police report, on December 14 2020 the entertainer — whose given name is Leroy Russell — was arrested after a vehicle in which he was travelling was intercepted by members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force. The men in the vehicle were searched and a 9mm Glock pistol with an extended magazine containing 18 rounds of ammunition was found in the dancehall artiste's waistband.
Tommy Lee Sparta is no stranger to brushes with the law, and has had several throughout his career.
He has been a person of interest in several shootings in Kingston and Montego Bay, St James. He was, however, cleared.
In 2015 the Montego Bay police prevented him from performing on Reggae Sumfest for “fear of patrons' safety”.
A former member of Vybz Kartel's Portmore “Gaza” Empire, Tommy Lee Sparta got his break in 2012. He is known for songs including Spartan Soldier, Spartan Angel, Psycho, and Rich Badness.
— Brian Bonitto