Dancehall Icon Brigadier Jerry Arrested, Brought Up On Gun & Robbery Charges — What We Know

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Who Is Brigader Jerry? New Details On Dancehall Veteran Arrested On Gun And Robbery Charges In U.S.

His is a name that's revered in the Jamaican dancehall community — to the point that he is considered a dancehall legend. Now, however, he's made the news for all the wrong reasons. Who is Brigadier Jerry? 

To know Brigadier Jerry's history is to know the history of the dancehall. Known for his "cultural lyrics," Brigadier Jerry (born Robert Russell in Kingston, Jamaica) has spent his time going back and forth between the United States and Jamaica since at least the 1980s. With the rise in popularity of dancehall music came the rise in popularity of his style of DJing and music. Brigadier Jerry has been making music for decades. Hit songs Pain" and Gwan a School" became known for his "clean, uplifting and spiritual lyrics." He moved to the United States in the early 2000s.

Now, however, he's in a bit of trouble, to say the least. Let's look at what we know about Brigadier Jerry and why he's in jail. 

1. He was arrested on gun and robbery charges. 

Brigadier Jerry was arrested on gun and robbery charges stemming from an incident that happened on November 11, 2019, at Bertie's West Indian restaurant in Waterbury, Connecticut. Brigadier Jerry was also held on a $250,000 bond. 

2. Brigadier Jerry seemed to be part of a "gag gone wrong."

The incident with Brigadier Jerry happened because of a "gag gone wrong." The outlet reports that Brigadier Jerry was playing cards with some friends when, he suspected, one of them stole his wallet. In reality, they were playing a prank on him and simply hid his wallet. Other outlets have confirmed that when he suspected his fellow game players stole his wallet, he left the restaurant "in a huff" and returned with a gun in his hands. Yikes! 

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3. He shot up the place. 

Really, sir?  When Brigadier Jerry returned to Bertie's with the gun, he shot the back wall in an attempt to "scare" the alleged perpetrators into giving up his wallet. These facts were confirmed by Stabroek News, who spoke to his wife (who requested anonymity due to the nature of her job) and confirmed the sequence of events. 

4. A tough time for Brigadier Jerry's wife and family.

Brigadier Jerry's wife spoke to Stabroek News but requested anonymity. She said: "I was told that what triggered everything is that they (his friends) took his wallet and hid it, and he had a lot of money in his wallet. When he was asking for it, they were all laughing...and that aggravated the situation."  She went on to say: “I have never seen Briggy display that kind of anger before. I’ve known him over 35 years, and he is the kind of person who will try to cool down a situation. This is sad, and it is a tough time for my family, but I have to stay strong.” Russell appeared at a court hearing and his wife hasn't seen him yet.

5. A witness to the shoot-out says he can't understand what happened. 

Foota Hype, who is another notable Jamaican dancehall artist, was present at the shoot-out, and he can't understand what happened. He said that he was in a gun-friendly state, so he can't understand why Brigadier Jerry got arrested. He also said that he can't understand why Brigadier Jerry had an illegal gun when he more than qualified for a legal one being that he was an older gentleman. 

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6. What happens to Brigadier Jerry now?

"Russell is currently detained and will return to the Waterbury Superior court, 400 Grand Street on November 27th," reports Loop Jamaica. At that time, his fate will be determined, and we will see if he goes to trial or if things take a different turn. The dancehall community is hoping that things work out for the best, and here's hoping that they do!

7. The Dancehall community's support

Brigadier Jerry's wife reports that she's been getting a lot of support from the Dancehall community. She said: “People have been contacting me from all over. They have been pouring out their love and I am so grateful to everyone who has offered words of comfort at this time. My daughter goes online and read the comments. A lot of people are shocked because they don’t expect to hear something like this about Briggy. This is very sad, but as a family we are holding on."

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Bernadette Giacomazzo is an editor, writer, and photographer whose work has appeared in People, Teen Vogue, Us Weekly, The Source, XXL, HipHopDX, The Los Angeles Times, New York Post, and more. She is also the author of The Uprising series.