Ajine Stewart Jamaican-born man, who came to Mississauga as a child, dropped out of school in Grade 10 to move in with his then-girlfriend, who had a baby by him, a boy now 7. He started selling marijuana and moved onto cocaine and crack "because I wasn't making enough money," started acquiring a criminal record and, about the age of 19, joined the Crisis Crips, a local branch of the notorious gang.
Asked to explain what the Crips are, Mr. Stewart offered, helpfully, that "they're different from the Bloods," another infamous gang. Asked what the "Crisis" meant, he said this was a reference to "the turmoils in life, the problems you go through."
At some point, he moved in with another woman who had given birth to his daughter, now 4, and began carrying a knife - then, some months before the shooting, the gun.
Despite pressure from his mother and the mothers of his children to go straight, and a brief stint working in a factory, he always chose the drug dealer's life - even selling while he was on bail, and under curfew, for a domestic-assault charge that was later withdrawn. It was in fact at this time, while he was living with his mother, also his surety, that he met Mr. Taylor. He was a Crip too, Mr. Stewart said, albeit from a different unit, and a drug dealer, and according to him, they struck up such a friendship that Mr. Taylor let him sell to his customer base while he was on bail.Mr. Stewart's thanks, for this inexplicable generosity, was to steal Mr. Taylor's customers when the charge was dropped and he could return home.
While he agreed with Mr. McDermott that some of his contemporaries stayed in school and worked at real jobs, Mr. Stewart nonetheless blamed his poor choices on "where I was living and the people around me.""You chose another life because it paid better?" Mr. McDermott asked. "Yes," said Mr. Stewart. "A lot better?" "Yeah," said Mr. Stewart.He went to Dundas Square only because he was looking for women. "I love women," he said, "especially from the States."He took the .38, fully loaded, because, he said, the Caribana celebration attracts lots of gang members, like him, many of whom are armed, like him, and he knew that gunfights could break out.
He said he saw Mr. Taylor, who called him over and told him he owed him money. He tried to get Mr. Taylor alone, away from his friends, but he wouldn't go; instead, "He was giving me bad looks, looking at me up and down." He demanded his money. "I told him to fuck off," Mr. Stewart said. "He said he was going to kill me."
Mr. Taylor allegedly reached for his waistband, so Mr. Stewart reached for his. He couldn't bow down to Mr. Taylor in public, or run or holler for police because "My career [as a gangster] would have been scattered." So he shot, in that square packed with people."As I said," he told Mr. McDermott shortly before he left the witness box, "I went through a lot that night."
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