Out Pon Bail: Ninja at Reggae Sunsplash 1996 Photo by Stella Magliore
Whether you call him Brother Desmond or the Original Front Teeth Gold Teeth Gun Pon Teeth Bad Bwoy, Ninjaman always seems to be the center of attention. But attention from the Jamaica Constabulary Force is not the sort of attention anybody wants. In the photo above, he had just been released from prison to perform at Reggae Sunsplash 1996. In 1999, he missed the premier of Third World Cop, his first big-screen role, because he was unavoidably detained in General Penitentiary. But since that time, he’s been on some mostly positive movements, most recently the “One Umbrella Movement” against violence. Looks like history just keeps repeating itself. Ten years later Ninja is about to star in a new movie called Gangstas, and at the same time he’s in a next legal mixup.
Yesterday, outaroad.com reported that Jamaican police were interested in speaking to Desmond Ballentine about a Tuesday morning shooting in Kingston that left one man dead. Today comes news that the veteran DJ has turned himself in for questioning along with his attorney Norma Linton. She was the same one who defended him a decade earlier.
Let’s hope Mr. Anything Test Dead sorts things out. And please don’t let the prosecutor play back “Murder Dem” in court. As he told me back in 2007: “In competition aim to kill, shoot to hit target. And once you hit target, make sure it’s as effective as death. And remember—that’s lyrically.”