Peter Tosh's son, Jawara in coma after brutal jail beating; 3 brain surgeries rack up huge 5-figure hospital bill

Peter Tosh's son, Jawara in coma after brutal jail beating; 3 brain surgeries rack up huge 5-figure hospital bill Featured

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  Reggae singer Andrew Tosh is very upset that his youngest brother, Jawara McIntosh, who is also a son of reggae legend Peter Tosh, remains in a coma after he was allegedly brutally beaten in a US jail while in custody on marijuana charges. 


"The family is pissed off that this could happen, he was only in prison for two months when other prisoners jumped him and mash him down and he has been in a coma ever since. We are very upset and that is why we have some top lawyers on this case," Andrew Tosh said. 

Jawara, 37, was allegedly beaten and sustained traumatic brain injuries on Feb. 21, 2017 while in custody at Bergen County Jail in New Jersey where he was serving a six-month sentence for cannabis-related charges. 

The law firm, Rand Law, has been retained by the family of Peter Tosh to pursue an action for civil rights violations against the jail, and to seek an independent investigation from the United States Department of Justice into the brutal beating of Jawara.  

"We will be pursuing the case , I was the one who helped to grow up Jawara, so I am very close to him, he is my youngest brother. He has had to a lot of brain surgeries, at least three I can remember, and I hope he can come out of this coma. Ah nuff money we have spent so far,' he said. 

Andrew Tosh is the third eldest of the Tosh children. Jawara has nine siblings in all, including his sister Niambe McIntosh, administrator of the Peter Tosh Estate

When pressed as to how much money the surgeries have cost collectively, Andrew Tosh, responded:

"It is a lot, less than US$100,000, but still a substantial amount," Tosh said. 

According to Jawara's friend, Joslynn Park, Tosh was transferred from New Jersey's Hackensack Medical Center - where he had received emergency surgery to save his life - to a facility in Boston so that he could be closer to his friends and family. 

"He is in a care rehab hospital in Boston so that he can be closer to his four kids, his mother and his friends. Tosh is highly active in their lives and we are hoping that hearing their voices will help him to get out of the coma. This is so tragic, he would have been released from jail this month," Ms. Park said. 

Jawara's mother is Melody Cunningham. 

According to previously published reports, on June 15, 2013 Jawara McIntosh's rental car was pulled over by New Jersey police who allege that open bottles of alcohol were found on the front seat and that McIntosh was under the influence. A search of McIntosh's car found suitcases in the trunk filled with more than 65 pounds of marijuana. Police charged McIntosh with intent to distribute, two counts of driving under the influence, driving with a suspended license, improper passing and having an open container of alcohol in the vehicle. He started serving a six month sentence in January of this year. 

Park insists that he was not a drug dealer.

"Tosh has been persecuted to the fullest by the authorities. They set bail at 20 million dollars. He wasn't a drug dealer, he was bringing sacrament to the elderly people of Boston, he wasn't a rich man, he took the bus to visit his kids. He  is a humble, gentle, loving soul, and he was a devout practising rastafarian," Ms. Park, who is an organic farmer in Rhode Island, said. 

She said that Tosh helped her with her own charity work, bringing produce from her farm to needy people in Boston, and handing out army surplus jackets to down-on-their-luck adults and backpacks to destitute kids. 

Family attorney Jasmine Rand, in a statement to the press, said that Jawara, like his father, has been a strong proponent for the legalisation of marijuana. Jawara is a Boston resident who performed under the stage name Tosh1. 

“Many states and nations have begun the process of the legalisation of cannabis in recognition of its medicinal, spiritual, industrial and recreational value; but far too many people continue to be stripped of their freedom for cannabis related charges resulting in mass incarceration, police brutality, and murder. Criminalising cannabis legalises the deprivation of human rights,” Rand said.

Tosh's family added that the struggle to legalise marijuana is real, and that they will continue the good fight. 

“We know that our father is here with us today strengthening our voices to fight for his son Jawara, and for our brothers and sisters throughout the world in jail, brutalised, or murdered over an herb that has the power to heal nations,” the family said.

Reggae legend Peter Tosh was a tireless crusader and a staunch advocate for the legalization of marijuana, which Rastas regard as a holy sacrament and a  healing herb. Peter Tosh (born Winston Hubert McIntosh) was at the forefront of the movement to legalise marijuana and often exalted and celebrated  the plant's healing properties decades before medicinal marijuana became a reality.. Last year, the Peter Tosh museum was opened in Jamaica, coinciding with the 40th anniversary of Tosh’s 1976 hit single “Legalize It.”


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