It’s not time for long talk. This should not happen. During this week, in the parish if St. James, a man named Mario Deane died in police custody from injuries sustained after his arrest, after he is taken to hospital. You cannot feel comfortable in a country where this happens. Don’t look at the offence the man was alleged to have committed. He was under the state’s protection, but wound up dead. That is the stuff of nightmares for anyone. Investigations and likely a court case will try to establish who did what, when and how. Some people may be found guilty and sentenced. But, no one should get locked up and end up injured or dead. Period.
In the same week, a man named Frei Riley is shot and injured in an alleged confrontation with police in the Mountain View area of east Kingston. He is taken to hospital and dies from his wounds. Again, that should not happen with the regularity it does in Jamaica.
We read and hear about extra-judicial killing, and I will try to explain to my 10 year old how this can happen. Her relatively innocent mind cannot comprehend the violence that takes place in the world, and surely not when it involves so-called ‘guardians of the peace’ or crime fighters.
In both St. James and Kingston, angry residents took to the streets and protested. The scenes of fire and destruction that were associated with that are all over the newspapers.
We have a strange attitude to disadvantage in Jamaica. Some draw on religious teachings to rail against sin in our midst. I ask simply where are they and their voices of outrage? No long talk.
Walk what road you want and hope that you do not end up meeting the police in any confrontation. The odds are badly stacked against you. You shouldn’t have to fear for your life in such circumstances. No long talk.
We have just cause to be concerned, but do we have anyone who will listens and stands up for this cause? No long talk.
I go back to the PM’s speech this Independence week and her call for accountability and responsibility. No long talk. Make it work, work, work.