I wasn’t sleeping well. Lots of things were going through my head; they all had something to do with crime in Jamaica. Not terrifying thoughts; but, disturbing thoughts that had surfaced from things I read or heard yesterday that involve the commission of crimes and how our institutions present us with answers to the problems crimes create for us.
Patrick Powell, better, or more infamously, knownfor his role as the suspect in the so-called ‘X6 murder’—the shooting death of Kingston College student Khajeel Mais. After failing (repeatedly) to surrender his licensed firearm and ammunition, was sentenced to 9 months hard labour. Powell had repeatedly refused to hand over the weapon since it was first requested in connection with the police investigation of the shooting in 2011, a fact the judge called “aggravating”.
- The judge (Vaughn Smith) also said: “The court is not of the view that a fine would be a sufficient deterrent to other licensed firearm holders not to do what Mr Powell has done,”
- Powell’s lawyer (Deborah Martin) said: “The weapon is not in his possession. He has given an account of the weapon but that would amount to hearsay.”
The Attorney General, Marlene Malahoo-Forte, on her Twitter account, makes oblique references to possible divisions of Cabinet views on how to deal with crime.
Suffice to say, that some, including seasoned political analyst, Mark Wignall, found this statement more than a little puzzling:
What and where are the ‘safe havens’ and who is providing them, would be an obvious set of questions. Is it merely those in the surrounding communities that are such providers?
More questions than answers.
Police High Command released, at long last, its ‘administrative review’ of operations (in Tivoli Gardens) in 2010. Amongst other things, it exonerates five officers whom the West Kingston Commission of Enquiry argued should not be involved in internal security plans and implementation. The review also criticized the integrity of the Commission, suggesting it was ‘confused’ and ‘biased’. The Public Defender is offended by the actions of the JCF and requests that they withdraw the report. She argues that the review committee has no legal authority to act as an appellate body over a commission of enquiry. The Public Defender has also dismissed as contemptuous some the claims of the committee members that commissioners were confused, biased and convenient in arriving at their conclusion. I must admit that the JCF review sounds like when Orkin have come in to check for termites and tell you that the house timbers need to be replaced, then you call your ‘Uncle George’ to have a look at the timbers and he says ‘Termites? What termites?”.