Probe March Pen shoot­ing

Jamaica Gleaner - - OPINION & COMMENTARY -

THE ED­I­TOR, Sir: CRIME RE­PORTS nor­mally scare me. ‘Men shot in drive-by while play­ing domi­noes’ is scary, es­pe­cially when no fur­ther in­for­ma­tion is given. I panic and I lock my door – if there are crazy peo­ple just shoot­ing oth­ers, could I be next?

How­ever, I must con­fess I was less up­set at the five deaths in March Pen than I have been in the past when chil­dren are killed be­cause, con­trary to the usual man­ner in which these crimes are re­ported, there was a story to go with crime: ‘Ac­quit­ted don comes back to claim lead­er­ship of the Klans­man Gang and shoots those who have pledged al­le­giance to the usurper’. I was less up­set in spite of the deaths of chil­dren as the story makes per­fect sense – this vi­o­lence was tar­geted and not ran­dom, and vic­tims and per­pe­tra­tors knew each other.

I also un­der­stood that this vi­o­lence was com­mit­ted to pre­serve ex­clu­sive ac­cess to money ex­torted from law-abid­ing busi­ness­men in Span­ish Town, market ven­dors, taxi driv­ers and bus driv­ers by vi­o­lent thugs who are qual­i­fied to do noth­ing in the le­git­i­mate econ­omy and gen­uinely see ex­tor­tion as their job.

Are busi­ness­men con­tribut­ing to vi­o­lent crime by con­tin­u­ing to pay this ex­tor­tion money to the Klans­man Gang? Do business peo­ple in­tend to pay the ex­tor­tion­ists for­ever? Do they not com­plain to their MPs about the ex­tor­tion? Are business peo­ple pre­pared to feed crim­i­nals ad nau­seam, or do they ever in­tend to take a stand and refuse to pay?

MARTHA BRAE

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