On The Question Of Crime..

One friend now lives in the United States, the oth­er in a cer­tain parish in Jamaica, both young men worked the land, one caught a break and left, the oth­er remained.
Back at home, they raised goats, burned char­coal and they eked and scratched out a liv­ing.
The young man back at home still rais­es the goats, in fact, there were more goats. After all, now that his friend is able to send mon­ey back to pur­chase more goats.
He still chopped wood, build the kilns, cut the grass, stacks the wood and burns the char­coal, all while hav­ing only one arm.

The young man in the States is hard work­ing and respect­ful, a fam­i­ly man, he has been so since I first met him when he first came to the United States, he has remained so for the four years since he has been here.
The sto­ry he tells me warmed my heart until it did­n’t. His sto­ry gave me hope, true to my belief, not all of our young men are dis­pos­able, not all are blood­thirsty killers.
But some def­i­nite­ly are.

While the young man in the States was work­ing hard send­ing every spare dol­lar back to pur­chase the right Rams for sir­ing the best kids, mak­ing sure the pens are secure and every­thing was in place, oth­ers were watch­ing and bid­ing their time.
And so one day over a month ago as the man walked to his goat-farm they struck.
Armed with guns they attacked, he fought valiant­ly using his machete to ward them off, but with only one arm, a machete and three more preda­tors join­ing in, they quick­ly over­pow­ered him.

They chopped and stabbed and chopped and stabbed, they even stabbed him in his eyes try­ing to gouge out them out.
He even­tu­al­ly laid still, play­ing dead in a bid to save his life, what was left of it, if pos­si­ble.
They dragged him by the feet and dumped him in a ravine where they left him for dead, then they took the goats, all of them.

The bad­ly muti­lat­ed man dragged him­self bleed­ing pro­fuse­ly until he got to help. Well over a month lat­er, he is unable to see from either of his eyes, even as he tries to recov­er from the vicious trau­ma inflict­ed on his body.
As is to be expect­ed no one has been arrest­ed, this grue­some bar­bar­ic case did­n’t even make the local news.

This begs the ques­tion, how many more inno­cent hard work­ing peo­ple have been mur­dered sim­ply for the sweat of their brow?
How can we pre­tend that all is well when hard-work­ing men who till the soil burn char­coal and raise some goats are treat­ed this way sim­ply because of the mea­ger liv­ing they extract for their efforts.

This sto­ry is not dis­sim­i­lar to the killing of 32-year-old Notoya Ricketts whose bul­let-rid­dled body was found by res­i­dents in ear­ly February. Her two-year-old daugh­ter, who was found next to the body, was not harmed.
Miss Ricketts was last seen alive on the way to tend to her ani­mals. Ms. Ricketts’s moth­er was mur­dered in the com­mu­ni­ty just two weeks pri­or to her own death.

These are the types of grue­some killings and assaults which are not being cov­ered in the news. As Tourism num­bers are bur­nished and a new Commissioner of Police is set to take over, the ques­tion must be how do we stop this?
The Police are seem­ing­ly inca­pable or unwill­ing to extend them­selves to do what it takes.
I can’t say I blame them frankly, the sys­tem is sup­port­ive of the killers, not those who work to remove them from soci­ety and to some degree the gen­er­al pop­u­la­tion is high­ly sup­port­ive of crim­i­nal con­duct.

We get the com­mu­ni­ties we want by our actions, that trans­lates into the parish­es and ulti­mate­ly the coun­try we end up with.
Whether we admit it or not this desire to align with crim­i­nals to the per­il of the rule of law will con­tin­ue to have dis­as­trous con­se­quences for Jamaicans.

Those who shape and make pol­i­cy can pre­tend that the fool­hardy path they are on will result in a utopi­an elim­i­na­tion of crime as against a sys­tem­at­ic and well-tar­get­ed attack on gang­sters.
Ultimately we will see the results, like a preg­nan­cy there is a baby com­ing and we will all be forced to face the results.