Archive for the ‘murder’ Tag
When someone mentioned to me a short while back, “you know Kartel is in prison?” My reaction was, “I wouldn’t be surprised”. But I’ve still been enjoying his track ‘Tell you seh’ nonetheless.
It seems that the path to prison could have been foretold as there were growing bad vibes swirling around the man. Last time I was in JA, a number of people were talking to me about how they hated him and they told me of alleged violent attacks mentioning his name. I put this down to a general ground swell of rumour which inevitably follows a man like Kartel who courts controversy and has an entourage all trying to live up to a reputation in a place where violence and gun crime is more than just part of the lexicon. Add to this mix, a self destructive element – skin bleaching and the recent spat with Corey Todd – all signal a ticking time bomb. In a small place like JA, making more enemies than friends is a dangerous position to find yourself.
The real question which of course must be asked is, ‘is he guilty?’ If he is, then this would spell the end of the Gaza era.
Both these cities have similar crime problems in their poorest neighbourhoods.
I recently came back from Chicago where I reported on the violence going on, on the south side. I was mainly in Englewood and also went to Austin on the west side – and there were a lot of similarities with what is going on in Kingston. the shootings, the violence, the guns, the culture.
So it’s good to see that this guy, Dr Gary Slutkin, come to Jamaica to share some experience and offer his solutions, which seem like quite a shock to the usual answers to crime printed on the pages of the Observer newspaper.
He says that locking people up and aggressively handling criminals – popular with Jamaican police officers like Reneto Adams is not the way forward.
I know about Chicago Ceasefire as I met some guys who were a part of it – they wanted to be “violence interruptors” - that is people from the street, many of them former gang members themselves, out there at night trying to stop violence escalating into murder. So if they see something is going to kick off, they will advise a beating instead. It’s tough, it’s realistic and apparently, it works.
If I had the job of solving Jamaica’s crime problem, I would not be spending money that Jamaica does not have, to buy cars for the (largely corrupt) police.
But that is what the new National Security minister, Dwight Nelson is doing.
He’s been in the job for three weeks and has listed his priorities for dealing with a crazy crime rate, see JA’s murder figures in this blog post. And here’s another post I wrote about the jump in robberies.
To be fair to the man, he also says he is going to talk to ordinary Jamaicans and ask them what to do – a good starting point, but rather than go into the communities where they live and seeing the reality first hand, he’s meeting people in a new “civic centre” in MoBay.
More police are required yes, (a 1 to 300 ratio is not great), but training them and rooting out corruption and getting a justice system that works is key – rather than investing in some state of the art forensics lab – most people know who did the shooting Nelson – it’s just they don’t want to tell the police.
The figures show a 22 per cent rise on this time last year. The numbers show a tally at 1105 up to the end of August compared to 968 recorded last year. Not only murders, but a ten per cent increase in rape. Just when you think it cannot get any worse than this and it goes up and up. Here’s the detail
Pictures posted from the funeral of Spragga Benz’s son here show the human face of grief and sorrow behind these figures. From Yardflex.