20 Percent Of All Jamaican Murders Committed By Police – Report

janice-allen-murder-jamaica.jpg Janice Allen 13 years old when shot by police

“That is one of the most fundamental issues in our society. Why are we so prone to violence?” … Jamaican Attorney Jacqueline Samuels-Brown (BBC story link)

The human rights group Jamaicans For Justice says that 20 percent of the country’s murders are committed by police officers in “extra-judicial” executions.

In other words, the police are taking matters into their own hands.

Aside from questions about the accuracy of this estimate – too high or too low – there seems to be no one arguing against the premise that there are large numbers of people being murdered every year by Jamaican police officers.

We have four quick observations…

1/ Whatever the total root causes of this phenomena, we believe that lack of rule of law in a society has to be a major contributing factor. There are areas even in Kingston city where the police will not go.

2/ Once again we point out that whatever name we put to the formal and informal associations of Caribbean countries for political, economic or tourism marketing purposes – we are not all the same culture.

3/ There is danger for Barbados in failing to maintain our autonomy on the world stage. Not to long ago Barbados joined in an effort to make “the Caribbean” a tourism brand with Barbados as a part of that brand. There are obvious problems with putting our good name beside that of Jamaica.

4/ Although we are a long way from the lawless situation in Jamaica, there are areas in the north of Barbados where groups of young men accost tourists in rental cars and “politely ask” for money to let them pass. Complaints have been lodged with the police but the situation continues – and police patrols in the area are few and far between. (A helicopter would help!) The police had better get control of this situation – and quickly.

Further Reading…

Guardian – Gun-happy Police Adde To Jamaica’s Killing Spree

BBC – Jamaica Wrestles With Police Violence

Jamaica Gleaner – Janice Allen Case, Lawyer Says Client Being Harassed

SOS Jamaica – Janice Allen 13 years old, shot and killed at Trenchtown

Human Rights Watch – Jamaica: Investigate Police and Military Killings

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12 Comments

Filed under Barbados, CARICOM, Corruption, Crime & Law, Jamaica

12 responses to “20 Percent Of All Jamaican Murders Committed By Police – Report

  1. rumboy

    This does not configure with the above but I am at a lost as to where to write, so here goes – with the price of oil at 113.oo per barrel I was surprised to see how many boats went out on this morning on the Mount Gay fishing tournament. It is obviously clear to me that consumption determines price in most consumer goods with the exception of oil based products, the more used the quicker the price will be increased, right or wrong. 35 boats all using easily in excess of 300.00 dollars per day in diesel or the equivalent in litres, a waste and I repeat a waste. Most of these owners can easily afford this but the more they use and the quicker they use it will ensure an increase to the average consumer who needs to have an affordable price, one that they can profitably run their business. Time for this Goverment to insist that the price of all oil based products be catorgised into usage, private / pleasure or business. I know it will be hard to controll this but it is a small island and they who have these boats will always take the diesel from the special pumps in Port St Charles etc. The price per litre there can and should be increased by at least 200%. The regular fishing boats do not fill up there, they cannot because they do not own a condo, right. However we would soon see these owners going to Oistins but they can be monitored there, just trying here too jump the gun, so to speak, right.

  2. 2 Cents

    BFP,

    Once again, I think that we are being distracted with a non-story in terms of our national interest. With so much on our agenda, Greenland, broken DLP promises, relatively poor start by some ministers in terms of doing the people’s work etc. I think that this story is not worthy to be at the top of this site.

    I think that the number of posts a story gets should determine its position on the blog.

  3. Tell me Why

    I think that the number of posts a story gets should determine its position on the blog.
    ………………………………………………………………………………….
    I disagree with your statement. The number of posts don’t mean the quality of that post. Mention Owen, Mottley or Mascoll and you will get many posts, but the majority do not have and substance, just innuendos, vile behaviour and personal attacks.

    Blogs in its present form is the best system.

  4. Paradox

    What a sad reflection on our sister Island! It could be Barbados or any other Island, be it Caribbean or other.
    This reflects the lack of ‘RESPECT for human rights’.
    No one should ‘police’ itself, no matter what institution, government or other!
    What is lacking here is good governance. Rules, regulations, implemented in law.
    Ensure EVERYBODY is equal under the law, even government. The Police is no different. Ensure the police ‘to police’ and the courts to decide on the punishment.
    When a nation allows an institution to behave as judge and jury, there will be ‘wrongs’.
    If one thinks an injustice was done, it is natural that he would like to see that corrected.
    If there is a system or place he can seek justice and have ‘confidence’ in that system, he is more like to to take that course of action.
    An independent body, excluding the police to investigate and prosecute.
    If a country fails a section of its population, those same people are more likely behave like the ‘wild west’.
    BFP:
    Agree with all 4 catogries you mentioned above. No. 4, however, I have slight differences.
    “Groups of young men accost tourist in rental cars in areas of the North of the country…A helicopter would help…”
    The last first! The cost of a helicopter and maintenance could be too costly. By the time an incident is reported, the culprits would have long fled.
    My solution is for ‘community policing’. The community police familiarises himself with the community.He would have an idea of who might have or likely to committed the crime. A good community police can spot an incident before it occurs. A person is more likely to inform before a crime is committed.
    When one has a police force which is devorced from its people it seeks to serve,crime will no doubt go unreported. Help from the public is an asset in many cases.
    (a) Take the police out of cars.
    (b) Provide meaninful education for those young men in their community or elsewhere.
    (c) Provide a stable environment for those families.
    These young men I presumed are above school age; if younger, where are the parents?

    *****************

    BFP says,

    Hi Paradox,

    You make some excellent points, but the type of re-socialization you are talking about takes years – and the young men involved in this activity are mid-20′s. The leader might even be 30 years old, and the situation is rapidly going from bad to worst around the area (St. Lucy)

  5. Bimbro

    2 Cents
    March 17, 2008 at 12:55 am
    BFP,

    Once again, I think that we are being distracted with a non-story in terms of our national interest. With so much on our agenda, Greenland, broken DLP promises, relatively poor start by some ministers in terms of doing the people’s work etc. I think that this story is not worthy to be at the top of this site.

    I think that the number of posts a story gets should determine its position on the blog.

    ********************************

    What a scandalous, pathetic little tripe of a reply to try to subvert the course which a discussion should take!!!! My dear fellow, u may be an idiot but the folks at BFP, even though I have my problems with them from time to time, are far more intelligent than that!!

    Yeah, let’s stick the story at the bottom of the blog!!! What an ignoramus!!!! If you’re unable to cope with the main thrust of this story then go back and bury your head in the sand and leave the rest of us to discuss the subject!!!! Fool!!!!

    I actually, see the main theme of the story as being a bit of a red-herring. We must n’t forget that the original accusation has been made by a human-rights, group. I, frankly, am surprised that they did n’t claim that 90% of the murders in Jamaica are committed by the police. That would more accord with my experience of such people, i.e. blame it all on the authorities!!!!

    The fact of the matter is that Jamaica and Jamaicans are among the most violent people in the world. The Jamaican police are only responding in kind, to their own kind!!!! The Jamaican police know their own people and what will work with them and what will not!!!!

  6. Bimbro

    Paradox
    March 17, 2008 at 3:43 am
    What a sad reflection on our sister Island! It could be Barbados or any other Island, be it Caribbean or other.

    ****************************

    What a sad, perversion of the truth. I consider that both you, virtually everybody else here, and I, know very, well, that Jamaica is ‘a special case’!!!! Show me where else, in the world a country of a similar population size has such a deep-seated problem with crime, both at home, and everywhere its people are in the world!!!!

  7. 2 Cents

    BFP,

    In 24 hours, six posts one of which is my own and two others by a single individual. So really four post! By all means keep ALL discussion open, however, my view is that the stories that are important to the majority of your visitors should be on your age #1 not buried on page 16a.

    It is not a coincidence that when hot stories become number 4, 5, 6 etc on your site that the number of posts decline dramatically. This is a normal and accepted human behavioural pattern which is at the core of many business practises. That’s why headlines are headlines and top stories are top stories.
    Many major news sites like CNN.com and NBC.com have stories that are driven upwards on thier Top Story picks simply by the number of hits that a story gets within a certain period.

    I converse regularly with several people who visit this blog. On days where you have stories at the top of your page with let say less that 10 posts, I have found that most of us tend not to visit regularly on that day. This pattern sometimes extend into several days without visiting once. When hot stories are present it translates into several visits in a single day. I am sure that the stats that you get on your activitiy bears some or all of this out.

    Lets have all discussion, but be mindful of its impact on other stories/issues.

  8. 2 Cents

    I implied but did not explicitly say:

    The number of hits a story gets is directly related to its apparent interest/importance with readers/contributors.

  9. Right now concerned Barbadians are justifiably distracted by the Greenland Scandal. We cannot consider much else right now.

    Otherwise we might well put in our “two cents” on this issue which seems very remote.

    Jamaican violence and the degree to which their police are involved in it (probably just a guess at 20% of the murder rate) is about as meaningful to me as Drug Wars in Medellin, another Caribbean neightbour.

  10. BFP

    Hi 2 cents,

    WordPress makes it difficult to keep something at the top while adding other articles afterwards. The way we get around this is to do another story referencing the first.

    Just life with PCs!

  11. Bimbro

    2 Cents
    March 17, 2008 at 5:35 pm
    BFP,

    In 24 hours, six posts one of which is my own and two others by a single individual. So really four post! By all means keep ALL discussion open, however, my view is that the stories that are important to the majority of your visitors should be on your age #1 not buried on page 16a.

    ****************************

    BFP, why waste precious time inflating this guy’s boring, useless ego, offering an explanation to him about anything!!!! If he does n’t like the way u do things he can always go, elsewhere!!

    I also, don’t like his dirty, little, ‘threat’, of

    ” I converse regularly with several people who visit this blog. On days where you have stories at the top of your page with let say less that 10 posts, I have found that most of us tend not to visit regularly on that day. This pattern sometimes extend into several days without visiting once.”

    as though he’s trying to skew or influence the number or people who visit your blog or reply to certain subjects!!

    In my view, he warrants being banned!!!! At least he got his name right!! 2 cents is just about all anything he’s said, is worth!!!!

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