Tue | Aug 22, 2017

Nation of indiscipline! - Bunting blames dysfunctional culture for widespread support for unruliness

Published:Friday | July 21, 2017 | 7:00 AMRomario Scott
Peter Bunting
A woman shouts, "Free Kartel!", while behind a barricade on King Street, Kingston, while the Vybz Kartel murder trial was under way on March 13, 2014.
1
2

Opposition Spokesman on National Security Peter Bunting is expressing serious concern over what he says is the lack of discipline and the strong resistance to the enforcement of law and order in the country.

Bunting, addressing a forum on crime and violence on Wednesday at the Stella Maris Roman Catholic Church in St Andrew, said that the police and law-enforcement officers are sometimes harshly criticised and attacked for doing their jobs.

He asserted that the country is grappling with a dysfunctional culture, pointing out that bad behaviour and indiscipline were largely supported by the public.

"The police are attacked by the citizens [for enforcing the law]. We have cases, for example, in St Thomas, which resulted in a pregnant woman being killed. The case was tried and the police officer was acquitted. People, at the time, were looking at the fact that a firearm was discharged. What they did not know is that the policeman had been assaulted by a number of persons while trying to do his duty," an emotional Bunting pointed out.

The former national security minister claims that he has seen several videos involving police "trying - particularly in town centres - to enforce order on the public-passenger vehicles, and the citizens turn the policeman into the 'bad guy'".

 

Bunting bashes 'free World Boss' mentality

 

Peter Bunting, the member of parliament for Central Manchester, in expressing his concern, also drew reference to the controversial trial of dancehall deejay Vybz Kartel, who, in 2014, was convicted of the murder of Clive 'Lizard' Williams, and the subsequent reaction of fans of the deejay.

"When Vybz Kartel was convicted of murder - for mincing up somebody fine, fine - when I went to speak

to fourth-form students in my constituency in a social studies class, the overwhelming response after he had been convicted was, 'free World Boss'," Bunting said of his experience.

"That shows a warped set of values in our young people growing up. This was not when he was an accused. He was convicted, and we had very graphic descriptions of how Lizard had been chopped up - and this was a human being - and yet they didn't business ... . 'Free World Boss!', [they said]."

 

CHANGE NEEDED

 

According to the opposition spokesman on national security, until a way can be found to change what he described as the dysfunctional elements in the Jamaican culture, the country will continue to grapple with issues relating to crime and violence.

He added that until people can move from the belief that they do not have to comply or that scamming old, white people in a foreign country is not bad thing, then, "we are going to have the problem".

Bunting stated that effective policing takes places with the "permission" of the overwhelming majority of the citizens.

romario.scott@gleanerjm.com