Sat | Jul 21, 2018

Probe March Pen shooting

Published:Thursday | October 13, 2016 | 12:00 AM


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