THE EDITOR, Sir:
No, it wasn't an eat stew peas late-night bad dream, it was for real! 'Licensed firearm holder, gunman killed in Kingston: Licensed firearm holder, identified as 48-year-old Winston ['Billy'] Josephs, lost his life this morning, while trying to defend himself during a robbery.' (Gleaner online, 01/16/13)
Billy was shot and killed. Our friend, true to his word, would die fighting, never to give up!
As I watched the police process the crime scene, it struck me that with all the criticism levelled against them, if this were a police killing, there would have been demonstrations and placard-bearing women and children crying for justice because "im wuz ah good yute", "di police dem wicked!"
From my vantage point, I could see the body of my friend and attacker across from each other. I called Billy's number, and heard it ring in the pocket of the killer. You took the life of a person with so much promise for a phone? You were NO angel!
Four other victims of your heinous acts that morning identified you as the assailant who held them up and robbed them of their phones and other possessions. Their cell numbers, when given to the police and dialed, all rang in your pockets!
Always respectful for authority, I now have even more for the police. The way they conducted their investigations was nothing less than commendable.
'Police kill three in Acadia'; 'Police shoot and kill machete-wielding, bug-spraying madman in St James' [Gleaner 01/15/13]. These are some of the headlines that have plastered the newspapers, headlines that mean nothing to us anymore because we have come to accept this as the norm. How I wish it would have read differently for my friend, he would still be with us, and it would just have been another police killing!
We sit in the comfort and 'safety' of our homes or sip tea on our verandas and bemoan in silence the crime and violence that has overtaken our country, or perhaps like our prime minister, we choose just not to watch the nightly news because it is so negative.
Billy, we will not get the chance to say we love you again; we will never have to plug in our earpiece because you had a very 'strong' voice, and we won't have the chance either that no matter what hour of the day or night we could call you and you would be there for us.
We will, however, have the gift of your son to watch him grow, his smile and walk, and more than ever, your strong voice. Taken you were from us, but never forgotten.
GILLIAN K. WILKINSON