LETTER OF THE DAY - Ganja a distraction in Mario Deane murder
THE EDITOR, Sir:
I am bemused by the calls against arresting persons for small quantities of ganja now that 31-year-old Mario Deane has been beaten and ended up dead in St James, having been arrested for ganja. The response of the Government and a few others is an insult to the intelligence of many persons who know that the issue is not about ganja.
If someone who committed rape had been beaten to death, would we have had the same calls? If someone accused of murdering someone had been beaten in prison, would the call have been a sensible one?
As a country, we have scoffed at the calls by many who are either concerned Jamaicans or human-rights lobbyists for persons in the care of the Government to be properly treated.
Agana Barrett et al and the recent killing of Kamoza Clarke, a mentally ill young man in Falmouth, are all notorious cases of persons who have wantonly lost their lives while in the hands of the police.
We are a nation of distractions. We always go for the proverbial straw man. It is glaring that we have grave problems with how the State has allowed the police, who are supposed to 'serve, protect and reassure', to practise daily disregard for such a mandate with distressing impunity.
It must be noted that successive governments that seek voting support from the oppressed of this country are far more heartless than colonial authorities in what they allow the police and other state institutions to get away with. Neither the rich nor the privileged are subject to the conditions of the poor and the dispossessed. An end to the inequity seems not to be in sight.
In the meantime, our learned minister of justice has proposed getting the police to stop arresting people for small quantities of ganja as the solution to the discontinuation of the cruelty to our poor and vulnerable who are in custody. I guess it might have been one of the brilliant suggestions given to the Government by the International Monetary Fund!
I guess with these leaders and their mentality of distraction, it is a happy Independence, indeed!
Lucea PO, Hanover