Tue | Sep 21, 2021

Punished for being a gentleman?

Published:Monday | June 14, 2021 | 12:06 AM


I am very concerned as I am seeking clarity as to the overall responsibility of the State and those employed by it. I refer to an article in THE STAR on May 25, titled ‘Man sleeps in car to avoid girlfriend’. Now, it is said that the curfew has been yielding favourable results as far as COVID-19 cases are concerned, but I must add that there are reportedly many persons and activities in public spaces during the curfew hours. There have been reports of people being out and about, with blatant disregard for the restriction, without so much as a stop or check by security personnel; yet this gentleman, who was at his gate, not moving about, was fined $40,000.

He pleaded with the police and explained his reason for sleeping in his car, yet no compassion. Are our security forces taught only to be reactive? Did they not see a need to intervene in such a situation, or can they only respond to self-harm, murder, or murder/suicide? Why wasn’t this seized as an opportunity for prevention, counselling and protection? Furthermore, the courts penalised this man for trying to keep his peace. Yes, curfew is on, but if he goes inside the house there will be ‘bangarang’!!

Where is the empathy and responsibility of the State for the sanctity of life to its members? Where are the proactive measures for safety? Did anyone at any time make an effort at resolving this domestic issue, or are we waiting for an extreme incident so we can all say, ‘If mi did know …’

I applaud this gentleman for being a gentleman, and encourage him to seek help, to talk to someone for an amicable resolution, and to pray. I beg of the security forces in Jamaica to not become cold and inhumane. When we as simple citizens have fallen, you are required to stand tall, to guide, and to serve.