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LETTER OF THE DAY - Police killing spree abhorrent

Published:Friday | March 23, 2012 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

The Jamaican police kill with impunity. We accept that we live in a dangerous society with some of the most heartless gunmen, but the behaviour of the police is still inexcusable.

Remarkably, the police have managed to continue killing those of us who don't matter, those of us who have no brand-name associations. Those of us who are expendable, with no status or high-profile lawyers, and those of us who are faceless.

The reports behind the deaths of Jamaicans in confrontations with the police always seem ready-made to suit the situations and can be easily recited by any schoolchild. We strenuously try to believe what we hear, no matter how incredulous, simply because we believe that our only choice is to support the police or to support criminality.

The police stand between us and chaos, in a society riddled with corruption, from the top to the bottom. But we have no one to trust. If we criticise the police, we feel as if we are strengthening the criminals. There is no middle ground - it is them or us. So we continue to endure an untenable situation, hoping against hope that the next child or adult killed will not be related to us.

The killings will continue as long as they remain below Cross Roads or Liguanea, and are confined to inner-city or poor rural communities. No human-rights body, no free press, no foreign police experts, no Independent Commission of Investigations and no member of parliament can help us. We have tried all these, yet our crime rate ebbs and flows beyond all credible reasoning.

Security ministers and commissioners of police come and go, crime plans are remodelled, but police killings and murders march on relentlessly, with no end in sight.

Maybe we could tolerate this unhealthy state of affairs if our deaths were confined to that of the gunmen, but to be killed accidentally by those our taxes support is simply adding insult to injury.

MARK CLARKE

mark_clarke9@yahoo.com

Siloah PO, St Elizabeth