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Jamaica: Police warn against vigilante justice

Jamaica: Police warn against vigilante justice

Fri, October 19, 2012 - 4:46 PM

KINGSTON, Jamaica, Oct 19, CMC – The Jamaica police have warned citizens against taking the law into their hands after at least two people were killed by mobs.

"Citizens have a duty to report crimes to the police or where possible apprehend felons and hand them over to the police. On no account must anyone inflict punishment on a suspected offender," Police Commissioner Owen Ellington said.

He warned that those involved in mob justice would be charged with murder.

"Every case of mob killing is classified as murder and will be thoroughly investigated by the police so that those responsible are arrested and charged," Ellington said.

A number of civic and human rights groups have deplored the vigilante style justice here with the latest incident occurring last weekend when 29 year-old Dwight Lester, 29, a mason was reportedly set upon by residents after he was allegedly caught breaking into premises in the St. Catherine community.

Earlier, an angry mob killed Oral Smith, 23 after he reportedly beat another man to death when his demand for J$100 (One Jamaica dollar = US$0.01 cents) was not met.

In September, 41-year-old school teacher Michael Melbourne was chased, beaten and stabbed to death by an angry mob after his vehicle hit four people who were assisting a man who had earlier been a victim of a hit and run accident.

Police also reported that 43-year-old Donovan Hazley was killed and his 18-year-old daughter injured after they were attacked by a mob who fire-bombed their home after the deaths of two boys from their community. The residents claimed that the boys were sodomised, even as a post-mortem later showed that they had drowned.

Four men have been charged in connection with Hazley's death.

Commissioner Ellington said he was “using this opportunity to again warn Jamaicans that they should exercise restraint and have every confidence in the justice system that it is working, rather than seek to by-pass it and engage in the criminal act of mob killing”.

Meanwhile, two men wanted by the police in connection with the death of a police officer last month, have been told they need to surrender to the authorities by Friday.

The Major Investigation Task Force said the men frequent areas believed to be operated by the notorious Clansman gang.

 

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Posted by Frank Husbands 1 year, 11 months ago
...and we in Barbados are suppose to accept the free movement of Caricom nationals from crime cesspits such as Jamaica,Trinidad; and some now even talking about Haiti in Caricom.Wow !

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Posted by wayne husbands 1 year, 11 months ago
tradition provides for some of our last names... and some of us will acknowledge the link between the plantation/estate HUSBANDS and the surname HUSBANDS. we can also realize the difference between those slaves who toiled in the fields and those who laboured in the kitchens and indoors of the plantation's great house.some of us has adopted the notion as"better than" i ask you frank... will you consider the act and though "i" in no way agree with such acts.not associate it with the country. and focus on the perpetrators of such acts, whether they may be barbadians, trinidadians,jamaicans or haitians.at some time in our history, revolution was neccesary to bring about change. eg.BUSSA. a trinidadian by birth is one of our national heroes.
barbados's first olympian competed on the jamaican national team,we have a st.lucian lady m.p. i am truly ashamed to think that at one time , my ancestors and yours shared the same abode.. btw... did you read that a bajan just got life for being the head of a drug cartel... we are not that squeaky clean

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Posted by CARL HUSBANDS 1 year, 11 months ago
@ Frank Husbands:
So does that mean that every Jamaican, Trinidadian or Haitian is a criminal and should be prohibited from entering Barbados? While I agree that every country, including Barbados, has a right to control its borders, I don't believe that your unfounded castigation of entire countries really contribute anything substantial to the national dialogue.

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Posted by J. Payne 1 year, 11 months ago
@CARL HUSBANDS. So was it not a normal cross section of *normal* society/civilians in Jamaica that were in these mobs that ganged up to kill the alleged perpetrators?

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Posted by J. Payne 1 year, 11 months ago
@Mr. Wayne Husbands. Bussa was Trinidadian too? I thought he was born in Afrika (non-celtic "c")? Or was it The Rt. Excellent Clement Osbourne Payne you're thinking of?

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Posted by wayne husbands 1 year, 11 months ago
@j payne.. i am from old school and typing is not on my A list.. thank you for highlighting the ambiguity of my statement. i had hoped that the period/fullstop at the end of the statement would serve the purpose...i can see where i was wrong and you were correct... you also were correct to realize that i meant clement payne. How low would you go to justify predjudice? in your response to carls statement . you asserted that the actions constituted/represented a cross section of jamaica... i cant see how a person with your intellect would assume such..without predjudice

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Posted by CARL HUSBANDS 1 year, 10 months ago
@J.Payne: Since it appears that you know the composition of "the mobs that ganged up to kill the alleged perpetrators" perhaps such information could be useful to the Jamaican authorities in their investigations. Just as I thought it was silly of Jamaicans to use the alleged acts of a relatively few Barbadian immigration officers as indicative of a wholescale discrimination of Jamaican nationals likewise do I find equally silly your suggestion that the alleged acts of a relatively few Jamaicans to be a justification for an unbalanced immigration policy by Barbadian authorities toward Jamaicans and other Caricom nationals.

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Posted by nesta marley 1 year, 10 months ago
@ j.payne no it was not a normal cross section of any society... it was a select few. who took it upon themselves to see that' peter pays for peter's actions' and not the old adage that peter pays for paul..if you were/are aware of the demographics in jamaica.you will understand that it could take sometime for the authorities to reach a crime scene... in the meantime and in the pursuit of justice to the victim. some may take the opportunity to exert vigilante justice... no. i don't support or promote this action, but it is what it is,,,no more or no less. WHEN WE RESORT TO LABELLING OUR NEIGHBOURS AS "crime cesspits" is extreme..and serves to do more harm than good.my life partner who is a Jamaican has decided to join me in our retirement in Barbados... that is an honour to my country and its people. it reflects the comfortability she has experienced in our island, if she had desired to retire in Jamaica I would have joined her.. and I would hope that i won;t experience the hate,malice,ignorance,predjudice and discrimination displayed by a few of us... I know that's not the nature of barbadian people..and i will continue to represent those of us who promote unity among our brothers and sisters, whether they be black,white or candy striped,whether they be from here ,there or anywhere. "alla we ah one'

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