Police pledge to protectCommissioner of police Darwin Dottin. (FP)
Fri, November 09, 2012 - 1:33 PM
COMMISSIONER OF POLICE Darwin Dottin last night promised an “appropriate response” to ease the fears and tension that have engulfed City trouble spots Chapman Lane and New Orleans.
Dottin spoke to the WEEKEND NATION five hours after police descended on New Orleans, removing barricades erected by fearful residents to keep out intruders, following Wednesday’s shooting incident that left three youths injured.
The Commissioner labelled the violent episode as an “undesirable development” and gave the assurance that steps would be taken for the protection and safety of residents.
There were no gunshots piercing the air in New Orleans yesterday, but a tense calm prevailed as a two-vehicle police patrol arrived on the scene just after 2 p.m.
Minutes later, the officers were seen lifting away the two large posts and two tables that were placed on a roadway by youths, who claimed they have been targeted by a gang from nearby Chapman Lane.
After appealing for calm, the lawmen received the cooperation of youths, who had initially voiced some dissatisfaction over the length of time it took police to respond to their plight.
But one mother of three from 7th Avenue, New Orleans, made it clear in the presence of police and to all and sundry that she was fearful for her life and that of her children.
“What is happening is a shame and just not right. These men from Chapman Lane, came out here and just start shooting wild. Anyone could get hurt. Something has to be done. It is hurting to see my friends and neighbours running for their lives,” she said.
Popular calypsonian Errol Malik Gooding, who resides in nearby Pickwick Gap, said he was fearful after seeing six men dressed in black a few weeks ago, heading in the direction of Westbury Cemetery.
Malik, 57, told the WEEKEND NATION he was so concerned about the recent spate of gun-related violence, he has curtailed his karaoke performances in New Orleans and Chapman Lane.
“I might get hit by a stray bullet. I don’t like what is happening and I ain’t taking no chances.”Shopkeeper “Londy”, who has been operating in Wharton Gap for more than a decade said the area could be better described these days as a “war torn gap”.
“I have been running a shop in Wharton Gap for more than 15 years . . . . What happened over the past few days is ridiculous.
The latest violence is said to be result of a long standing feud between young men from the Orleans and Chapman Lane districts.
It has left Tyson Lovell, 26, of Passage Road, St Michael, Terique Howard, 18, of Country Road, St Michael, and Lamar Hewitt, 21, of New Orleans, nursing gunshot wounds.
It comes amid a recent upsurge in shootings in the downtown area that has prompted an appeal from Member of Parliament Patrick Todd to perpetrators to stop the violence.
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