October 22, 2008
Apparently there’s a lot of probing going on these days. But its not at all clear what is being sought.
In today’s account of Missa Steve Sol’ja Killaman*, the soldier who decided to off a few folks just so the other night, today’s Gleaner has this to say:
“The Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) corporal involved in Monday’s shooting at the Double Diamond nightclub in St Andrew was being probed for a similar incident in Manchester.”
Now, I don’t know what all these investigators have been “probing” souljie Steve with, but whatever they were using was not certainly not sufficient to inflict serious discomfort, or to discourage or prevent him from lighting up the nightclub, killing four people and traumatizing hundreds of others.
I suspect whatever “probing” they (the JDF? police? Director of Public Prosecutions?) were doing was just sufficient to stimulate Missa Steve Sol’ja Killaman and to remind him seh dat he is indeed fully protected by the state and its cronies, and that not much will come of his confession that he did indeed shoot and kill the person in Mandeville.
I don’t have time to unpack all of the obvious foot-dragging, corrupt and complicit actions that allowed this power-hungry, mentally unstable person to 1) still be on the payroll and under the protection of the JDF after admitting to and under investigation for murder; 2) to be left under the jurisdiction of the JDF for it to investigate one of its own(!!) and not treated as a civil matter; 3) to continue to be protected by the JDF AND police even after he clearly committed this recent massacre.
But here’s what I do know. This episode ought to go down as a classic case of how police brutality in Jamaica is aided and abetted by everyone who has had the power of the state to back them up. Even the DPP should have to answer for this one.
The article goes on to say that, apparently, Steve Soulja’ Killaman’s previous violent misdeeds have now been conveyed to “the investigators now probing the shooting at Double Diamond nightclub located in the Boulevard Super Centre.” Consequently, “The Bureau of Special Investigations and the JDF are probing the incident.”
I hope that in all their “probing” – which frankly, sounds more like schoolboys using sticks to play around in horseshit – they will take note of what occurred after the shooting, as reported in the Gleaner:
“We show the police and soldiers, the man who do the shooting and tell them fi kill him but them just put him in a jeep and drive away with him,” said one alleged eyewitness in an expletive-laden tirade as he demanded justice for two of his friends shot in the incident.
Soldiers on the scene threatened to arrest the eyewitness, but feared further infuriating a large crowd of onlookers.
For hours persons gathered outside the plaza waiting for news on the victims. The bodies were not removed until more than eight hours after the shooting and investigators on the scene refused to comment.”
Ok. So, no handcuffs. No arrest. Just escorted away. Leave the dead to take care of their own. Nice.
It nuh tek dem no time fi reach di club an’ fi rescue one o dem bredren, but how long it tek fi smaddy reach di club fi remove di ded body dem? Inna dis ya hot-hot country?
How is it ok to threaten to arrest people who are obviously displeased at the unprofessional and biased way the “law enforcement officers” have chosen to deal with the situation?
Do we still have questions about whose needs are seen as important around here?
Do we still have any questions about who is seen as entitled to protection and preservation of dignity?
Do we still have any questions about how these (and many other) officers of the state will and do wield their power over and against us, especially when they recognize that we know we are being multiply mistreated and abused in one feld swoop?
I am sure that the people who nearly lost their lives were not in the mindset to have taken pictures with their cellphones, copied down the license plate numbers, or noted any identifying characteristics of the soldiers and police so they could report and shame them for unethical behaviour and sheer cowardice.
As per usual, people like Les Green quick fi ah com call fi’ more policy, this time to restrict licensed firearms to private places. But how come nobody nuh wa’a deal wid di odder policy dem whe’ dem same police an’ soldier violate all di time: like, just because you are a police or soldier does not mean you have a right to murder people simply because you have a government-sanctioned right to carry a firearm. How come they never have anything to say about how and when police and soldiers can use and carry their weapons? While the policy proposal sounds fine on the face of it, law officers are never held to the same standards as civilians. So how the hell will such a policy do any good and protect us from the ugly hypermasculine rage that men police and soldiers insist on venting on the rest of us, using their positions as excuses to do so? When will they be held accountable?
Meantime, hennybady know whe ‘ Soul’jah Killa-man deh right now? Well, afta’ im lef di ‘ospital whe’ im get fus-cass treatment fi di gun shot dem whe’ im same one gi ‘imself, in probably deh a im y’aad a cock up inna bed an play video game an’ a gi’ long laaf fi pea soup pon ‘im cellie. An’ every once in a while, him stroke ‘im gun, ready fi fiyah again.
So far, this is what justice looks like for us today. It need not look like this tomorrow.
* Since the news account refuses to name him, I will. Until someone can explain the official rules about anonymity and protection of identity, and show that they are applied fairly and systematically across the board, I am going to assume that the mass media is biased towards protecting those with power, and offer my own corrective where I can.