The Office of the Children’s Advocate (OCA) has pledged its long-term support to the family of the five residents from Cocoa Piece in Clarendon who were killed on Tuesday (June 21).
“I express my deepest and sincerest condolences to the family and [want] them to know that we are all here for them. In whatever way, we’re able, [we’ll] give support as time progresses, because we know that the coming months are going to be just as difficult,” Children’s Advocate Diahann Gordon Harrison said.
She told JIS News that the OCA will also collaborate with other entities that are assisting the family during this time.
The residents who died were Kemisha Wright and her children Kimana Smith (15-year-old girl); Shemari Smith (10-year-old girl); Kafana Smith (five-year-old girl) and Kishaun Henry (23-month-old boy). The police have identified a person of interest who is now in custody.
Against this backdrop, Mrs. Gordon Harrison noted the incident as one that “reflects the darkest bits of humanity where people are completely reckless as to what the results of their actions are”.
“What happened to the value of working through issues in terms of good conflict resolution? What could a 23-month-old baby do to you that would warrant that kind of response?” she argued.
“When you think about all those things commingled into one, it really is something that makes you very concerned for us as a nation and for our children who continue to be a part of the bloodletting,” she continued.
The Children’s Advocate is, therefore, encouraging Jamaicans to enforce “right-thinking and well-intentioned actions” collectively as a nation.
“We need to embrace humanity, the systems of grace and also compassion because it seems as if it is escaping some of us, because it is only a lack of [these] that could lead anyone to not only conceive but to actually execute this,” she stated.