• JIS News

    Deputy Prime Minister, Dr. Ken Baugh, has described as devastating, the slaying of police constables Delano Lawrence, and Cornel Grant.
    Constable Lawrence, who was attached to the Admiral Town police station, and Constable Grant, who was assigned to the Denham Town police station, were shot and killed by gunmen, who ambushed them while they were on patrol in the St. Andrew inner city community of Trench Town on Labour Day, Friday, May 23.
    Dr. Baugh, who is in charge of the government in the absence of Prime Minister, Bruce Golding, who is overseas on official business, along with National Security Minister, Colonel Trevor MacMillan, and Information, Culture, Youth, and Sports Minister, Olivia Grange, visited the bereaved families of both men at their homes in Harbour View and Olympic Gardens in Kingston on Sunday, May 25.
    Speaking with journalists, Dr. Baugh said he had been in touch with the Prime Minister on the matter. “We are devastated. I think the whole country should mourn the deaths of these policemen. We should mourn the deaths of all persons, who are victims of the murders in the country,” he said.
    “We recognize that it (crime) has gone too far for a very long time. (and) nobody is going to come here to invest any money to create jobs and opportunities if we continue to have murders and crimes of this nature,” he stated.
    Dr. Baugh, who is also Minister of Foreign Affairs, commended the residents of Trench Town, who spoke out against the killings.
    “We thank them for the fact that they have rejected this. We are calling upon all communities in Jamaica to do the same. To reject harbouring criminals in their midst, reject making excuses (and) reject covering up for them. (By not doing so) they are doing themselves harm, they are doing all of us harm in Jamaica. They are harming the future of generations to come, they are harming the economy of the country, and they will never be any better off, (and) neither will we,” Dr. Baugh stressed.
    Colonel MacMillan said the policemen’s deaths were “totally unacceptable”, pledging that “I am going to be doing my very best to put an end to this (slayings).”
    “It is a very sad day. But what I found interesting was (that) the people from the community were up in arms against the action (by the gunmen) and this is a most encouraging sign,” he noted.
    The National Security Minister advised that the assistance of the Ministry and, by extension, the government, has been extended to the families, adding that the “police force has a welfare system, which will be looking after the normal procedures from here onwards.”
    Ms. Grange, who also has responsibility for women’s and gender affairs, made an impassioned appeal for criminals to desist from their actions.
    “It’s a sad… and dark moment in our lives, and I really want to see those dark moments being reduced. These particular murders have impacted on me. because I just imagined those officers, doing their duties, and walking into this yard and being ambushed. I can just imagine the fright. (and) surprise that took them. It says to me that this society has spread a generation that is heartless and cold, and this society has to take a good look at what it will continue to breed,” the Minister lamented.
    Noting that Constable Lawrence’s eight year old son, D’Jevani aspires to be a police officer, Ms. Grange pointed out that “being a policeman is like putting your life on the line for your country.”
    While acknowledging the situation, which obtained in the inner city communities, and the need for these to be addressed, Ms. Grange stressed that “killing and driving away those who want to help you is not going to help your situation.”
    “I am a product of the inner city communities (and) I feel that I know all of you. I am really appealing (to) all of you bad men out there, all (of) you gunmen, all of you ghetto youths, a lot of you know me. you’ve got to do better than that,” she implored.

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