News

Cabbies protest as men shot close to police station

BY RENAE DIXON Sunday Observer reporter dixonr@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, December 08, 2013    

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TAXI operators and residents in Ocho Rios on Friday expressed anger that no police personnel were present in the bus park where two men were shot and injured by gunmen on Friday afternoon.

Taxi operators openly hurled accusations at the police who, they said, should have been maintaining a presence in the area.

The taxi operators used their cars to block a section of the Ocho Rios bypass, after the two men were shot and injured in the crowded facility.

The operators said that they do not feel safe in the facility and have called on the authorities to address their concerns.

Two gunmen reportedly entered the park and fired on the men.

Bystanders theorise robbery as the motive, as one of the gunmen reportedly asked one of those shot for a bag before shooting him.

The perpetrators reportedly left the park on foot.

"Dem never run, a walk dem walk," one angry taxi operator stated.

The injured men have since been hospitalised and were said to be in stable condition.

Taxi operators parked their vehicles in the roadway along the bypass creating a pile-up of traffic for some time, before the police managed to get them to remove their vehicles.

The drivers, who expressed concern about the bus park, said that if their concerns are not addressed by January, they would stage a more elaborate protest.

The operators said that the park needs to be properly enclosed, with adequate shelter for passengers. They also called for better lighting in the facility, which opens up to 8:00 pm on weekdays and 9:00 on weekends.

The operators said that they want the St Ann Parish Council to do more to improve the condition of the park and for the police to maintain a strong presence daily at the facility.

"January morning, if the park no address, a bigger demonstration," one taxi driver stated.

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