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Cops move to soothe anger in 'Dunkirk'

BY KARYL WALKER Editor — Crime/Court Desk walkerk@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, February 19, 2014    

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DETERMINED to prevent any further escalation of violence in the East Kingston community of McKintyre Villa, popularly called 'Dunkirk', the police have embarked on a community policing initiative to soothe residents' anger over last Friday's murder of a 17-month-old boy and a man.

The child has been identified as Trejaun 'Treasure' Harvey.

A man and a woman, shot in an apparent act of reprisal, are now listed as being in serious but stable condition in hospital.

Head of the East Kingston Police Division, Superintendent Arthur Brown, said all efforts would be employed to ensure peace reigns and law and order is maintained.

"We are planning a walk through the entire community on Sunday. The community was peaceful for months, but unfortunately this happened and the little boy lost his life," Brown said.

Inspector Tomielee Chambers, who heads the East Kingston Community Safety and Security Branch, said that a meeting is scheduled with residents from all sections of the community after the walk-through on Sunday.

She said the police have enlisted the assistance of their Chaplaincy Unit and students from Northern Caribbean University who will act as grief counsellors.

Residents said the violence erupted after men from Bryden Street went to purchase ganja in the Banana Street area and a dispute developed. A gun was drawn and the men from Bryden Street retreated and promised to return.

The men, the residents said, remained true to their word and came back heavily armed and started firing wildly into a crowd of Valentine's Day party revellers.

The child and the man were killed on the spot, metres from each other.

The death of the child drew the wrath of men from Banana Street, who kicked in a door to a house at Bryden Street and attempted to kill a two-month-old child in revenge.

They were thwarted by the child's father who arrived on the scene and stood between his child and the gunmen who opened fire, hitting him. The child's mother was also shot as she tried to escape.

The baby was not hurt.

"Two persons have been taken into custody in connection with the violence. We believe they can assist us in our investigation," Brown said.

Yesterday, police presence was increased in 'Dunkirk', a heavily populated and often bustling community.

However, yesterday, the community resembled a ghost town, with a few children, women and elderly people visible. The few young men who were seen trudged slowly by an area where the police had gathered.

Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of Area Four George Quallo led a team of cops on a walk-through and vowed to nab the killer of the child.

"I am not doing this because of what my job details. I am taking this very seriously. When you do something like this to a child, 17 months old, there can be no safe haven. Anywhere you are, we will find you," Quallo said.

The East Kingston police are also urging the common-law husband of 35-year-old Karen Rainford to make himself available to them.

Rainford was beheaded in Hamstead Park, popularly called 'Back Bush', on the weekend.

Residents reported hearing cries for help coming from the home the couple occupied and moments later Rainford's headless body was found near her home.

Her head was found in bushes about 200 metres from where her body was found.

Her death has left six children motherless.

"We would love to see him," Brown said of the slain woman's common-law husband.

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