Arrest of JLP councillor shocks Brown's Town residents

BY KIMONE FRANCIS
Senior staff reporter
francisk@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, October 10, 2019

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A predawn raid by police on the home of Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) Councillor Kim Brown Lawrence yesterday sent shock waves throughout Brown's Town here in St Ann.

Brown Lawrence has since been charged with conspiracy to defraud and possession of criminal property.

The charges followed months of corruption investigation involving former Education Minister Ruel Reid, and president of the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU) Fritz Pinnock, who were yesterday also taken into police custody.

Several residents of Brown's Town, the division represented by Brown Lawrence in the St Ann Municipal Corporation, expressed shock after learning that the councillor and former JLP caretaker candidate for St Ann North Western Reid were detained by the police.

Brown Lawrence, was taken into custody shortly after 5:00 am.

The news rendered several people in the town speechless, with some questioning the circumstances surrounding Brown Lawrence and Reid's arrest.

“Wah yuh seh? Unuh a hear this? Dem seh dem lock up Kim and Ruel,” a taxi operator shouted to those who would listen.

“That girl deh name Kim work. Mi a tell you she work hard. Mi sorry that reach her star. A wah dem seh she do?” the taxi operator, who asked not to be photographed, questioned.

Brown Lawrence's one-storey home in the community remained closed with no one in sight when the Jamaica Observer arrived.

Neighbours appeared puzzled when the newspaper inquired about the morning's activities, only stating that no one was home.

It was the same for former Member of Parliament for St Ann North Western Othneil Lawrence whose home, in Runaway Bay in the parish, was also raided.

The gate to the premises was chained when the Observer arrived.

An overturned hassock and ravaged trash can were the only signs that something was amiss.

Lawrence, however, was not detained.

Neighbours remained tight-lipped, and were equally hesitant to identify Lawrence's home.

Metres down the hill, residents indicated that several police officers had swooped down on the premises bagging items, but only for a short while.

“Mi nuh know wah them seh them do, but if them do something wrong them must face the crime,” a man, who overheard the conversation at the town centre, chimed in.

“A long time dem seh dem a investigate so mi waah see what going happen now. Mi doubt nothing a come of it still but mek wi see,” the man added.

Another man, who said he has, in the past, refrained from commenting on politics, suggested that the chips should fall where they may.

“We can only hope seh a nuh suh it go but if something go so, then everybody involved must answer,” he said.


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