The enemy that hugs usSunday, April 11, 2021
The recent slaying of young Khanice Jackson in Portmore is a crime that highlights the horror of murder.
This because it is one that differs from the usual gangster-killing-gangster or gangster-killing-gangsters' family, etc.
Now, at least 20 per cent of Jamaica's murder victims are innocent persons like Khanice. However, the press and her own family took the time and effort to ensure this was just not another anonymous death of a useful person by a useless thug.
I admired the family's efforts and tenacity. I, in fact, saw many things in this tragedy that I admired.
The Portmore Criminal Investigations Bureau (CIB) literally dived into it, from its leadership to its most junior rank. I recall one night at 2:00 am I saw a female officer from the registry, which closes at 5:00 pm, still there in case she was needed. Eventually, she was.
I saw the most senior ranks in the unit carrying out tasks usually done by junior ranks. I saw men my age in garbage bins five feet tall, digging for evidence beside maggots that seemed our age. They poured it into this case way beyond the expectation of duty because they, like you and me, are horrified at the death of an innocent.
Maybe because we see our own children, sisters, and mothers as possible victims.
I admired the press and its relentless efforts to engage the public. I saw it recently in the abduction of another woman. I would like to see it more often.
The sad reality is that this, like domestic murders, is almost totally non-preventable by law enforcement.
Although this is not your typical domestic murder case — because victim and offender are not relatives or neighbours — it is very similar because both parties knew each other and would spend time in the same space often; that being the vehicle that carried the young lady to work.
This is the type of murder that cannot be prevented by increased policing. Similarly, domestic murders. It is almost impossible for law enforcement to assist you unless the assistance is requested before the tragedy occurs.
Missing persons, contrary to popular opinion, hardly ever end up dead. It happens less than five per cent of the time. The processes that are mandated have been improved long ago and are in keeping with world standards.
In this case, Khanice was dead long before she was reported missing.
Changing protocols is not the answer. There is literally nothing the system can do to prevent this type of crime. That is why this murder is so frightening.
I would have allowed my daughter to travel with this murderer. He is my age and looks harmless; he is not the typical thug who kills in our country. However, my daughter is a black belt and would likely have beaten this coward into a human rights office. Which brings me to my next point.
We need to ensure that women are trained to defend themselves from this type of evil, but I will approach this issue nearer to the end of this article. So, back to the horrors of domestic murder, the most common being spouses, mainly men, killing women.
This is preventable only by the victim and only if there are prior steps taken when the demon is exposed.
Murder is rarely the first and only indication of likely violence. There is physical contact first. This is where you need to involve the police. We have cells fit for animals and we have space for the coward who just hit you.
We have women judges that I am more afraid of than wanted men. Let them into the equation. Let your spouse go and tell one of our women magistrates “anything a anything” ... then they can see the power of justice's “ears box”.
In cases like Khanice's, where there were literally no signs that she was in mortal danger, it becomes really hard to suggest a preventable. So the only answer is to ensure that our women are put in a position that accommodates their size and strength issues.
There are a few things we could do.
It is currently a breach of the law for anyone to carry a knife in a public place on their person. Maybe we could adjust that law in relation to women.
We could make their ownership of firearms easier, this by fast-tracking female firearm applications or even offering duty-free concessions to female gun owners.
We also need to become more brutal with our treatment of men who commit violence against women. Castration of persons convicted of rape more than once. Mandatory jail time for domestic violence against women.
Sounds barbaric? Well, we are barbaric! We kill more than almost anybody in any country in the world. We do this every year. Our reaction must also be barbaric, but put through the proper process. Let us be the only country in the Western Hemisphere that performs public castration.
The tragedy of that day is a reality faced by over 1,000 families a year in our country.
Murder is not acceptable as a national culture. It was not acceptable with Khanice, and it is not acceptable to the persons who will die on Sunday before this column is read.
Khanice's murder was not preventable, but there are many that are. Let us approach the deaths of innocent people the same way her family did.
Then and only then will it cease to be a culture and an act so easily engaged in by one coward against a helpless victim.
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