Behind the latest Park Lane bloodlettingWednesday, July 28, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica — The community of Park Lane, which runs off Red Hills Road in Kingston 8, has long been under the gun and a hotbed for violence.
Another round of multiple killings and shooting occurred in the community last Saturday when gunmen attacked and killed 29-year-old Kemonie White, otherwise called 'Shella', and 27-year-old Rushane White, otherwise called 'Barber,' both of Park Lane, and 27-year-old Alex Henry, otherwise called 'Tecta,' and shot injured four other people.
The killings and shooting manifested days after the abduction of a prominent male resident of the community by men posing as police. The resident, identified by residents only by his alias Kishi, has not been seen or heard from since and the police are now probing the abduction and treating it as a missing person case.
The police have reported that they have no knowledge of any operation to take Kishi into custody and say their investigations have traced the license plate number furnished by the residents to an address in Clarendon.
OBSERVER ONLINE sources on the ground say this latest round of violence is rooted in a turf war between factions based in the community.
“One faction is aligned to a man (name withheld) who is in prison who say him must run the Lane and another faction backing (another man whose name has also been withheld). Two of them want to be the big man and is that cause the war,” a concerned resident told OBSERVER ONLINE.
Park Lane is nestled in the North Central St Andrew constituency of Member of Parliament, Karl Samuda, and is fiercely loyal to the ruling Jamaica Labour Party. It is sandwiched by 100 Lane to the east, Pennant Terrace to the west and north and the arterial Red Hills Road to the south.
The community is made up of a single main lane with several side roads and tracks leading off. It is home to more than 1,000 people.
Murder, maiming and despair are a way of life there and many of the residents are almost immune to violence.
“This is Park Lane, things run cool for a while but we can't get too comfortable because either we war with people outside or we war among we self. War is a way of life,” the resident said.
Saturday's attack occurred at a section of the community that is normally heavily trafficked. It is a square of some sorts. The site is metres away from the main entrance into the community off Red Hills Road close to an intersection.
“People are always gathered there. Gambling go on and some shops are there too. A lot of children can be playing right there too. Is a miracle more people don't get hurt,” the resident said.
The battle for 'Donship' of Park Lane is always brutal as criminal elements are lured by the spoils to be garnered from an extortion racket that has been the bane of businesses in the area for decades. Several men have held the title of Don in the community, including men known as 'Joe Dog' and 'Bookie Steve' but both were killed by internal factions.
The recent exodus of residents from Park Lane after Saturday is but the latest in a string of such incidents.
The security forces have been maintaining a heavy presence in the community in order to ward off any further violence and secure the safety of those residents who have chosen to remain.
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