Commissioner of Police brokers truce with rivals
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August 14, 2009
Commissioner of Police brokers truce with rivals

The episodes of sporadic gunfire and the senseless gang war that have been taking place between rivaling factions in the communities of Edinboro and Ottley Hall have come to an end. That’s what Commissioner of Police Keith Miller hopes anyway.{{more}}

In a bold initiative taken by the top cop on Wednesday this week, peace talks were held with members of the two communities, with all present agreeing to end the guerrilla type war that has been affecting both neighbourhoods in recent times.

Edinboro resident Jomo Brudy, 22, an X-ray Technician at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital, shook hands with rivals Kelroy Patterson, 22, and Junior Nash, 18, both of Ottley Hall, as an agreement was reached to live in peace. All three assured the Commissioner that they are willing to call a truce once the other side is genuine about the decision. “We ready to stop the war, once all you ready to stop,” Brudy, Patterson and Nash reiterated.

Miller told the media who witnessed the agreement at the Police Conference room that it was also his hope to gather the men from the Redemption Sharpes area who were recently shot by masked assailants during a birthday celebration. Miller said the men gave him the assurance the night before that they would be present at the meeting. However, none of the victims showed up. Miller said he was aware that something needed to be done to help the three communities and quickly. “I want to be the middle man in all of this…it is time we get away from these unnecessary rivalries. St Vincent is too small for that,” Miller asserted.

Before the handshakes were exchanged, accusations and cross talk were the focal point of the hour-long meeting. Brudy, who was a victim in a shooting incident that left Shereen Clouden dead on December 3, 2008, claimed that it was persons from Ottley Hall who again shot him the day after he gave evidence in Clouden’s murder matter at the Serious Offences Court. “After I done give evidence in the matter you know, I see them two and some others outside the court calling me informer and is the next day I get shoot,” Brudy stated. The youngster was shot in the groin area. On the occasion of the second shooting, he expressed the desire to have a licensed firearm to protect himself.

Brudy also explained that Nash, who is Patterson’s cousin, was charged for discharging a firearm at him earlier this year, but he decided not to give evidence in the matter. Brudy explained his decision was prompted by the fear since the threats on his life increased.

Miller said he hoped Brudy’s decision was noble and that he was not looking to take the law into his own hands and retaliate. As the accusations were hurled across the table, the tension increased.

Patterson, obviously the spokesperson for the Ottley Hall duo, said that it is almost impossible for them to register for the new Identity Cards because the registration is done close to a shop where Brudy and others from Edinboro reside. “We can’t even go over there to get we I.D, cause once we come round by them is war,” Patterson noted. Both Nash and Patterson asserted that much attention is not paid to the people of Ottley Hall and they are often looked down on. “It come like is only Edinboro them care ‘bout…we like nobody to them,” they stated.

Mention was even made of men hiding in the bushes and effecting ambushes at all hours of the night. Brudy, who was born and raised in Edinboro, said that he and his friends can’t even venture to the “Palace” club in their rival community without an altercation. However, Patterson, who was aggressive throughout the entire conference, accused Brudy of bragging to his friends about shooting people, a claim that Brudy vehemently denied.

The two Ottley Hall residents named Brudy and other Edinboro residents who they said are continually looking for trouble and have even gone to the extent of hiring Trinidadians to shoot them. “Is best you tell your South man (Trinidadian) dem go back way dem come from,” Patterson warned.

Brudy indicated that both men were only followers and that the problem does not lie with them. “Chief, the problem is not dem dey. They only following others. The problem is at the head of the fountain…is them who you have to talk to,” Brudy opined.

Both sides also expressed the desire to be able to walk the streets without having to look over their shoulders every time.

After letting both sides air their differences, Commissioner Miller said plans are already in place to hold consultations with members of both communities next Thursday, August 20. “Let’s hope this is the beginning to get rid of the unnecessary rivalry. It is unhealthy for our communities and it needs to stop now…Look at your ages. At that age, I was working on patrol trying to protect SVG,” Miller stated.

At the end of Vincy Mas last month, Miller said a decision was taken to beef up patrols in Redemption Sharpes, Edinboro and Ottley Hall, as those places were quickly becoming hot beds for violence.

The top cop also requested that Patterson receive counseling and professional help in order to curb his anger. It is Miller’s hope that he can look back on August 12, 2009, and know that it was the day that both communities settled their differences. “I would be disappointed from here on (if) this problem continues,”Miller ended.