We are being targeted – Paul’s Avenue resident
May 7, 2013

We are being targeted – Paul’s Avenue resident

One man believes that because of his place of residence, he and other members of that community are repeatedly targeted by the police.{{more}}

Paul’s Avenue resident Jawanza “Sanga” Fraser, who attended the first official street party for Carnival at Layou on May 4, along with a group of friends from Paul’s Avenue, two of whom were shot by police, wants the police and public to know they are not trouble makers. All they want to do is party.

The injured men: Odinga “Oogie” Williams and John “Creeps” Chandler, both 23 of Paul’s Avenue, sustained gunshot wounds to the right thigh and chin respectively during the activity, resulting in them being hospitalised.

According to a police report, the men allegedly threw stones and bottles at the police station in Layou and attacked members of the station and Rapid Response Unit (RRU), with Williams reportedly attempting to grab the officer’s firearm.

SEARCHLIGHT journeyed to the Male Surgical Ward of the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital on Sunday afternoon, but when we arrived, we were told by a member of the RRU that we were not allowed to speak to the injured men.

Fraser, who was also detained on Saturday by police and released the following day, told SEARCHLIGHT that he and his friends arrived in Layou shortly after 3 p.m. and began to party.

“Soon as we go in the band in the Cash Ville area close to the cemetery, and when the people them see we, they start to play the Skinny Fabulous tune, “Swarm de Town”.

That song, dedicated to the “Beehive Crew”, was sung by Gamal “Skinny Fabulous” Doyle in 2012. The Beehive Crew, of which Fraser and his friends are members, are said to be some of Fabulous’ biggest supporters.

Fraser said from the moment the song began playing, a police officer climbed on the truck and ordered that the song not be played.

“All of a sudden, the music stop and I hear people saying ‘Way do da police man dey?’… The police saying ‘Dem man in front dey’, which is we, ‘getting on too bad’. We ain’t been fighting, we just been partying…,” Fraser explained.

Fraser said they paid that no mind and continued partying. While doing so, he said two men were stationed in front of the truck that was playing the music, pushing revellers away, so to prevent injury from the moving vehicle.

“I assumed, if I was coming back towards the truck too much, they would push me, but then I feel a hand hold me and say ‘Boy, you walk up, walk up!’ and I tell he let go my hand that I could walk myself. Is the same officer that tell the people them to stop the music. I now want to know if he has something against me….,” Fraser continued.

Fraser said moments later, he saw police officers holding his brother.

“So, I asking now way dey lock up my brother for. Same time I see the same officer watch me and walked towards me with two Black Squad (RRU) and tell me, “Yuh lock up! alyo disrespect police..”

While being escorted to the police station, Fraser said he was repeatedly pushed violently by the officers.

“I like to party. Bee Hive is about partying for the Carnival. Everybody think is some crew thing and man at war. It’s not so. We just come to party.”

While at the station, Fraser said he was told he was arrested on inquiry.

“The man dem mek me sleep in the station whole night and up to today, not one officer questioned me or inquired about anything. They just let us go. We not in this. Police are supposed to protect and serve. We just here to party….,” Fraser added.

He added that he and his brother even parted small skirmishes that broke out during the caravan.

“I know the police going to come with a one-sided story, but I know they are not telling the truth. If we were really getting on bad, people from Layou would have glad the police locked us up to get we out of their Carnival, but instead, the public were booing them…

“It’s just because we from Paul’s Avenue why this always happening. We just love to free up ourselves at Carnival. We not looking to get into anything with people,” Fraser stated.

Another eyewitness who was on the truck said the Beehive members were observed partying when an officer came and told the DJ to stop playing the song with Beehive.

“Another artiste took the mic and started performing, when the police came back again and ordered the DJ to stop playing the song again,” the witness said.

She said it reached to a point where the DJ was told to take off the system.

“De guys weren’t fighting or nothing. The police just started wilding them up. One of the guys from Beehive apparently fell and when one of the other guys come and try help him up, the police shoot him in his foot…,” the witness said.

“They were just dancing. They weren’t doing anything bad.”

Up to press time, no charges had been laid against any of the men, who are still under police guard at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital.