‘Leave it to the police’ - MP says social-media speculation could worsen Grants Pen violence

September 26, 2023
Police investigators at the scene of Sunday’s triple murder in Grants Pen, St Andrew.
Police investigators at the scene of Sunday’s triple murder in Grants Pen, St Andrew.

Member of Parliament (MP) for St Andrew North East, Delroy Chuck, says he is imploring social media bloggers and advocates to refrain from speculating about the flare-up of violence in Grants Pen, as their opinions will only heighten the conflict.

"We must be careful about the speculations and assignment of blame for what is happening, because this can only create further volatility. I urge the various social media advocates to leave it to the police to investigate, gather the information and charge whoever should be charged. We expect that, if the perpetrators are charged, then justice will be done," the MP said.

Bloodshed blanketed Grants Pen on the weekend and saw the death of four of its residents. On Friday night, David Clarke, brother of dancehall artiste Jahshii, was shot and killed. On Sunday, gunmen shot three men along Shortwood Lane. Prior to those murders, businessman Peter Greene was shot dead outside of his business place in the community. In June, Omar 'Romie' Wright was also killed by gunmen. It is unclear if any of the murders were related.

The killings have left residents cowering in fear, but Chuck said he is trusting that the police will arrest the violence producers very soon.

"There is no doubt that, in the recent months, there have been a few incidents which may have caused restlessness within the area, but, to the best of my knowledge, the police are aware of what is happening and they are doing their investigations. I expect that, once the perpetrators are identified and taken into custody, then the area will return to its normal, calm and harmonious state. I can only hope it will be much sooner rather than later," he said.

Once a war-torn inner-city community, Grants Pen began rewriting its own history in the mid-2000s when residents joined hands with the police, political representatives and other interest groups to lay its fearsome chapter to rest. Chuck said that he is in talks with members of the community police management group to restart their regular meetings with residents.

"Due to the calm over the past many years, it has not really been meeting, because of the harmony that was in the area. I have asked the person who usually chairs it to get back all the stakeholders together, so we can resume the regular meetings with the police to figure out how peace and calm can be restored and sustained," Chuck said.

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