Another case of alleged police harassment has come to my ears and that of concerned persons as well as an incident on the weekend raises the issues, increased vigilance by some of the regular party attendees has resulted in a rebuff of such advances by cops in Kingston predominantly, Saturday night into Sunday morning on at least two separate occasions in the Constant Spring area a set of plain clothed cops in a private motor car with private plates allegedly stopped persons returning from an event further in the hills, one such incident is highlighted here.
The three men (none in uniform) who are known to some of the community members as they have been seen before at or near LGBT parties and have sought to enact the Noise Abatement Act supposedly to turn of the sound systems at previous events were said to have been attempting to shakedown persons for cash bribes under pain of some exposure of their sexual orientation of pressure on the targeted individuals as in their eyes they are suspected to be involved in illegal activities namely lotto scamming. The belief that many gay young men with affluent lifestyles are involved in such a practice is still prominent it seems even years after the controversy surrounding one Superintendent Fitz Bailey’s trope on the matter where he had to withdraw and an apology from his superior the then Police Commissioner for generalizing the MSM community as criminals even before providing the proof in order to defuse the backlash.
In this recent matter at around four in the morning the set up was arranged as a sting operation just by the Plaza by Constant Spring heading southwards nearing the Burger King store and gas station, unfortunately the affected persons did not capture the license numbers of both the main car (a white Toyota Corrolla Kingfish) and a suspected secondary motor vehicle parked adjacent to the scene, the cops reportedly hinted that they “knew” the men and in Jamaican parlance demanded what they could do for them? Which is a precursor to a shakedown or demand for a bribe of some sorts. A similar occurrence took place in March my last appearance at an event in Stony Hill as well where I was reliably informed that a cordon and search was set up along Stony Hill Road around four in the morning as well and persons were covertly coerced into avoiding tickets for expired licences, marijuana possession and alleged reckless driving.
Apparently previous success by such rogue cops have driven them to continue the practice but I am not surprised as for my eighteen years plus in the LGBT party circuit I have seen the changing but constant practice of cops attempting shakedowns on either promoters, patrons or just LGBT persons profiled in public or at cordons or traffic stops. The most public case in terms of shakedown in recent times was mentioned in court only recently in March, a case coming from January 2014, two men who were allegedly caught in a “compromising position” in a car along the a Portmore stretch of road in (Hellshire) were imposed upon to bribe the three officers at the time, a sum of some $17,000 was withdrawn from an ATM out of a total of $500, 000.00 that was demanded, the matter was reported to the corruption branch after the cash hand over and conversation was secretly recorded by one the parties involved and presented as evidence, the cops were caught in a sting operation and the Director of Public Prosecution they accused cops be arrested and charged. They were Corporal Tyrone Henry, Constables Lamore Small and Grace-Ann Williams who are charged with soliciting money.
see more: Cops allegedly shaking down homosexuals case again
I can recall the accusations as well of cops exposing persons via a 2007 party DVD that was supposedly collected as evidence in a lotto scamming case in western Jamaica but ended up on the streets sold by the bootleg DVD vendors which subsequently led to the spiralling of displaced MSM/Trans persons in that part of the island hence spreading to Kingston afterwards to now with the large numbers to include persons who showed up in that private DVD being attacked or killed in Montego Bay.
This present matter though ended in a shouting match between the parties as the men refused to give into the subtle prodding of the alleged rogue cops who left in a huff with tyres screeching and tempers flaring by the targeted parties. I have advised the parties involved to try to employ the tactics used in the Portmore two case mentioned above, always try to capture data or proof but do not try to win the fight or argument but to get out of the situation as delicately as possible, a point that I also brought home in my facilitation of a session on Safety and engaging the police during the Aphrodite’s P.R.I.D.E Jamaica’s Seismic project for young TBLG persons in March 2014. Many persons still do not understand how to navigate such situations out there as corrupt cops try to enrich themselves using state power in the process.
Peace and tolerance