Details surrounding the shooting were unclear up to last night, however, head of the St James police Senior Superintendent Egbert Parkinson, confirmed the incident.
Stephenson was recently selected as the vice-chairman of the People’s National Party executive for West Central St James.
"Several persons had to seek medical attention following the attack and up to the preparation of this post the owner/manager who was not present at the time of the assault was held from Sunday morning at the police station where he went to inquire what had happened, he is to go to court today to apply for bail on charges yet to be made public, apparently there are outstanding charges of other infractions before that were used to justify holding him overnight. The club which opened it’s doors only in the latter part of 2010 was to serve western Jamaica as persons there felt they had to journey too far westwards to central Jamaica and Kingston to get to parties was home to very good events so far and female impersonation shows. According to my sources many of the displaced persons who were beaten and gun butted in some instances were forced into the path of members of the public who were nearby at an event on a parallel road, men reportedly joined in the assault alongside the cops, several of them sustained blows and one popular party person’s face was severely bashed. Fortunately there were some amongst the public who did not support the assault in this latest homophobic incident which has come as a shock to everyone even to the area police as they were aware of the spot they made frequent patrols and had an agreement of sorts with the owner/manager to operate within the confines of the law specifically closing time of 2am or 4am where an extension was sought as the club is not near any residences to breach the Noise Abatement Act, it is surmised the cops came from elsewhere.
Several of the guys tried to run to the nearby hotel but were refused by the management the police arrived after following them, others hid where they could, others were flogged or beating mercilessly with batons. A security guard also alerted the cops to where some of the guys where hiding while the cops handed over several cross dressed persons to members of the public who also participated in the assault. A crowd had gathered who demanded the cops hand over those who they had in their possession at another location most of whom were young scared MSMs who never experienced this harrowing ordeal. The more experienced persons and divas knew what to do and did try to defend themselves by either verbally out maneuver the approaching bad agents or otherwise literally running and dodging the cops between cars and buildings nearby, the trouble with all of this was many of the patrons though from that section of the island were not familiar with the surroundings hence the running in circles with no proper place to hide themselves. The offending officers were also critical of the area police saying they were upholding slackness and battymen in the community."
UPDATE May 29 2014
PNP Facebook update
Kenley ‘Bebe’ Stephens rides a horse during Labour Day activities recently in West Central St James. See Mark Wignall on The confusing wedding of 'Bebe' and the PNP
Gleaner Editorial: In The Wake of Bebe
It is neither our intention to speak ill of the dead, nor to trespass on functions that are properly the responsibility of the court. But the murder this week in Montego Bay of Kenrick 'Bebe' Stephenson reminds us of the issue surrounding standards to which people in political leadership should be held, and raises serious questions that require answers from the governing People's National Party (PNP).
Indeed, the PNP's leader and Jamaica's prime minister, Portia Simpson Miller, often repeats her commitment to integrity in public life and declared at her inauguration in January 2012 that her administration would be intolerant of corruption. Prior to the general election of December 2011, Mrs Simpson Miller caused her party to establish an integrity commission, made up of leading citizens, to vet people who offered themselves as candidates for the party, to ensure that they were of good character, and whose past or current actions and/or behaviour would not bring the PNP into disrepute.
MESSAGE OF TRUST
The larger point, we assumed, was to send to the electorate a message of trust, that the people who represented the PNP in the Legislature could be depended upon to uphold the law and honestly execute the functions with which they were charged - whether in the Legislature or on the executive. We expect the same commitment from the PNP and its officers in all spheres of the organisation.
And that brings us to the issue of Kenrick Stephenson, who, without the rest of us paying attention, unfortunately, was weeks before his death, elected as vice-chairman of the party's West Central St James constituency organisation. The chairman is Sharon Ffolkes-Abrahams, an immigration and diaspora activist who relocated from Canada to contest the 2011 election.
We take those posts seriously. Including the one to which Mr Stephenson was elected. He would be expected to be an important standard-bearer for the PNP in the constituency, in his region and on the national stage, for a political party can only be as good as its constituent parts, and its constituency organisations, if it is serious, are the foundations upon which the national institution stands.
LOTTERY SCAM ALLEGATIONS
In 2012, Mr Stephenson, who, but for his death, would be an important standard-bearer for the PNP in St James and western Jamaica, was arrested by the police and accused of being a mastermind of what is commonly referred to in Jamaica as the lottery scam - that scheme through which mostly elderly Americans have been fleeced of scores of millions of dollars, and was the subject of a hearing by the US Senate. At its height, Julian Robinson had to travel to the US to smooth ruffled feathers and ward off sanctions against Jamaica.
That was not all. Mr Stephenson was also charged and fined for stealing electricity at his home and was arrested on a raft of other charges. At the time of his death, some of the cases against Mr Stephenson remained unresolved.
We, assuming that the PNP takes its rhetoric about integrity in public life seriously, would appreciate, even at this stage, to know on what basis Mr Stephenson was declared fit and proper to hold such a high post in the party, and what systems, if any, are in place to vet prospective office holders.
UPDATE June 23 2014