Funny And Framed - 'Mother' Of New Kingston Gays Says They Are Not To Be Blamed For Increase In Crime
Ryon Jones, Staff Reporter
They are being accused of being the main perpetrators of crime in the once almost idyllic New Kingston area, but the mainly homosexual men who live in the Shoemaker Gully say they are being framed.
New Kingston residents and the cops who patrol the area last week toldThe Sunday Gleaner that the increase in murders, shootings, robberies, assaults, house break-ins, car break-ins and larceny reported in the area coincides with the migration of a large group of homosexuals to the gully near Trafalgar Road.
But the so-called mother of the group, who goes by the name 'Thelma', last Friday denied the allegation and charged that most of the wrongdoings are committed by persons who visit New Kingston for short spells.
"I see it in the paper that we are responsible for most of the crime in New Kingston. Some of dem that do the crimes just come around, sleep and tek weh dem self; they don't live in the gully," the 30-year-old Thelma toldThe Sunday Gleaner during an interview on the bank of the gully.
BLEACHING CREAM THEFT
"Yu have man weh come amongst wi who have dem place, but just come and stay and do dem crime. Some of dem wi deh beside di gully and all si people a pass and grab dem phone, mi nah hide nothing. Like all me now, mi lie down a sleep fi go mek my own honest bread and man weh nuh live wid wi, but just come among wi mek trouble and all last night (Thursday) dem tek weh how much phone and my bleaching cream," alleged Thelma.
But the theft of skin-lightening products pales in comparison to crimes like murder, for which the police have accused at least one of the gay men, 'Pebbles' who live in the gully.
Thelma disputed that Jevon Francis, otherwise called 'Pebbles' or 'Trina', is responsible for the May 18 fatal stabbing.
"Mi a read inna di paper say a someone name Trina (Pebbles) do di killing, but is not she do di killing. Pebbles do whole heap a thieving and robbery, but a nuh she do di killing," declared Thelma, even as he admitted that it's a member of the group who committed the murder.
According to Thelma, the killer has claimed that there was no robbery involved as the killing resulted from a long-standing feud, "but me know say that is not so".
The St Andrew Central police have reported that between December 2013 and May this year, 45 major crimes have been reported in the New Kingston area, and most of these are being attributed to the gays residing in the gully also referred to as 'Gay Bridge'.
"We have carried out several operations in the days, but in the days, the group numbers about seven or eight homeless boys. At nights, the number grows considerably and among that group are some persons who use the diverse community as an umbrella to do crimes. If you move to them, you are being seen as anti this group," argued Deputy Superintendent Christopher Murdock, who is in charge of the New Kingston Police Post.
"Persons within the group would want to say that it's a handful of persons that are committing crimes, but this is not so. They have caused an increase in crimes as it relates to the stealing of smartphones, robbing persons at knifepoint, robbing persons under menace, and then using means to extort them by saying that they will call their wives and tell their wives that they came to seek sexual favours from them. These are some of the crimes that have been reported to us," added Murdock.
Thelma does not dispute that some among them are involved in wrongdoing, but he sought to put it in perspective.
"Nuffa dem hear bout it and see it on TV that here suh brand as a b—— man spot, and nuff a dem come out here and do what dem want to do and then want to trick di people dem," argued Thelma, as he defended the stealing from some of the clients of these gay men.
But residents say the menace by these men extends way beyond just 'punishing' those who try to deny them their earnings.
"All of New Kingston is affected by this brazen crime spree and action needs to be taken now. I'm very scared of the reports I'm getting about the many attacks on my neighbours," a member of the New Kingston Citizens' Association wrote in an email to The Sunday Gleaner.
"How can any decent, law-abiding community simply allow a band of men to take over and operate illegally from a section of the road?"
But according to Thelma, this is a short-term arrangement for many of the men.
"In the next five years, I don't plan to be on the road; maybe even migrate. I don't have anywhere to go right now, because if mi go town people a buss shot after mi, because when mi walk, mi come in like the queen of town," he said. "So I want to migrate and try to get asylum somewhere."
Great health risk
He accepted that the occupants of the gully are putting themselves at great health risk, as they defecate, eat and sleep in proximity to each other.
However, Town Clerk Robert Hill told The Sunday Gleaner that steps are being taken to create somewhere to house these persons who have made the gully their home.
"We are trying to come up with some sort of social-intervention policy in partnership with other places like (Jamaica) AIDS Support and a United Nations agency, to kind of redirect the type of antisocial behaviour and see if we can now assist in finding land on which a centre may be built to offer counselling and other divergent services," said Hill.
Homeless MSM to feel the pinch as JASL issues ultimatum
It was only in June as the JFJ/CVCC funded sex education fiasco was in full swing I asked: Why did CVCC & JFJ not Fund a Project/Home for Homeless LGBT Youth in New Kingston instead of the Children’s Home Fiasco that now obtains?
These personalities on these boards and management committees obviously do not care about these homeless men more so than parading them as victims as the clashing imperatives of the differing agencies cause a lack of pro-activity and priority in frontline responses to such matters even as more displacements continue to add to the numbers.
Those persons who do open up their homes and let in persons despite the risks are to be commended even without any financial or logistical help from powerful advocates and NGOs which shows we may not need these folks after all. I can attest to the difficulties in offering shelter and the fallouts but only kindness matter I guess as singer Jewel says.
see: Community based crisis sheltering is still an option for the displaced
NEVER FORGET this in 2013:
Please check the Homeless MSM tab immediately below for a complete list of posts from 2009 on the issue and from GLBTQ Jamaica HERE also see:
Office of the Children's Advocate, OCA's Child Justice Guidelines recognises discrimination/sexual orientation but
And we continue to reap the world-wind for not addressing homelessness when it was manageable
The Public’s separation of homo-negativity and homeless LGBT welfare issues
More MSM Homelessness Issues while agencies shift responsibilities
Children’s Advocacy & LGBT Agencies inconsistent approach to Homeless MSM Youth
JFLAG’S NEEDS TO ACCEPT SOME RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE TRAFALGAR MURDERS ….. HOMELESSNESS NOT PROPERLY ADDRESSED
Sigh! will there ever be some genuine relief to our displaced brethren and not tokenism for a change?
Peace and tolerance