Many persons were overheard expressing disappointment and shock at the guilty verdict handed down in the case against Jamaican reggae superstar Buju Banton whose real name is Mark Myrie.
"Lawd mi can't believe it," one woman wailed when she heard the news. "Dem really set him up," another woman shouted. A policeman in analysing the case said he was not shocked by the verdict.
"If Buju got away, it would just be pure luck or the jury felt sorry for him," the policeman said.
"People are saying all sorts of thing that is set them set up Buju, but to tell you the truth, is Buju set up himself," the police said, to some of his colleagues.
"Now, put yourself in Buju's position. He did not know the informant before and they began talking about music and other stuff. The topic reached drugs, particularly, cocaine. Now, if you, as Buju, even run up your mouth and say all sorts of things, when it comes down to the final analysis, how Buju come to be tasting cocaine in a warehouse in the United States? We are sorry for Buju, but we must be objective at the same time," the policeman said.
"You are right, we must look at the case in an objective way and put blame where it belongs", one of his colleagues said.
The truth is and most people might no like to hear the truth is that Buju put himself in his predicament. People have been blaming the informant, but, when Buju went to the warehouse and saw the cocaine, if he were not serious about the deal, he should have said he was only joking, he was not involved in drugs, then he could not be arrested and charged," the policeman emphasised.
A policeman who was at first expressing sympathy for Buju said he agreed Buju was to be blamed for the situation he was now in. He explained that Buju could not say the informant was telling lies when he said Buju tasted the cocaine because Buju was video-recorded tasting the cocaine and making comments and that was shown to the jury.
"Now tell me, if someone asks me if I know where they can get ganja or cocaine to buy and I go around trying to assist the person to purchase the stuff and it turns out that the person I am assisting is an undercover policeman, then if I am arrested and charged it would be my fault.
In the first place, I know that buying cocaine or ganja and being in possession of them is a criminal offence so how could I go about assisting someone to get the stuff? he queried.
"All Buju had to do was to walk away when he saw the cocaine and say mister, I do not deal in drugs," the policeman said.
Although Buju is convicted and will face prison term, he has the right to appeal and many people are hoping he will be freed when he appeals.
I cannot understand why so many people continue to display such blatant hypocrisy in their continued support for Buju. Most of those who support him continue to think that he was set up by certain interest groups. Few consider the possibility that he is actually guilty.
Unlike Jamaica, the American justice system, with all of its imperfections, does work. We need to grow up. Justice must be for all, including reggae stars like Buju.
Michael A Dingwall