Here we are again this old familiar place as the homeless MSM in New Kingston makes news again for all the wrong reasons as they continue to be left out in the cold by uncaring agencies and those who choose tokenism over serious interventions to help the men recover to some semblance of regularity in their lives. A day after Homeless Awareness Month come to think of it and now this.
THE men, exhausted from partying all night, lay on makeshift beds in the gully that cuts beneath Trafalgar Road in New Kingston — dead to the police officers around them.
Commanding officer Christopher Murdoch lowered a ladder in the gully and led three of his men in. The stench overpowering.
A high-heeled boot lay at the edge of the gully, inches from a make-up kit and a piece of silver costume jewellery.
Inside the gully, curtains served as a temporary wall on one side. As eyes adjusted to the dark, men clad in women's clothing, blonde wigs, eyelids heavy with false lashes, acrylic fingernails and 'bleached' faces could be seen sprawled, fast asleep.
Murdoch shouted instructions for the men to get up, but they didn't budge and had to be jerked awake.
At the end of the one-hour operation, which started at midday, eight homosexuals believed to be involved in a series of robberies in the New Kingston area were taken into custody and transported to the Half-Way-Tree Police Station.
A number of stolen items were recovered, the police said in a release hours after the raid.
Additionally, the release listed five homosexual men — who the police said frequent New Kingston — as persons of interest in a number of robberies.
The men are known only by the aliases: 'Marlene Malaboo-Forte', 'Michelle', 'Pebbles', 'Goodas', and 'Bat Man'.
The operation was conducted by a police team from the New Kingston Police Post, the St Andrew Central Division, and Delta Special Operations on Antigua and Trafalgar roads — across from the NCB Atrium — and culminated on Dumfries and Ruthven roads.
The raids were met with howls of approval from passing motorists and pedestrians, who said that the men had been a nuisance and should have been long been removed.
"Dem rob people like wow out here a night time," said one onlooker, obviously annoyed.
As the police took the men out of the gully, which runs along Trafalgar Road, a man came asking the police if his brother was among the lot of gay men. He was not.
Another man, who said he was a teacher, queried whether one of his former students was among the alleged offenders.
"I hope you are not in there!" shouted the man, as he called out the boy's name.
"He's a former student who left high school with subjects and come get involved in this," the man explained.
Commandant Murdoch, in turn, asked whether the student was present.
The student, too, was not there.
The men were led, one after the othe,r up the ladder, handcuffed, and placed in the back of a waiting police van.
"Come 'Goodie'," said a female police officer as she helped one of the men out of the gully.
"Weh you a draw mi so fah?" asked the young man as the female officer held him by his filthy-looking shirt.
"You're quicker than me," the policewoman responded.
The men hid their faces as they were taken out of the gully and placed in the van. One warned the police against burning his personal items, which included female clothing.
The pointing of a television camera at the men in the police van sparked a protest. "Turn off the camera now, nuh!" one of the detained men shouted.
Another started wagging his tongue while being recorded. "Why you nuh come closer mek me spit ina de camera?" he taunted the cameraman.
"Why you nuh do it from there?" the cameraman shot back. "Please, mi a beg yuh!"
"The cold (spit) nah go get fi damage it," the remanded man said, before the cameraman walked off.
The men were then whisked away to the police station.
Commandant Murdoch promised that more operations would follow.
"We will continue to carry out these snap operations to find those who are robbing people in the New Kingston area," Murdoch told the Jamaica Observer.
TVJ carried the raid:
and A claim on How to help homeless LGBT Jamaicans ......
Concerns for HIV prevalence rate in MSM in Jamaica & connected matters
UPDATE from 76crimes site more deceptive crisis reporting but some members of the public have caught on to the trick, case in point this comment:
see the article here: Jamaican police seize, burn donations to LGBT youths
More deceptive crisis reporting to get attention on a matter that has been around for so many years when these same opportunists were consulted they turned their backs yet it is now some activists who turned up their noses at the very group see them?
what a convenient distraction from the tolerance ad case and the fact that it was thrown out of the supreme court revealing some issues that some do not want the scrutiny searchlight to be turned on to, case in point the amendment of the plead in the middle of the trial knowing fully well that the PBCJ in particular does not take paid ads by virtue of section 4 of the act that brought it into being and also the fact that the lawyers for all three stations intend to apply for costs to be awarded to them and paid by the claimant photographed above.
Not all of us can be fooled or diverted.
Check out this flashback podcast/commentary to 2012 where a television interview with persons from the NGO claiming to help homeless MSM was poorly executed:
Peace and tolerance