Newsmaker… Week: Views on killings of three taxi males in at some point

This week’s featured improvement as Newsmaker of the Week simply ended is common outlook on the capturing deaths of three taxi operators in separate incidents, two in Portmore, St Catherine, and the opposite within the Corporate Area, final Wednesday.

Despite efforts by the safety forces to curtail violent crimes throughout the nation, over 400 Jamaicans have been killed to date this 12 months, although the homicide figures typically stay under final 12 months’s numbers.

Yet, the killings stay barbaric in nature, as seen with the murders of the three taxi operators that evoked a variety of discussions on the potential motives behind the prison acts.

The deceased are Kadeen Jones, 37, who was killed by unknown assailant(s) whereas standing on Granville Road in his Portmore group; 43-year-old Mark Perry of a Southborough, Portmore tackle, who was killed in Independence City by a pillion rider from a motorbike.

Also killed on Wednesday was 32-year-old Jason McCauseland of Bronx Close, Spanish Town in St Catherine, who was shot lifeless on Studio One Boulevard within the Corporate Area.

Though the police have kept away from giving any motive or motives for the general public killings of the transport operators, hypothesis stays rife as to the components that have been behind the violent assaults.

One idea being peddled by social media customers is that extortionists might be utilizing the murders to ship an ominous warning to move operators, whereas others contended that it might be an act of reprisal, as some transport operators are believed to be members of the prison underworld.

Amid these views on social media, President of the Transport Operators’ Development Sustainable Services (TODSS), Egeton Newman, described the violent assaults towards taxi operators as “getting from dangerous to worse”.

In the primary incident involving Perry was on the intersection of Passage Fort Drive and Independence City at about 9:15 am on Wednesday, armed males drove up on a motorbike.

The pillion rider acquired off the cycle and opened gunfire at Perry earlier than the lads escaped from the scene.

Perry was taken to hospital, the place he was pronounced lifeless.

The second deadly capturing incident occurred in Waterford simply hours after Perry’s killing, and resulted in Jones’ loss of life. The latter was reportedly standing on Granville Road in his Portmore group, when he was shot lifeless by unknown assailant(s).

In reacting to Perry’s homicide on Wednesday, Newman condemned the capturing.

“This is the 17th transport operator who has either got shot, killed, or abducted since the start of the year. This is serious and the Government doesn’t recognise us, and we are seen as easy prey by criminal elements,” mentioned Newman. 

Egeton Newman

He mentioned it was the third capturing incident involving a taxi operator inside three weeks. That quantity has since moved to 5 with Jones and McCauseland’s killings afterward Wednesday.

Reports from the police are that two males on a motorbike drove up at about 8:10 pm, and the pillion rider opened fireplace at McCauseland.

The police have been summoned and the sufferer he was taken to hospital, the place he was pronounced lifeless.

Newman had earlier mentioned there have been 39 deaths within the transport sector from violent incidents final 12 months.

With the spate of killings this week affecting the transport sector, Newman inspired taxi operators to “watch your house”.

Further, he share that, “What I am saying to transport operators on a whole, is to observe who they are carrying and their surroundings.

“Don’t rush for passengers, however look out for what is occurring round you,” he added.

The TODSS president also warned taxi operators to keep an eye out for gunmen who are now using motorcycles to carry out their heinous crimes.

Newman also made a call for the Government to establish better parking facilities, which he said should be retrofitted with police posts, for taxi operators locally. This, he claimed, would help to ensure the safety of the transport operators.

In weighing in on the three killings of taxi operators this week, social media users made the usual calls as with any surge in crime, for the Government to do more to contain the crime monster.

However, the Government’s use of its main crime-fighting tool, the states of emergency (SOE), is yet to be decided by the Court of Appeal, which is to decide whether its continued use is unconstitutional, as has been being posited by those opposing the use of the security measure, and was ruled as such by a single High Court judge.

Still, the Government and the security forces were being called upon to act more strategically, despite the police force being adamant that its thrust to get guns, gangs and wanted men, as well as its social media campaign, have been reaping success.

A Facebook user calling for the state to act now was Christopher Isaacs. He opined that, “Apparently the criminals haven’t met their goal, and are swiftly upping the numbers of murders and shootings. The authorities too… haven’t determined to… improve current safety measures.

“It’s disheartening to read of regular idiotic and multiple killings. Our sixtyate (60th) year of Independence is coming up and there is no way that a celebration will be able to take place under this murderous mayhem,” he continued.

“The Government and the police need to get desperate and act accordingly to cauterise this. There is simply a need for more police and policing. We all know that it takes time to recruit, there we need to do the next best thing. Go to the private (security force) for help. Have them allow members of their security forces to join the local constabulary and saturate the streets,” Isaacs wrote.

A typical main taxi parking surroundings in Jamaica.

“Clearly crime and criminality strive where there’s an absence of the police and soldiers.”

In analysing the state of the island’s public transport sector, particularly in relation to taxi operators and the murders of three of their members this week, Audrey Phillip’s famous that, “Driving a taxi comes with some serious risks, and many drivers experience some form of assault or robbery on the job.”

Continuing, the Facebook person mentioned: “It is one of the risky jobs that we often overlook and the dangers that taxi drivers are exposed to on a daily basis, especially in this hostile and dangerous environment.”

It is towards that background why Phillips mentioned it’s “very important” for drivers to be taught and perceive fundamental security tips about find out how to stop theft and acts of violence. 

“While some customers might be aggressive or use provocative language, it’s best to not engage them, if possible,” she suggested.

“Taxi drivers should not chase after fare evaders, should not resist a robbery,  should let robbers take their money, should not accept passengers who cannot provide a destination, should notify the dispatcher or another driver immediately if passengers change destinations once they’re in the taxi, and if driving to certain areas that (make the drivers) feel potentially unsafe. 

“Driving a taxi at this time is an enormous, large danger. We usually criticise them, however taxi drivers are a few of our unsung heroes who we frequently overlook,” Phillips declared.

But not all Facebook users agreed with the kind words that were being directed t0 the island’s transport operators in general.

Man InThe Hillz wrote: “Just a few taxi males ah undercover gunman, (and/or) getaway drivers and murderers too. Condolences, nevertheless.”

Shanzii Gordon, in agreeing with that sentiment, shared that, “Plenty of taxi males are gunmen or related to gunmen, and that is reality. Nothing about being preyed on, they’re simply simpler targets to get to.”

United Portmore ventured down the same route, commenting that: “Nuff taxi man a prison an(d) gunman, them combine up in a nuff wrongdoings, suh u by no means can inform.”

Amid that theory, Facebook user, RichBoss Clemmings, called for taxi operators to be armed.

“Taxi man ought to get weapons too,” he commented.

However, Adrian Watson, another social media user, disagreed with that suggestion.

In stating his position, Watson said, “That will not assist in the event that they even get a gun, bcuz (as a result of) typically you dnt kno who’s gonna shoot you, it is a case of who squeeze the set off first.”

Likewise, Kayon McGregor disagreed with Clemmings’ view.

“Rich Boss Clemmings, you’ve got to be kidding. Rather a lot a taxi males are hardcore murderers,” she wrote without providing any evidence or basis to back her statement.

Meanwhile, speculation was also rife as to whether extortion could have been a possible motive for the three homicides in a day involving taxi drivers.

On Twitter, @SmittyRoyal, in reacting to the killings of the two taxi drivers in Portmore on Wednesday, said: “Sounds just like the makings of an extortion racket being shaped in Portmore”.

In a follow-up tweet, he elaborated that, “Usually whenever you see assaults on taxi males so frequent it’s to ship a message that the extortionist critical. That’s how Klans (Clansman gang) used to function. One Order too.”

Facebook user, Worldboss Jayseon, made a similar remark in commenting that,

“Maybe (they) not paying extortion charges”.

Meantime, other individuals made a rallying cry for a ban on motorcycles, some of which are being used gunmen to commit murders.

“They must ban these murderous bike killings in Jamaica! Getting away on them to(o) straightforward,” wrote Pam Pinnock.

Shared Doug Dillion wrote: “These dam(n) bikes once more. When is the police going to take the streets again from these criminals?”

However, Facebook user, Ning Ming, contended that there is little the police can do to generally solve murders like those involving the slain taxi operators.

“We discuss what the police is doing about theses killings? The actual query is what can the police do? A taxi man picks up a passenger alongside his route or at a taxi stand not, realizing (h)is intention. What can the police truly do in these conditions? Absolutely nothing,” he reasoned.

He added: “Only method I see it’s that these taxi males pray earlier than and after going to work, and ask the one and true God to information them. It’s such a tragic state we dwelling in.”

Another social media user, Maria Hill, said both taxi and bus operators “must have a hidden digicam of their autos”.

Twitter user, @Laris23turnable, was more concerned about the impact of the killings on the commuters, especially those who travel late at nights in rural areas.

“This appears to be an assault on our taxi males. This cannot be proper. In ‘country’, we will not even get taxi to go dwelling after sure hours. These killings make it worse now. We really want divine intervention,” she wrote.

A similar sentiment was expressed by Instagram user, jayskybambino, who commented: “Country taxi man dem cease run late ah evening enuh, ‘trigger a dem ting yah.

“Sorry fi who work late now enuh, dem might have to invest in a vehicle now. Sticky situation, but can’t blame taxi man dem,” he declared.

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