Dallas Police Officer Murders St. Lucian

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New York Caribbean Institute Calls for Dallas Police officer who killed St. Lucian national in his own home to be charged with murder

Bothan Jean.png

Bothan Shem Jean

BROOKLYN: BROOKLYN: The New York based Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID) on Friday harshly condemned the killing of 26 year-old St. Lucian national and Dallas, Texas resident, Botham Shem Jean. Jean was shot and killed around 10:00 p.m Thursday night, September 6, 2018 in his own home, by a female Dallas police officer. The officer told investigators that she returned home from her shift and entered the wrong apartment in her building.

In a statement issued Friday, CGID President, Rickford Burke, said the officer’s negligent, reckless conduct and depraved indifference to human life resulted in murder. He consequently called on Dallas District Attorney Faith Johnson to prosecute the officer accordingly and to the fullest extent of the law.

Burke said “the culture of policing that has emerged in black communities all across America is one where cops shoot to kill first, then ask questions after.” He asserted that “Police officers are killing black men while walking innocently on the streets, driving innocently in our cars and now while living innocently in our own home. This is too much for a people to bear. CGID therefore calls on the US Justice Department to review and revise the protocols for armed engagement by law enforcement in America.”

Burke said “CGID intends to write our US Senators and Members of Congress from New York, to push for a national review and reform of protocols on how and when law enforcement officers engage in the use of force. This is long overdue. How many more black men must be killed before we take action?” Burke posited that “politicians who sit by and do nothing about the epidemic of law enforcement murders of innocent black men are equally complicit in these killings and should be held to account.”

Dallas police department Friday issued a statement claiming that the officer called for help and told responding officers “she entered the victim’s apartment believing that it was her own.” The incident took place at South Side Flats, an upscale apartment complex located in downtown, Dallas, a few blocks from Police headquarters.

Dallas Police said the officer was in full uniform and “fired her weapon striking the victim who was transported to hospital where he was pronounced dead.  Burke blasted the Dallas Police for not releasing details about how the officer reached into Jean’s apartment and whether a breathalyzer was administered, as would have been the case with an ordinary citizen. He also questioned how Jean’s name was released to the public when Police simultaneously confirmed  that the next of kin notification was not made.

The CGID head said the officer’s story is inexplicable and implausible. Emphasizing that Caribbean community believes the officer’s account strains credulity, Burke questioned its veracity saying “if she went to the wrong apartment how did she make initial contact with Mr. Jean? How do you mistakenly shoot your neighbor who you see and presumably interact with regularly, without recognizing him?  “The Dallas Police chief expressly stated that her department is no longer pursuing a “police involved shooting investigation,” but is seeking a warrant pursuant to a manslaughter investigation. Clearly the police evidence suggests that this is not an accident and that the officer’s account contradicts the evidence. Hence, in the interest of transparency CGID calls on the Dallas Police Department to stop disseminating misinformation and disclosed the facts and circumstances of Mr. Jean’s death forthwith, lest it is viewed as concealment,” Burke contended.

 the US to study accounting at Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas. He also studied at the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College, in Castries, St. Lucia before migrating to the US. At the time of his death, he worked in Dallas as a risk assurance associate for accounting firm Price Waterhouse Coopers.

CGID Has called on all Caribbean American organizations and nationals to condemn Jean’s killing and to support and express solidarity with his family.


Resolving Crime with Education

All too often, we see our children in the news. Whether rape, theft or murder, we see too many of our future generation making headlines for all the wrong reasons. We have to now look at ways to reverse the growing trend of youth crime and violence. And, peace education is one of the best ways to resolve and reduce these crimes. Informed learning can provide alternatives to resolve social conflicts within our society. Many young persons may not have the ability to know the difference between crime and its effects on the community, the society and the self. But if clearly demonstrated, they can be taught and in turn, encourage a positive message amongst their peers.

President of the Caribbean Mentorship Institute, Felicia Browne notes that “the past few weeks, and in the last 24 hours we have witnessed a rising trend of violence amongst our youths. There are deep fundamental questions that must be investigated to provide the best solutions to their problems. However, crime-prevention education and conflict interventions can alleviate some of these existing problems. The growing concerns of youth advocates are the age groups and genders of these victims. The victims of violence crimes have little or no social assistance to resolve their problems. For instance, we are observing a trend in young males being victims of violent crimes- some of which are or have been done by either a family member, friend within their circle or someone within their communities.”

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Prime Minister of St. Lucia Kenny Anthony

Prime Minister of St. Lucia Kenny Anthony

A couple couple news items today has given the BU household reason for pause. President of the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) stated that his union will hold the government to its promise not to engage in privatization that will result in public workers going home. One wonders how any government can guarantee anything in a global market which is challenging for service-based economies. Again, one wonders how the NUPW can be so simplistic in their expectations, we shall see. BU’s disclosure is that we wish no public servant to be sent home to suffer the same fate of thousands in the private sector.

The second news item was that the government of St. Lucia has agreed to pay a 4% wage hike to public servants instead of 6% which dropped from 16%. The punch line came from Prime Minister Kenny Anthony when he explained, “As I have explained before, the returns from VAT are below expectations and will not cover the increase in expenditure. We have no option but to borrow this money”.

What are missing here? At a time governments are borrowing monthly to pay wages yet our governments agree to wage increases and guarantee public sector jobs? Is this an ironclad promise that government will protect public workers until NIS funds run dry. If these economies do not improve what are the options?

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EMERA WATCH: Pay Up Or Power Down

Photo Credit: Miles Howe

Nova Scotia Power tacks seemingly arbitrary “security deposit” charge to customers’ billsWatch your meter closely, or you might be in for a surprise by Miles Howe

Having trouble paying your power bill? Be careful: don’t fall too far behind on the wrong day, or you might just find a pricey surprise in the mail. Nova Scotia Power (NSPI), the Emera-owned monopoly power provider to almost all of Nova Scotia’s 921,000 citizens, has at its discretion the ability to add a lump sum equal to up to three months’ service, known as a “security deposit”, to its customers’ power bills.

The decision to add a “security deposit” to a ratepayer’s bill is measured on a vague series of guidelines, which no one at NSPI appears able to explain fully. What is clear, however, is that a customer with errant bill payments has a good chance of being slapped with an added charge worth up to three months of average power consumption.

Receiving these startling bills in the mail has roused some Nova Scotians to take action against NSPI, with mixed results. The following two individuals received added “security deposit” charges on their power bills, and chose to fight back. The reaction of the power provider differed greatly between the two cases.

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Minister Noel Lynch Under The Microscope ~ Has He Taken An about Turn?


Back in 2001, Minister Lynch made the following statement at a Caribbean and Hotel and Tourism Conference:

Noel Lynch, the tourism minister for Barbados, told the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Investment Conference in Curacao last month, that the island governments ”have got to step back and look at the airline issue more seriously.” He questioned whether privately owned airlines could fill that role as well as those that Caribbean governments might own or subsidize.

Source: The New York Times

In today’s Nation newspaper at the “welcome ceremony for the inaugural American Eagle flight that touched down at the Grantley Adams International Airport yesterday” this is what Minister Lynch had to say.

Government is not opposed to an American Eagle flight on the lucrative Barbados-St Lucia route. In fact, said Minister of Tourism Noel Lynch, the additional airlift is welcomed, as it would not only provide additional seats but also take some of the pressure off LIAT. Speaking during a brief welcome ceremony for the inaugural American Eagle flight that touched down at the Grantley Adams International Airport yesterday evening, Lynch said it appeared that the service had been contentious.

Source: Nation

Here is what his counterpart and businessman Allen Chastenet from St. Lucia had to say:

St Lucia’s Minister of Tourism, Allen Chastanet, who along with other officials and media representatives came in on the flight, said the country turned to America Eagle to fill the void left by the reduced LIAT service. “Since the amalgamation of LIAT and Caribbean Star, capacity has been cut by 50 per cent and the overall drop in business has been 45 per cent and that is business that has not gone away.

Source: Nation

You be the judge.

Allen Chastanet A Shining Example For The "Others"

The name Allen Chastanet has become a household word in Barbados and around the Caribbean. Much of his reputation has been derived over the years from his involvement in tourism at a local and regional level. In recent months, he has been called to national duty in St. Lucia as a non elected Minister of Tourism to help position St.Lucia’s tourist product to the top. His knowledge of tourism is seldom questioned and his recent posture on LIAT has attracted the ire of Prime Minister Ralph Gonzales; not surprisingly because of who he is, his position has been viewed as visionary by all others given the historical devils which have befallen the blighted LIAT.

It is opportune that Barbados tourism advocate Adrian Loveridge would submit the following note which recognizes the efforts of a man who has grown in stature in the field of tourism but at the same time is not giddy doing other things that he would forget where his priority resides. Continue reading

BU Survey The Political Quagmire In St.Lucia~So Who Is The Carton Of Expired Milk?

For many St Lucians, what was most remarkable about our 83-year-old prime minister’s first budget address since taking office last December was that he had managed to stay on his feet for the full four hours of its delivery. Indeed, not a few still hold on to the view that the Herculean effort had contributed more to Sir John’s current state of health than had his widely reported contretemps with his Cabinet colleagues over St Lucia’s relationship with China.
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