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Are You a Proud Lucian?

Written by Dwayne on .

Written By: Jason Sifflet on Mar 2nd, 2010
Can you give ten reasons why you should be proud to be St Lucian? Jason Sifflet thinks he can!

Can you give ten reasons why you should be proud to be St Lucian? Jason Sifflet thinks he can!

So you come from a small Caribbean island which has achieved nothing in the way of international notoriety or success. The biggest thing that happened on your island in the recent past was that they shot some episodes of The Bachelor here. You’re like a pretty girl on the world stage—no one can see past your breasts (the Pitons) to acknowledge your intelligence, your strength, your diligence and creativity. Sometimes, even you forget, selling yourself to international investors for a song and a dance.
But the truth about you is that you are not just some geo-political jamette. Looking over your history, STAR researchers have found that you don’t just have potential, you actually already have a great record of achievement. You think you’re nothing, but if we rewrite your resume, we will discover that you have done many great things in the past and have the potential to exceed them all. In fact, St Lucia, you are a woman very worthy of being loved and being proud of. In fact, let us count the reasons:

INTELLECTUAL EXCELLENCE: Let’s just get it out of the way. Nobel Laureates. There. I said it.  But let’s also be more truthful. St Lucia has two Nobel Laureates but it also has hundreds of highly intelligent thinkers, intellectuals and artistes—people who are recognized as shining lights in every part of the world, except in St Lucia. Think I can’t name them? Dare me to name three— Dr Winston Parris, world renowned pain therapy innovator. Edsel Edmunds, who, in his days as a scientist, discovered some microscopic worms that were eating away at the roots of banana trees, severely limiting the yield. His research affected banana cultivation all over the world, including Africa, the Pacific and Latin America. Earl Long, who served with distinction at the American Center for Disease Control and has now turned author of novels, to critical acclaim. Garth St Omer, St Lucia’s first published writer of novels. Walcott has been styled as a Caribbean Homer. But really Walcott is a Caribbean Shakespeare and St Omer is probably the true Homer. That’s four. And almost everyone reading this article can think of one more. Hit us up at stluciastar.com to let us know who else you think qualifies as a Grade A St Lucian intellectual or over-achiever and why.

PROUD HISTORY: When you talk about the fight for slavery in the Western Hemisphere, St Lucia is often too small to register on the radar. But you look at St Lucia’s actual history of bloodshed in the fight against slavery, you have to wonder how most St Lucians remain ignorant of the proudest era in St Lucian history—the Brigand Wars. St Lucian Negmarrons or brigands as the British called them, were contemporaries of Toussaint l’Overture fighting the same empires that he did, under almost the same conditions. The scale was different and so Toussaint gets most of the glory. But St Lucians like LaCroix, Flore Bois Galliard, Lambert and others turned the wild bands of roaming Negmarrons into an army that defeated the British, freed St Lucia for one year in the 1790s and exported freedom fighters to St Vincent, Grenada and the French islands. They were epic in their own right and are the stuff that St Lucia’s true creation myth is made of.

The PMA: Hey we didn’t create it, but God gave it to us, so we’ll take the credit.
Many people think the uniqueness of the Pitons is about the way it looks. But the way it looks is only an indication of what is special. When you look at any picture of the Pitons, you will see that they go straight down into the sea. Now get on the internet and try to find other mountains (not hills) that plunge straight into the sea. You can’t, can you? It is also one of the few places in the world where you can find a proper rainforest within three miles of the coast. Not to mention that the Amerindians thought that it was the only place in the world where you can see the three symbolic faces of the Triune Godhead. Now if only we could figure out how to get the foreigners who own it to stop destroying it. I mean, who do we have to sue for our ancestral right to maintain our most sacred national treasures?

STRATEGIC LOCATION: It’s probably more of a thing to be thankful for than proud of, but we’re proud of it anyway. Even before Columbus passed through the channel between St Lucia and Martinique, the island now known as St Lucia was a famous location. Historians like Robert Devaux, Gregor Williams and Sylvester Clauzel have pointed to its spiritual significance in their writings. It is probably the only place in the world where you can see the sun set down the side of a mountain (Petit Piton at the equinox). In colonial times, the British and French both agreed that the location of the island was of prime military value and shed a lot of blood for it. Modern war mongers agreed during World War II. Hence, the military base at Vieux Fort. The success of military bases in St Lucia tends to suggest it could be a strategic transshipment point for global trade as well.

MUSIC: St Lucians have been international hitmakers since time immemorial. But somehow, we keep trying to break into the market, as though we have never been there before. But Sandra Lorde was big in the 70s, and not just in St Lucia. Yeah. So were the Tru Tones. Rick Wayne had a Top 40 hit in Britain. And Malcolm Magarron had a gold record in Germany. Onyx is one of the most successful cruise ship bands of all time. (And St Lucia probably has more musicians on cruise ships per capita than any other country in the world. If we’re not, we’re in the top five, for sure. For everyone who says St Lucian artistes are not professional, put that in your pipe and smoke it.) Gillo is one of the most consistent hitmakers in Barbados’ Crop-Over for two decades now. Menaka had one of the biggest world music dance hits of the 1980s with Dirty Dancing. Jaunty was one of the biggest hitmakers in Martinique. So was Yardie. I could go on. I have yet to say anything about Luther Francois, Boo Hinkson or Barbara Cadet. And I have faithfully resisted all temptation to point out that both the Mighty Gabby and Sizzla are half-St Lucian. Why? Because it might be more important to first acknowledge the unsung musicians who have kept the traditional music culture alive. St Lucia is probably the only island in the entire Caribbean with a rich and diverse traditional music culture that has not turned it into a successful popular music export yet. Barbados doesn’t even have a diverse music culture and they have turned their musical artistes into hitmakers who assimilate the cultures of others to make theirs more interesting. In the last 20 years, there have been more hit songs using kweyol coming out of Barbados than have been successfully exported from St Lucia. It sounds like a failure, but really, it speaks about the potential for success, if perhaps we partner with the Bajans (and of course, the Martiniquans) who seem more than willing to record and distribute this stuff. St Lucia has a unique musical culture, with a treasure of beats, melodic ideas and rhythms that are not just special, they are hard for others to copy.

THEATRICAL & DRAMATIC EXCELLENCE: As for theater, just think about it—Derek Walcott is from our island. We’ve been the standard bearer for decades. Go to any CARIFESTA and you will see the seasoned performers from other islands asking each other what the Lucians are doing. There is nothing they appreciate more than a bunch of Lucians doing serious drama. As for their reverence of Kendal Hippolyte, it’s almost blasphemous. The Jamaicans especially seem to be under the impression that he is the real Derek Walcott. Just because we undervalue our artistes doesn’t mean they are sub par. Other countries may produce more plays than we do and have performers who are very good compared to the kids that we tend to see a lot in the local performances. But there are several factors involved in what seems to be our failure in this field, but is really our persistent success. For one thing, every territory that has a more successful theater market than St Lucia has at least twice as many people in its population. Because the audiences are larger, there is more of a chance of getting paid. Second, because it’s easier to get paid, actors tend to stay in the business longer, leading to the long term development and transmission of skills. You can see this in St Lucia. Take Cokes and Larry Bain, for example. When Che Campeche started, Cokes was funny, but he was not the veteran performer he is today. Experience made him good and initiative made him better. Bain on the other hand was a trained and seasoned performer when he was a young adult. But the market could not yet sustain his talents and the pressure forced him into being a television producer and public relations agent, robbing the theater of what is probably the best actor in St Lucia, bar none.

ATHLETES: So we never won the World Cup. St Lucians footballers are still good and full of money-making potential for the island. The island’s terrain was practically made for breeding footballers for export. Unfortunately, very few people in the policy and budget departments can imagine sports as anything more than a tourist attraction, so St Lucians footballers have, for a long time, been destined to form a disproportionate part of the crackhead population. As for cricket, Mindoo Phillip and Ferrol Charles proved the point a long time ago, even when the island was not making a concerted effort. Once someone put effort into it, we got Darren Sammy. And all this time, we thought we were not a cricket island. As for track and field, Lavern, Dominic and others have been soaring to higher heights, for the benefit of American universities for a long time now. One good Aquatic Center and the next thing you know, St Lucia is on the verge of qualifying for major international games. And need we mention the muscle boys Rick Wayne and Julian . . .  Here’s a clue for policy-makers. The next time you want to spend endless million dollars on sports, forget infrastructure. Spend it on training facilities and programs. The kids will not let you down. They will take to professional sports like it was drugs or video games or whatever else they are doing nowadays.

DEMOCRACY & FREEDOM: We’re like the Cartoon Network. We do what we like. No leaders are going to push us around. We’re not killers anymore, like we were during the Brigand Wars, but we will march, we will call the talk shows, we’ll write articles and we might even block roads. We will frustrate, embarrass and destroy bad leaders from the inside out. We have never, in the Independence era, had despots as the leaders of our country. We may have had fools, virgins, crazies and perverts, but we had never allowed our democracy to be taken for granted and shifted off the rails by messianic despots. In every other Windward Island, there has been at least one leader who could be convincingly painted as a power mad killer of democracy. But in St Lucia, the men most qualified for this sort of madness instead became known as great examples of Caribbean centrism and leftism (i.e. John Compton and George Odlum, respectively). Our press as well has, especially over the last decade, been remarkably free to express itself and self-correct rather than submit to government regulation and censorship. There have been instances of closure of government radio stations, yes, but not enough to establish any kind of trend of censorship. And when government officials have criticized the media ( like calling them ‘media terrorists’) it could be argued that they were merely exercising their freedom of expression.

QUALITY OF POLITICAL LEADERSHIP: Third World leaders do not have the best reputation. History has shown them to be foolish, prone to despotism, corrupt, foolish (did we neglect to mention foolish?) But St Lucia somehow escaped this problem very early on in its modern history. John Compton, George Odlum and Kenny Anthony: intellectual giants. Julian Hunte, George Mallet and Neville Cenac (yes, I said Neville Cenac—despite everything ever said about him, even Rick Wayne would agree that he is smarter and cleaner than most who served in Parliament): men of distinction and character who would have been better leaders than most Third World countries dare to dream of.  George Charles is not regarded as an intellectual giant, but he was smart enough to see the opportunity for progress presented by the economic problems of the mid-20th century. He was exactly the right man for his time, a thing that can be said for all St Lucian leaders except those who served in the 1979-82 era. Perhaps the only other English-speaking Caribbean territory that can make the claim to have been served by leaders as great as ours is Barbados. The rest of our Parliament may look like the same bunch of fools and bandits who populate the Parliaments and Congresses in the rest of the world, but our prime ministers and opposition leaders have, in the past, been the right stuff.

STRONG SENSE OF IDENTITY: We know we’re different. We’re tri-lingual. Our island is a cultural crossroads between the Amerindian, African, British and French languages. Our native music is so different, we’re afraid to turn it into export material without putting a stupid computer-based beat on it. We have, in the past, treated our kweyol side like it was the mark of Cain. But more and more, when we are in New York, London or even Bridgetown, we recognize the value of being able to slip into kweyol, either to become less audible or more visible, whichever suits our purpose at the time. We are not yet conscious enough of why we should be proud of that special sense of identity we share in common, but try as we might we stop being who we are—and that has turned out to be a very good thing as small societies get so homogenized by globalization that you can barely tell the difference between the Caymans and the Bahamas anymore.

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The Vegas Affair

Written by Bandit on .

The handling of the situation by government concerning popular but controversial Jamaican reggae artiste, Mr. Vegas has again put the administration in the limelight. Last week, the issue was about a “Gang of Four” inside the Cabinet and seven days later it was about the so-called “ban” imposed by the Ministry of Labour on the artiste from performing in the country.
Although the Minister of Culture, Karl Hood has cleared the air and informed the nation that the Vegas issue had nothing to do with banning foreign artistes from coming into Spice country. According to the minister, it had to do more or less with promoters not adhering to set guidelines by the Ministry of Labour for applying well in advance for work permits for these artistes.
THE NEW TODAY is satisfied that the promoter, Mr. Steve Duncan did apply for the work permit for the Jamaican artiste one month before the date of the show and not last week as suggested by Minister Hood. This newspaper has seen an official document with the letterhead of the Ministry of Labour indicating quite clearly that Mr. Duncan had applied for the work permit on January 28, 2010 and not just last week as stated by the minister.
There is undoubtedly some misunderstanding on the issue surrounding the application for the work permit for Mr. Vegas to perform at the Karma nightclub. Minister Hood should be big enough to apologise to Mr. Duncan if the error is made by himself personally or the relevant staffers at the Ministry of Labour. As a matter of fact, the minister should use the incident to determine whether there is an internal problem within the ministry that needs fixing urgently in order to provide better service to the people. Is it a case of civil servants not doing their work in an effort to embarrass the Minister?
Also, is it a question of the civil servants doing their work and the minister too busy with his schedule and not finding the time to stay on top of things placed on his desk for his attention? This newspaper is not in a position to pre-judge the issue.
However, the fact of the matter is that the promoter, Mr. Duncan submitted his application for the work permit one month ago and not last week as was made out by the Labour Minister. This kind of information could be damaging to Mr. Duncan and open him to possible lawsuits for incompetence by artistes. Can Mr. Duncan get back the monetary down payment that he would have advanced to Mr. Vegas to get him to commit to a contract to perform at his nightclub?
Suppose Mr. Vegas and his team get ahold of the statement made by Minister Hood in which he clearly sought to put the blame totally on the promoter for resulting in the Ministry of Labour turning down the request for the work permit on the grounds of late submission. And the irony of the situation is that the manner in which the issue has been handled has now turned into a political affair with even the church leaders getting involved.
THE NEW TODAY is not making any specific statement on the lyrical content of Mr. Vegas songs and whether he is suitable or unsuitable to perform in Grenada. As Minister Hood clearly stated, the issue surrounding Mr. Vegas had nothing to do with a ban on any foreign artiste from coming into the island to perform.
The system in the ministry has glitches and is not working properly. It needs fixing. It might be appropriate for the Ministry of Labour and the Ministry of Culture to come together and go back to the drawing board with all promoters to come up with a better road map for the way forward on shows involving foreign artistes. The left hand ought to know what the right hand is doing and vice-versa. After all, the government itself is committed to CSME and the free movement of professionals including those from the performing arts.
The government needs all the revenue it can get in these hard times whether at the point of entry on the St. George’s Port and or VAT that can be levied on promoters of shows involving acceptable foreign artistes.
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Movie Crews Focus on TT Carnival

Written by Tarvia Henry on .

Movie crews focus on TT Carnival

Saturday, February 13 2010

THIS YEAR, four international productions have chosen to film in Trinidad during Carnival and are being facilitated by the Trinidad and Tobago Film Company.

Among the films that will be shot on location are Scandalous a love story based on William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. The lead male character in the film is TT’s very own Machel Montano, aptly cast to play the role of a soca musician who falls in love with the daughter of a rich Indian business tycoon.

Produced by Ancil McKain, the film is described on their official website (www.scandalousthemovie.com) as a “mid-budget Bollywood-style musical comedy feature film with the potential to spawn a soundtrack of global hits”.

Liquid Rush, produced by American hip-hop and dance performer, Freedom Williams and his crew are also in Port-of-Spain for the Festival. This film is a love story set in both Trinidad and New York, about a young professional man in the liquor business who travels to Trinidad and Tobago to deal with a business challenge involving his Caribbean rum brand. The main character’s trip to TT occurs just one month prior to his wedding and lands him in the midst of Carnival, where he meets and is bewitched by an island beauty. TT’s own G Anthony Joseph is in Trinidad for the 2010 Carnival. Anthony recently co-produced Limbo, a Norweigian film which wrapped up production in Trinidad last November. More information about Anthony’s latest action drama will be released to the media later this month. Anthony is also working on his third installment in the Men of Gray series.

Where the Sun Sets is a film being produced by another son of the soil. Ryan Latchmansingh, a TT national studying film production in Los Angeles, is in TT to produce the film for his senior thesis.

Trinidad and Tobago’s Carnival has a strong appeal for film-makers and 2010 is no different. Many TT nationals will be working alongside the international film crews ensuring that the productions are a success.

Carla Foderingham, CEO of the Trinidad and Tobago Film Company Limited (TTFC) notes that “overall there is more filming taking place in Trinidad and Tobago by nationals as well as international producers; however, the country needs to be better resourced with equipment to service them”.

“There is still a need for full service grip trucks and recreational vehicles (RV’s) on island and the lack of this equipment can be a deal-breaker for certain productions. The TTFC is addressing these issues and has proposed incentives to encourage more investment in the infrastructure. It is expected that this equipment situation will be rectified via the incentive package”.

The TTFC has worked closely with the four productions, facilitating the entry of equipment and the sourcing of personnel in collaboration with Customs and Excise, Immigration, National Security. Trinidad and Tobago’s film and tourism industries will undoubtedly benefit from the four films shooting in Trinidad and Tobago over Carnival.

For more information on film projects, programmes and opportunities, log on to www.trinidadandtobagofilm.com.

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DE ROAD SHOW 2K10

Written by Bandit on .



Release Year: 2010

The triolgy is now complete with this warm up set for de road. A compilation of tunes that make you bawl woyoyoy and wine. Enjoy this groovy tunes from TnT Carnival 2010.

artist name
MOSES CHARLES INDRANI
UMI MARCANO IN FRONT OF MEH {Precision roadmix}
UMI MARCANO IN FRONT OF MEH
JAH CURE FT. ALISON HINDS CALL ON ME (SOCA REFIX)
KERRY JOHN FT MAKAMILLION LEAVE & GONE
MR. SPINE YOU
MULTI SYMPTOM LITTLE BIT IN LOVE
ORLANDO OCTAVE MAKE LOVE (4)
MAXIMUS DAN FT MX PRIME FALLIN
MAKAMILLION FT PAMPUTTE BUBBLE REMIX
MR.SPINE 747 - INSTRUMENTAL
MULTI SYMPTOM STANDING (4)+(4)
DEVON MATHEWS FROM TODAY {REMIX}
DEVON MATHEWS FROM TODAY{ROADMIX}
3SUNS NADIA (1)+(8)
NADIA BATSON YUH REALLY WANNA
OLATUNJI PHONETICS
SUPER JIGGA TC THE TRIBUTE
PATRICE ROBERTS WINING SPECIALIST
MERITAL MY MONEY (HA HA)
VYBZ KARTEL NAH LET GO
CURTIS B ROCK DE BUMPER (4)
FAY ANN LYONS AND BUNJI GARLIN CALL ME (4)
UNCLE SAM SKREECHIN
HOMEBASE ENT. BUBBLE UP RIDDIM INST.
PATRICE ROBERTS WUK IT(4)
MACHEL MONTANO HD SLOW WINE (8)
FARMER NAPPY FT GENERAL GRANT LOOKING TO WINE (8)
KES KEES WAIST LINE ROLL MASTER
DENISE BELFON FT GHETTO FLEX LOVE YOU FROM THE GET GO
DRUE FT PATRICE ROBERTS NAH LEAVING
LIL BITTS CAREFUL
MACHEL MONTANO FT SERANI HOT LIKE PEPPER
UMI MARCANO SUNSHINE (4)+(4)
ROCKY feat. BUFFY ALL NIGHT (8)
DRAMA BOOK VERSION
TIZZY IN DE CARNIVAL
VIRTUE TIGHTER
ZIGGY RANKING BURNING
FAY-ANN LYONS FT MACKA DIAMOND STILL SPEND
KMC NAH BAD TALK MAN
PRECIOUS LETHAL WINE (8)


Release Year: 2010

De mix from D Bandit to get you familiar with all the 2010 tunes for TnT Carnival. The midtempo groovy tracks

TRACK LIST

artist name
RAVI B AH DRINKA
RIKKI JAI BARMAN
HUNTER PUNCHEON
JMC 3VENI CATCH MEH LOVAH
PATCH FT DRUPATEE ROTI & DUCK (4)
INSTRUMENTAL STUSH RIDDIM-INSTR
3SUNS STUSH RIDDIM- 3SUNS
SKINNY FABULOUS STUSH RIDDIM- SKIN FAB
TERI LYONS GONE
BUNJI GARLIN NOT ME
NADIA BATSON FT. BLACK STALIN TROUBLE (4)+(4)
UMI MARCANO FOLK REALITY
MACHEL MONTANO HD NOT GOING HOME (Drum Mix) (4)
FAY-ANN LYONS FT BUSY SIGNA START WINING{REMIX}{MASTERED}
FAYE-ANN LYONS START WINEING (GROOVEY SOCA) MASTER COPY
KERWIN DUBOIS & SLAMMER CUTTER DE FAN {Roadmix} (8)
MACHEL MONTANO BUMPER TO FENDER
MACHEL MONTANO RAMAJAY MR DEE REMIX
MACKA DIAMOND FT. DENISE BELFON THINK YOU CAN HANDLE IT
MADD FROG VERSION
MACKA DIAMOND COUPLE UP
BUNJI GARLIN RAG OVERLOAD (8)
BUNJI GARLIN feat. BEENIE MAN HOT GYAL ALONE
NADIA BATSON FT. MS. ALYSHA DOH LIE
SKINNY FABULOUS DRUNK & DISORDERLY
MR.VEGAS WIRELESS
FARMER NAPPY & KERWIN DU BOIS PAVEMENT
FARMER NAPPY FT KERWIN DU BOIS PAVEMENT ( DJ DEE RMMX)
FARMER NAPPY FT KERWIN DU BOIS PAVEMENT (Road Mix)
PATRICE ROBERTS SINGLE TO MINGLE
RICARDO DRUE GO DOWN
MACHEL MONTANO HD THIEFIN
SHURWAYNE WINCHESTER JAMMAZ (8)
PATRICE ROBERTS J'OUVERT JAM
SWAPPI DIS GYAL NAH PLAY GAMES (BANDIT RE-EDIT)
DONEO PARTY HARD (24) D' BANDIT DOC JONES SOCA RMX
DONAEO FT PROBLEM CHILD PARTY HARD ( REMIX )
ZAN HIGHER MASS (1)

 

DE ROAD SHOW - POWER SOCA PART C

Release Year: 2010

Part C of De Road Show Series featuring all uptempo tracks aka power soca. Getting you familiar with the big tunes for 2010 TnT Carnival

artist name
MACHEL MONTANO & BUSY SIGNAL WOIIEE GAL WOIIEE (DOCJES RMX) GOOD
BUFFY ANYTHING {MASTERED} (4)
C.C. FT BENJAI & KERNEL ROBERTS STEAM (2)+(8)+(8)
BUNJI WHO U RATHER SLOW
JUNGIE RANKING JOHNNY WALKER MASTER
ALISON HINDS BOOM BOOM TONIC - RAZORSHOP REMIX
SHURWAYNE WINCHESTER LONELY ROAD
KES MELEE (4)+(8)
KES THE BAND & NADIA HEAVEN
K.I WE COMING
DESTRA FIREWORKS
FARM P GIRLS ANTHEM
MISTA VYBE MAD AGAIN (VOCAL EDIT)
MISTA VYBE MAD AGAIN (Doc JonesHD Roadmix)
NADIA BATSON DANGEROUS (4)
MACHEL MONTANO HD DOH HOLD WE BACK (Remix)
PATRICE ROBERTS ROAD SHOW
PATRICE ROBERTS ROAD SHOW RE-EDIT 2010
SKINNY FABULOUS FT MACHEL MONTANO HD FETTING ON (2)+(8)
ZAN DRIVER
IWER GEOREGE PARTY HARD (8)
SUPER JIGGA TC THE TEMPLATE
ZUKI & TIM TIM RED OVER
DEVON MATTHEWS IRON
FAY-ANN LYONS IRON & STEEL {SCRATCH MASTER ROAD MIX}
BUNJI GARLIN MAD CARNIVAL
FAY-ANN LYONS AH SOMETHING
PATCH PIPE
MACHEL MONTANO JUMBIE (BANDIT GUTTER REMIX FINAL) (4)+(4)
MACHEL MONTANO HD NO BEHAVIOUR
MACHEL MONTANO NO BEHAVIOUR (ROAD MIX) RADIO EDIT
BLAXX HUNTIN (4)
Blaxx Hunting {roadmix}{official
BUNJI GARLIN BRAVE (2)+(4)
BUNJI GARLIN BRAVE (758 ROAD MIXX)
FARMER NAPPY I PAY FOR THIS
FARMER NAPPY & MACHEL MONTANO I PAY FOR THIS (JESTER EDIT) (8)
FAYANN LYONS-ALVAREZ TRUE LIES
SHAL MARSHALL FT SCREWS POLICE (10)
BLAZE F J W PALANCE (2)

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Cops Shoot Cops

Written by Tarvia Henry on .

Cops shoot cops

Policemen on lookout for kidnappers injured by colleagues

BY KARYL WALKER Crime/Court co-ordinator This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

 

 

TWO policemen from the elite Organised Crime Investigative Unit (OCID), in an embarrassing case of friendly fire, were shot and injured Thursday night while on an operation to nab the kidnappers of a teenage girl.

One of the policemen, an inspector, received treatment at hospital, while the other, a corporal, who was shot in the abdomen, was said to be critical. Their names were not released.

The policemen were on the lookout for the kidnappers of the 16-year-old girl on the Bustamante Highway, in the vicinity of Glenmuir Road, when they were set upon and shot by policemen from Clarendon.

The police reported yesterday that the Clarendon cops did not realise that the two men were their colleagues and only decided not fire another round when the inspector and detective corporal identified themselves.

It was not clear, however, why they Clarendon police pulled their guns and started shooting when they were not attacked.

The incident, meanwhile, has left a bitter taste in the mouths of officers from OCID who complained that the shooters did not follow procedure when they shot their colleagues.

"This is not a good time for the police. We can almost expect anything now," said an OCID officer. "I doubt if the police who shot the police even tried to identify themselves or accost the persons who they might have thought were gunmen. This is a sad day for us."

The shooting, a police source said, allowed the kidnappers to escape, after freeing the girl. She returned home about 2:00 yesterday morning.

The girl, a student of a Clarendon high school, was travelling in a taxi when the driver stopped to pick up two men. The men reportedly pulled guns and ordered the driver and other passengers out of the car and drove off with the teenager.

The car -- a white Toyota Corolla -- was yesterday found in an open lot.

In recent months, incidents of kidnapping have increased sharply and have been causing headaches for law enforcement officers.

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