The obviously co-ordinated strikes on four police stations in West Kingston by criminal gunmen yesterday represent a vile attack on the State that this newspaper strongly condemns.
That the lumpen gunmen also torched one of the police stations -- that in Hannah Town -- and fired on policemen who were clearing roadblocks in West Kingston demonstrate their utter disregard for law and order, and flies in the face of the very responsible and tolerant approach that the police have so far taken in their effort to execute an arrest warrant on Mr Christopher 'Dudus' Coke.
Based on police reports that gangsters from other communities outside of Kingston and St Andrew have gone into Tivoli Gardens, supposedly to give support to Mr Coke and his defenders, it is clear that his tentacles spread far and wide, and his influence is very strong.
But that influence, we maintain, resides with the minority of Jamaicans, and as such the majority, law-abiding among us need to make a united stand against the terrorism that these riffraffs seek to unleash on the country.
It is against that background that we endorse the limited State of Public Emergency that has been imposed on Kingston and St Andrew by the Government.
While we support the measure giving the security forces additional powers of search and arrest, we caution the law enforcers to utilise these powers with responsibility. For just one case of abuse of a citizen will erode the gains the security forces have made over the past few days with the way they have handled this extradition matter.
However, we urge the security forces to use this opportunity to clean up the mess that has stained this country for too many years. And in doing so, they need to ignore the politicians -- on both sides -- who have more than proven to us that they have no idea, if any desire, to deal effectively with crime.
May 24, 2010