WE JOIN with the national community in condemning two brutal murders that have shocked the nation.
On Tuesday, Maximum Security Prison Superintendent Wayne Jackson was ambushed and killed outside his home in Malabar. On the same night, bassist Shivan Ramdhanie was shot dead while liming with friends at a bar in Penal after a band rehearsal. A man murdered while returning to the sanctuary of his home, another with his back turned as he enjoyed relaxing moments with friends.
This is the depravity upon us, striking at the very core of our daily lives. And there have been other murders since, including a creeping new approach by the criminals to their dastardly acts: home invasion. The impact is to provoke fear.
These were the latest senseless killings that have turned this year into one of the bloodiest on record. The law enforcement authorities must swiftly investigate these matters and bring the perpetrators to justice. Not only that, if we are to staunch the flow of blood, we must also staunch the flow of firearms in our country.
We express condolences to the families of the two victims. Jackson and Ramdhanie, in their own way, were patriots doing national service.
Jackson served the national community by being a part of the cadre of men and women who man our prisons for the sake of the enforcement of law and order. Ramdhanie was part of a band that was expected to tour Guyana and Suriname this month, showcasing a side of TT’s cultural milieu.
We welcome the actions taken by the Police Service, under the command of Commissioner Gary Griffith, at the Maximum Security Prison on Thursday. The intervention of both police and soldiers sent a clear message. It is hoped that such operations will not just be a knee-jerk reaction but will become part of a strategy aimed at strengthening security at what is supposed to be the country’s most secure prison facility.
The exercise, with which Griffith was personally involved, suggested there is a clear belief, even among law enforcement officials, that more needs to be done to secure our prisons. There should be a greater focus on plugging leaks and loopholes in the security arrangements there.
Too often do we hear reports of people calling hits from behind bars. If indeed this is occurring then greater efforts need to be made to block such nefarious conduct and, furthermore, to penalise those “big fish” that are responsible, not just the agents on the ground to carry out orders.
But perhaps the most sickening thing about this week’s murder of Ramdhanie is what was revealed about it by CCTV camera footage which promptly circulated on social media. In the footage, Ramdhanie does not even have a chance to see the face of his assailant. The killer has no qualms in shooting a helpless man in the back. Sickening.