The flocculation of statements and media expostulations over the last few weeks have been subtle. But the Guardian’s front page on Monday was a smack in the face—Race Hate.
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MP: Murders over rank, turf and stupidity
Laventille West Fitzgerald Hinds said yesterday the killings taking place in his constituency was all about “rank, stupidity and borderlines.”
In response to questions from the T&T Guardian on Thursday’s killing of two students of Success Laventille Secondary School, Hinds said he, like other citizens, was sickened by the deaths.
Deneilson Smith, 17, and Mark Richards, 16, were dragged from a taxi by gunmen and shot them as they were approaching their respective homes in Laventille. He said the killings were “over absolutely nothing. It is not about land, it is nothing. It is just based on stupidity and the access to illegal firearms and the swiftness to run for them.”
He said it was for those reasons “we lost two of our sons and this has brought sadness to their families, the entire community and shame and disgrace to Laventille and Success/Laventille school and many are traumatised.”
Hinds said he was accompanied by nine ministers and parliamentary colleagues to the homes of the deceased students on Friday night, adding that they offered assistance to the families.
Hinds said he fully supported the decision by Prime Minister Keith Rowley, who is the chairman of the National Security Council, to reinstate joint army/police patrols in Laventille permanently.
The minister noted that people were arrested and were being interrogated by the police in connection with the double killing.
But Hinds said there was a wider problem—the proliferation of guns on the nations streets—and added that the security forces were “determined to take these lethal barrel instruments out of the community as it was access to guns that lead to the fatalities we are reading about.”
He said hard policing techniques and soft police counselling are being encouraged “to influence these ignorant boys to stop creating the mayhem.” He said the hard policing measures were being implemented “for those who are not prepared to yield to the soft policing techniques.”
“We are focussing on Laventille to encourage a better quality of life, greater hope and opportunities so they will discover there is no need to be dishonest and to be a gunman in order to succeed,” he said.
Hinds aid for those who were not prepared to “accept, understand that and play by civil society rules, the law will take its course.”
Hinds said parents were supposed to ensure their children were brought up with the values and discipline required to be a good citizen. But he said some parents, instead, deliberately encourage their children to engage in crime. “There are adults who give boys guns to commit crime and mayhem in the country.”