Peace is all that the residents of Richmond Gap, St Michael say they want after several weeks of gun violence, which has resulted in the death Jermaine Capone Harper.
Some are also describing Saturday night’s shooting of Shanneil Marshall by the police as the “last straw”, as they get set to launch a petition in the interest of peace.
Spokeswoman Shara Wickham said the residents had already contacted an attorney-at-law on the drafting of the petition, which they intend to submit to the Commissioner of Police Tyrone Griffith and the Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite.
“We are so tired of all the shooting and the strife. Do you know what it is to be uncomfortable in a place that you call home? Complaining, complaining, complaining and no one is listening, no one is helping you?,” she said in an interview with Barbados TODAY this afternoon, in which she stressed that many residents were now fearful of their lives.
Charging that Richmond Gap was being unfairly targeted by police, Wickham also raised a number of questions following the shooting of Marshall, who has been remanded to prison until September 2 for allegedly pulling a gun after he was approached by officers in the district on Saturday.
“Where was the gun? I know there is no way he got a gun, put it in a police face and still get away. He would have to be superman,” said Wickham.
“How does a man look suspicious selling ackees and why wasn’t he charged today for a firearm? The problem is everytime they [residents] see the police they run.
“They won’t be doing anything wrong, or won’t have anything illegal, but because they [are] just fearful they run,” she said, adding, “they [residents] have to stop with that.
“But then again if people just jumping out the cars and pulling guns, you gine run, you ain’t gine stop there. You don’t know when nobody gine come, who gine come,” Wickham said.
While many residents were apprehensive to have their photographs taken or to give their names for fear of retaliation, the general consensus among those Barbados TODAY spoke to today was that Richmond Gap was never known for any violence before early July this year.
They were hopeful that it would return to a peaceful district soon.
One man, who gave his name only as Ras, admitted that the residents were no saints, but he said “they were no worse than any other people in any other neighborhood”.
“I as a person would like all the conflict to done. I is a man who don’t like to fight the police ‘cause when something happen you still got to run to the police, but how a man can aim a gun at you, you get frightened and shoot he in he botsy? I would got to be backing you to get hit in my botsy.
“You know how the youths is, them ain’t easy to talk to, but I would like to see peace because a little youngster just get gun down in the area. I lying down, I hear three shots – pax, pax, pax – and he skin up dead. So I does try to talk to the youths and I gine continue to talk to them.
“The youths out here [are] like [those in] any other place. They got the good and they got the bad but them ain’t no youths that does go ‘bout shooting.
“I ain’t telling you them won’t do them wrong ‘cause when you in here, you don’t know what them out there doing but I does try to talk to them. I always like peace and I would support anything to do with peace. Two wrongs don’t meek a right,” Ras said, as he pledged his support for the petition.