One of the young men who admitted to stoning and chasing homeless drug addicts on Broad Street, has issued a public apology.
Following a meeting today with the President of the Barbados Vagrants and Homeless Society (BVHS) Kemar Saffrey at the society’s Tudor Street, City office, 16-year-old Jahem Magline Loftis Campbell of 8th Avenue New Orleans, issued a brief apology expressing regret for what he had done.
“I apologise for abusing the vagrants . . . It will never happen again,” Campbell said, in the presence of his father.
On Monday, Campbell and 17-year-old Reschad Domon Decorney Carrington of 3rd Avenue, New Orleans received a tongue-lashing from Chief Magistrate Christopher Birch when they admitted to throwing stones at the homeless on June 29.
Magistrate Birch sentenced Carrington to 240 hours of community service and ordered a pre-sentencing report on Campbell.
Carrington was not present at today’s meeting.
Saffrey, who invited the young men to meet with him, told Barbados TODAY on Tuesday that BVHS would not be welcoming the two to do the required community service at the organisation.
This afternoon, in a video posted on the society’s Facebook page where Campbell made the apology, Saffrey said his decision not to allow the boys to carry out community service work at BVHS remained the same.
“We are still staying by the fact that the community service cannot be done at the organisation because it is too fresh of a matter. But also to let the public know that we are not registered as one of the agencies for which community service can be carried out. So that is one of the main problems as it relates to them not being able to serve community service at the Barbados Vagrants and Homeless Society,” Saffrey said.
However, the president said that following a lengthy conversation with Campbell and his father, he was satisfied that the young man now understands what it means to be homeless and why these individuals should not be abused nor mistreated.
“He understands it now. We can work together in the future where he can see himself giving community service back to the organisation in the near future outside of the court, we would welcome him and the other young gentleman as well. But we know that the wounds are still fresh as it relates to the homeless,” he said.
Saffrey who once again appealed to members of the public not to verbally or physically abuse the homeless, indicated that Campbell related to him during the closed door meeting that he happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
“Jahem alerted me that he was not a part of the abuse. He was just in the wrong place at the wrong time with a group at the time.
“We would also like to let the others out there know to cease and desist and find something constructive to do with your time. I would also like the public to work with us as it relates to working with the homeless and also to not see Jahem as a threat to them, but as a young man who would have made a mistake,” Saffrey said. firstname.lastname@example.org