It’s hard to beat the heat these days, and not just in terms of the temperatures. May to June in Saint Lucia typically see temperatures of 86°F, and sometimes 87°F, but these days it’s not just the sun beating down in all its ferocity that we have to worry about. Just one day shy of being into the second half of the year, the island has already recorded 19 homicides. Whether this number doubles, or stays the same throughout the remainder of the year is of no consequence, these are 19 people whose lives were cut short in senseless ways, because there really is no justification for the sort of violence that takes away a person’s right to live.
We are by now used to seeing the names of the latest murder victims flash by on our television screens, sometimes with accompanying pictures, other times as part of stories that include heartbroken relatives and friends. We anticipate what these family members will say, and even the sentiments of some mothers who express that their sons were ‘good boys’ have become a source of amusement for many. The justification of those who laugh always has something to do with the perceived history of these individuals, and whether or not they deserved their fate.
Too often we forget all the little things that cause individuals to take particular paths in life. We wonder how they turn out the way they do, forgetting about those who were raised without parents, in utter poverty, and without love. No matter what they’ve been through in life, many of us will still say, they could have, and should have risen above it. Perhaps, but not everybody does.
We are used to a lot of things in this day and age, but one of the things we should never get used to is young people being killed in this country, particularly by police, and police saying little to nothing to explain exactly what transpired. The recent killing of 17-year-old Entrepot student Arnold Joseph comes to mind. The Entrepot class of 2019 will remember him for the way he always seemed to know when to cheer others up. They will also never forget that his life was snuffed out so unexpectedly, just on the brink of graduation.
To this day, neither teachers nor principal of the local secondary school has commented on the incident. The police remain tight-lipped, with neither a detailed press statement being issued, nor an emergency press conference being called, in light of news that a student was caught in the cross fire of an alleged standoff with police.
With little information have come the rumours that the latest incident may have been a case of mistaken identity. There are also reports that the student, a budding part-time DJ, had been returning home from a DJing gig at the time. The other individuals involved in the incident have also not been formally identified by police, one of whom is alleged to have been a teacher at the Entrepot Secondary School.
Thus far, police have attributed their reluctance to comment further on the incident to the early stages of the investigation. Their stance brings no comfort to members of the public who are still waiting to hear the full story of what transpired on that unfortunate night.