While I absolutely understand and appreciate the public’s reaction to the case of Jasmine Lowe, I feel the need to caution those of you hollerin’ about “Hang them!” “Bring back capital punishment” “Flog these monsters in the town square!”.That is an “end to the story” consideration…there is so much we have to do to get there.
The Jasmine Lowe case is about firstly, cultural issues. We have to address the fact that girls are extremely vulnerable in our society because of many issues surrounding how parents talk to their children about predators, sex, violence, self defense. We continuously treat sexual abuse and violence against women and children as taboo and “not my business”. The victims are avoided and shunned while the abusers continue to hold their position in society and walk around free.
Secondly, it is about immigration issues. Our communities have changed dramatically because of the influx of immigrants. Someone pointed out that half of our cab drivers are immigrants. That means that we don’t know our neighbours anymore and as such, there must be other ways to ensure safety.
Which brings me to the third point. We have to stop accepting archaic laws and stop fighting attempts to modernize our laws and policies. I understand that the issue of registering/licensing cabs/drivers was already addressed and that it was met with refusal and outright defiance. The cab drivers cited cost as their main reason.
This brings me to my fourth point: we need to stop being so damned MYOPIC. Yes that was one aspect of changing the law: cost to the cab drivers BUT did you consider that it is a public safety issue? We have to be able to accurately identify “friendlys” from enemies and predators. And Jasmine’s case clearly points to how children become victims but what about the elderly? tourists? and the cab drivers themselves who are exposed to danger when criminals use them to commit crimes disposing of them when they are finished? If there were better tracking devices/practices we can deter people from victimizing cab drivers themselves and when they do it anyway, we can better pin point who is the responsible criminal.
Along these same lines: why do we always find reasons to NOT do something? When Mary K Cariddi proposed the Jasmine Taxi Law, people attacked it for all kinds of reasons and yes there are valid considerations BUT the underlying message was: “why bother trying? It will never pass.” Well crap! If you think like this? Sure it wont get passed! Nothing wrong with examining obstacles BUT only if your intent is to find ways around them….That was NOT what I saw happening…What I want us to do from now on is appreciate someone’s good intentions. Stop nit picking things to death and find ways to OVERCOME limitations. Stop being so negative and narrow minded. That is why Belize is stagnating swamp of a place…our goddamned attitude.
So then…here’s the fifth point: Jasmine Lowe’s case is about INVESTIGATIVE PROTOCOL. We can’t talk about bringing back capital punishment when we can’t even collect evidence, determine cause of death, arrest a suspect, prosecute him/her then finally get to the sentencing part???????? HOLY JESUS, MARY AND JOSEPH! For me, the salient point to alllllll of this outcry about Jasmine is: We have been sold a bill of goods. We were told that we could hope for justice because we have a police force dedicated to its job of protecting and serving. BUT that just wasn’t true and the friggin powers tht be knew it ALLLLLLLL along. The main character in any investigation into any violent crime is your goddamned medical examiner…and this mudderfucker has been giving us NOTHING for years. You can’t convict anybody without proof people!
I am stunned that this injustice has been perpetuated for decades…and I will accuse the entire justice system, any and everybody who works in it of being an accomplice. No wonder defense lawyers have such an easy time getting off alllll their friggin clients?! And shame on you for letting it go on….lawyers, police, magistrates…you all knew something was wrong and you didn’t address it…Anyway…now it’s out…and we need him out…so I need your help…You owe us…
Which brings me to my final point: YOU WORK FOR US. ALL OF YOU HAVE A JOB BECAUSE OF ‘WE THE PEOPLE”.
This divide between law enforcement and the public has to be bridged. The public is afraid of you, does not trust you and with good reason. We feel hopeless and frustrated with the dismissive way we are treated by the police. There are many stories of abuse and misconduct. I have been through it myself and it is awful. Even when citizens are trying to do their duty, you make it so difficult. You have taught us not to depend on you and you are cultivating a culture of vigilante justice.
So I hope I have made my point very clear: Jasmine Lowe is NOT about capital punishment….so please stop yellin about it….now is not the time…I know you are angry and feel this is an answer but at this point, it is only detracting from getting real solutions to the real problems…