Ken Emmanuel was one of them, a Police Constable who risked his life in service to his people everyday. But instead of justice being sought for his death, the “good old boys club” is wielding its influence and he is just another dead black boy not worth worrying about. I mean who is going to demand justice in his name? His dad and his mom are already dead. I don’t know where his granny, Ms. Gwennie is or even if she is alive still…He’s just a no count nobody right? After all, this Mr. Carlos Santos is a pillar of the community. Everybody loooooves him. He is such nice man.
I didn’t want to have to talk about this because when it comes to Kenny, his life has always been difficult and I knew that it would just bring back a flood of memories and feelings. You see, Kenny is my cousin. I was there when his mother Arlene Kuylen met his father. She was a tragic figure herself, an illegitimate child for my Uncle Eric Kuylen, (he died during my 4th and my brother’s 1st joint birthday party) being raised with her brother “AK”by our spinster Aunt Olive Kuylen. She was brown and poor; her cousins, rich and white. When I was three, we went to live with them while my father studied in Jamaica. I was the passport when she went to meet Kenny’s father. She would tell my aunt that she was taking me for a “walkabout” when really she was meeting him. She was giggly and happy, in love. When she got pregnant, I was there stroking her hair as she cried because my aunt was yelling and cussing. I remember her squeezing me so tight I couldn’t breathe but I didn’t dare tell her because I loved her so much. (Yes, I do have memories from waaay back…I remember crawling on the black and white floors in the house in Jamaica. It can be a curse and a blessing.)
But of course, everyone got over it and Kenny was Christmas and random visits in the evening on the farm. His father died when Kenny was very young from complications of diabetes. They moved away and the visits became far and few. But that didn’t mean we didn’t know about Kenny. We all worried about Kenny because his step father was a very violent man. A few times, Arlene would run to us to get away from him. But she would go back so we tried to be there for Kenny even if indirectly. She and my mom were very close so that eventually when she moved to Belize City, my mom was able to get her a job working for her uncle at HL’s Burger. When I was in sixth form I would visit her and get my $2 burger. My paternal grandmother made sure she sent Kenny clothes and shoes and of course, candy. Bless her heart. When Kenny was 17, he met us again and it was like the first time because he did not remember us at all. He was ecstatic to find out who “his people” were. He went to the cayes and got to be a “Kuylen” for the first time in his life.
We lost contact after that because we moved out of the country so all we knew was the violent deaths of his mother and sister. It’s funny how murder can separate rather than bring you together but that is what happened. We drifted apart because of the pain…and Kenny went on to live his own life, we, ours.
And now this.
I don’t want to unfairly accuse Mr. Carlos Santos if this truly was an accident and he really did get blinded by the light and hit Kenny. If that is all to it then so be it. What I don’t want is a shitty investigation because Mr. Carlos Santos is a prominent member of his community and married to George Price’s niece. Rumours are flying about that he wasn’t even driving; that his daughter was and he is taking the blame. Another rumour is that he was drinking and driving….
I don’t “know” this…it is “yeriso”. But I am putting you people on notice. He deserves only the most thorough investigation done on his behalf. He was a police officer for god’s sake. One of you. It is what you do as brothers and sisters in this very special family. And while it is sad that an old man is the offender, if he were negligent or if he is lying on behalf of his daughter, they both need to be charged. Kenny was a person, a human being. He had family who loved him his whole life. He mattered.
Links to Kenny’s story: