Commissioner of Police Visits Rivero Street to Address Gang Rivalry After Teen’s Murder
The murder of 16-year-old Jahfeth Stamp has traumatized the residents of Rivero Street and sparked the need for intervention in the area. Today, the Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams, and members of the Leadership Intervention Unit visited the area in an effort to quell the ongoing gang rivalry. Stamp was the second teen to be gunned down within three weeks, and his death is believed to be related to the recent arson of a home in the area. ComPol Williams explained that recently the police have noticed an uptick in gang-related shootings that are being perpetrated by young men.
Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police:“I am here along with Miss Dominique Narales, who is the head of LIU, Brother Nuri, Brother Giovanni Brackett, Brother Stix and Footie Gongara* and you would know that over the weekend we had a shooting incident where one person was killed and another person was injured. And yes, this is another fatal shooting. We had one just a few months ago in the same general area and so the area is becoming of concern to us. And so we are here to speak with the people to get their feedback and as well as to tell them what are some of the plans we have in place to be able to address their security concerns. We want the people to know that their concerns is not going unnoticed and that as a department working in tandem with LIU we will do what needs to be done to address the issue. Whenever we have these murders people tend to want to jump up and say, a teen killed. While it is sad, because at the end of the day no one should be killed, no one deserves to die at the hands of another. But at the same time we have to be cognizant of the fact that while we’re seeing that many of the old heads who we have been targeting as gang members are holding it down per se, we do have a generation of some vicious youths and these youths are the problem for us now. It is difficult even for the older heads to be able to control them because they want to do their own thing. And when they do get a hold of firearm then they make it even worse.”
ComPol Williams further explained that the police are working to install more surveillance footage in the area.
Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police: “We were more focused in other areas but we have not forgotten or neglected the area because we do have a presence at the corner of Craal Road and Rivero Street. But again, you know that the criminals tend to work around the police and so what we’ll do now, I had spoken to the security company and we’re going to install more surveillance cameras in the area. Also we have to look at making sure that the police officers who are working within the area do not just stay under a booth, but that they come out and patrol, move around the area and do more stop and search. You know, I think of this whole thing, right, and I said can you imagine if the police would have met a 15-year-old and searched a 15-year-old what the public would have said? Oh, the police are harassing a minor, right? You understand me? But police need to do what needs to be done, and I am sure that at the end of the day the majority of the public is going to understand. I maintain my position and as I said to GI3 just today, we have to make sure that our approach is a dual one. Those persons who continue to perpetrate criminal act we cannot sit around a table and negotiate with them. There should be no dialogue. It should be that GI3 do what needs to be done and they be charged for gang membership. Yes, those persons who are holding it down, they are working with us, we’ll continue to work with them in making sure that we provide that mechanism for them to make that change but it cannot be that while some are changing or working with us you have some who are taunting them and doing their own thing, making our job more difficult and they just get away. We have to deal hard with those persons and that is the way we’re going.”