Fictional diary entry of the widow of a gang leader in Trinidad.
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Open letter to our law-abiding citizens
This is an open letter to our innocent, law-abiding citizens who know:
• the persons with illegal firearms in their communities
• where persons wanted by law enforcement are hiding
• where kidnappers reside
• persons responsible for robberies and those who benefit
This letter to you has become necessary because the heinous crimes that continue to affect our communities have long become too unbearable and the tears that families and friends cry wet our faces too often. But why are we writing to the innocent citizens?
Just two days ago we looked at, and read the horror story of a young talented Trinbagonian who was killed apparently for simply being a teenager. The end of the story resembles many others in our beautiful country but is more tragic for a greater reason. If the newspaper reports are correct, residents of this particular community often complained about persons walking with firearms and firing shots “all hours of the day and night like is some kind of game”.
Did anyone and more specifically any adult in that community consider that possession of a firearm in this country without a firearm user’s licence is still a criminal offence? Did anyone think that the right thing to do was to report these misguided persons to law enforcement? Finally, did anyone think that the same unreported firearm would have been responsible for the death one of their own talented sons?
We believe that someone did think about the questions raised. However, that someone was probably apathetic, not being sufficiently concerned to care. We also believe that such a person may have been afraid. We also believe that such a person is now crying for the community’s son and expressing frustrations of a system gone totally awry.
When will you, the innocent, law-abiding citizen with information on criminal activity realise to reduce crime the police needs your information? If it doesn’t bother you, then we will all continue to shed tears for our citizens lying on our streets and their bloody photos being shared virally across our digital devices. If it bothers you, then find a way to discretely and safely report what you know. Since 1999 Crime Stoppers Trinidad and Tobago has safely provided this opportunity through our anonymous hotline 800-TIPS.
Dear innocent, law-abiding citizen we have cried enough.
Trinidad and Tobago
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