Jamaican Police say UK media reports on the John Terry Case are not true

Hmmm I was also questioning why was some of the other papers saying different things about the alleged note found near Mr. Terry’s body. Here we have a story from the Jamaican Star saying something else, which I take with a pound of salt but
who do we believe?
Is this damage control to take the spectre off the assumption that it is a gay hate crime or that Mr. Terry was indeed gay?
What do you make of it?

(see other posts below and compare)

star news today:
The local police is denying reports made in a British tabloid yesterday that the killing of Honorary Consul in Jamaica, John Terry, this week was a gay hate crime as was indicated by a murder note allegedly found at the scene.

The report in THE SUN headlined: ‘Our man in Jamaica killed by gay hater read: “The 65-year-old was found naked with a cord wrapped tightly round his neck. He had been beaten around the head with a heavy object, believed to be the base of a lampÉ A note was beside the body. Police sources revealed yesterday it read: “This is what will happen to all gays.”

The report also quoted Deputy Superintendent Michael Garrick of the St James police as saying, “His head and upper body were repeatedly hit.”

When THE STAR spoke to the officer yesterday however he denied saying that.

“I have never mentioned anything like that. I spoke to somebody from that paper but nothing as they reported it was said,” the policeman declared.

would not be disclosed

He also said that the note found at the scene of the crime had nothing to do with homosexuality. As it relates to the content of that document the officer said that would not be disclosed, as it is a matter of investigation.

The police have identified a major person of interest in the murder and has since developed an electronic sketch of that person.

The man is of slim build, brown complexion (bleached) and is believed to be in his early twenties. He was last seen wearing a brown shirt, brown pants, a brown cap with white on the peak and was said to be carrying a black and grey knapsack.

The police are asking anyone who has seen this individual or who knows of his whereabouts to contact the following numbers; Montego Bay CIB: 953-6191, 684-9080; Crimestop 311 or Operation Kingfish 811.

Reports are that Terry drove home Tuesday night and approximately 1:30 p.m. Wednesday his body was discovered in his room on a bed with a wound to the back of the head. He was also lying in blood. Police say it appeared as if Terry had been beaten.

Canadian Groups call for barring of "Murder Music" artists

Jason Kenny Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism recieved a letter from EGALE (Equality for Gays and Lesbians Everywhere), about Beenieman (slated to perform in Ottawa on Sunday Sept 13 and several other dancehall acts complaining of them breaking their signed agreements/declaration upon entering the country.

“As the minister responsible, please use your ministerial discretion to
prevent these musicians from spreading their hatred and calls for violence by barring them from entry into Canada,” Egale asked Kenney.

Though the group is still awaiting a response to its Aug. 6 letter, Beenie Man — a.k.a. 37-year-old Anthony Moses Davis — is scheduled to perform Sunday at the Sunrise Banquet Hall at 1800 Bank St., the third stop in an eight-date Canadian tour that began Friday in Toronto.

“Obviously, he’s in the country, so nothing has been done,” Helen Kennedy, Egale’s executive director, said Friday. “We’re very upset about that.”

Kennedy pointed out that the government quickly banned British MP George Galloway from Canada last March for raising money for Hamas, considered a terrorist organization by Canada.

Yet it continues to issue visas to artists such as Beenie Man even though “we know their lyrics violate our hate-crime laws,” she said.

In an e-mail, a spokeswoman for Citizenship and Immigration Canada said Kenney doesn’t have the legal authority to ban anyone from Canada. Decisions on who is admissible, said Kelli Fraser, are made by visa officers and border agents.

Questionable performers who are admitted to the country are usually required to sign a declaration indicating that they understand that it’s a criminal offence to spread hate and incite violence, Fraser said.

“We are confident that the police will be vigilant in ensuring that appropriate action will be taken if any laws, including the incitement of hatred against an identifiable group, are broken.”

Sgt. Monica Christian, head of the Ottawa police hate crimes unit, said her officers are aware of Beenie Man’s appearance, but have no plans to monitor his performance. “We will certainly deal with any complaints we get from the public, though.”

Christian pointed out that Beenie Man was allowed into Canada, “so obviously Canadian Border Services have no problems with him in the country. He hasn’t as yet committed any crime in Ottawa. Until he does, there’s not a lot we can do.”

Beenie Man is one of the most popular artists in Jamaica. He has a wide following internationally, and won a Grammy for best reggae album in 2000.

But he’s also been accused of inciting the murder of gays and lesbians with the lyrics of some of his songs.

(Eagale quotes from the Ottawa Citizen)

International coverage continues on our homophobic state

Jamaica: A grim place to be gay
Homophobia was the probable motive for the murder of a British diplomat. Cahal Milmo reports on an island where hate crime is rife

When neighbours of John Terry, the British honorary consul in Jamaica’s Montego Bay, were approached by a young man outside his home on Tuesday evening asking for a taxi, they assumed he was just the latest recipient of assistance from the voluntary diplomat who in his three decades on the island had become a pillar of his community.

As well as coming to the aid of hundreds of holidaying Britons, the genteel 65-year-old had served as a magistrate in St James, his well-heeled rural neighbourhood on the outskirts of the country’s tourism capital, and worked for a succession of charities, including a support group for the mentally ill.

But a team of detectives were yesterday investigating whether Mr Terry’s visitor that night, far from being a beneficiary of the honorary consul’s help, was in fact his murderer and a killer driven by the homophobia that plagues the country which the father-of-two had grown to love so much that he made his life there.

From the “murder music” lyrics of reggae stars exhorting the murder of gay men to a member of Jamaica’s governing political party who has described homosexuals as “abusive and violent” and called for gay sex to be made punishable by life imprisonment – the Caribbean island has long been beset by what campaigners describe as “institutional homophobia”.

And the manner of Mr Terry’s death provides harrowing evidence that such prejudice continues to thrive. At lunchtime on Wednesday, the gardener who tended the shrubs outside the New Zealand-born Mr Terry’s modest bungalow found his partially clothed body lying on his bloodstained bedroom floor. He had been badly beaten about the head and body, possibly with the base of his bedside lamp, and then strangled with a cord ligature and a piece of clothing left around his neck.

On the bed was a hand-written note which described Mr Terry as a “batty man”, derogatory slang for a homosexual. Signed “Gay-Man”, it added: “This is what will happen to ALL gays.”

Police sources said the note provided other details which could lead to the identification of Mr Terry’s killer, adding that the theft of personal items such as his wallet and mobile phone looked like an inept attempt to persuade investigators that robbery was the motive for the attack. More likely, says Deputy Superintendent Michael Garrick, is that “the person who murdered Mr Terry was close to him”.

The killing was brutal even by the standards of an island where gang warfare over drugs has earned it the title of one of the world’s most murderous nations. If it is proven to have been motivated by hatred of homosexuals, it will be one of the most high-profile and horrific examples yet of what campaigners say is a growing trend for extreme violence against gay people in Jamaica.

Official statistics are hard to come by, but evidence gathered by Amnesty International shows that at least 35 gay men have been murdered in the Caribbean country since 1997. They include Brian Williamson, the co-founder of the country’s main gay rights groups, the Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG), who was hacked to death with a machete in 2004. A crowd was seen celebrating around Mr Williamson’s mutilated body.

In the last 18 months, at least 33 incidents of mob violence against homosexuals have been recorded, including an attack in Montego Bay where three supposedly gay men attending a carnival were chased in the street, and one of them was beaten about the head with a manhole cover. Elsewhere, mobs have gathered outside a gay man’s funeral and chased another man to his death off a pier.

Homosexual activity remains a criminal offence in Jamaica, punishable by up to 10 years’ imprisonment. Since 2007 Britain, the former colonial power which introduced the island’s sodomy laws, has granted asylum to at least five Jamaicans on the grounds that their lives had been threatened because of their sexual orientation.

Michael, a gay man in the Jamaican capital, Kingston, said the prevalence and virulence of anti-gay sentiment in the country had made his coming out as a homosexual an impossibility.

The 24-year-old, who is a member of J-FLAG but has kept his sexuality hidden from even his closest friends and family, told The Independent: “I know people who are called ‘batty boy’ or other taunts every time they leave home. They live in fear of being attacked. They don’t know if today is the day they are going to be set upon and hacked up.

“I could not take that step. My cousins are leading members of a local church where the pastor regularly condemns gays as the devil, as subversives. If anything, we are going backwards as a nation on this issue. You cannot even feel safe reporting things to the police. I have heard too many stories of police standing aside while a gay man gets a beating, or worse. I’ve heard of gang members shooting a gay man in the street as some sort of rite of passage.”

The literal mood music to such violence, according to campaigners, is the mushrooming of lyrics of reggae singers which glorify and lend legitimacy to homophobic sentiments. Among the performers most frequently pointed to as leading the trend is Buju Banton, a singer from one of Kingston’s toughest slums, whose 1992 hit, “Boom Bye Bye”, boasts of shooting gays with sub-machine guns and burning them with acid.

Another popular performer, Elephant Man, uses one song to say: “When you hear a lesbian getting raped/It’s not our fault … Two women in bed/That’s two sodomites who should be dead.”

The Stop Murder Music campaign in Britain and North America has brought the issue to international prominence, attempting to apply pressure on Banton and artists including Beenie Man, Sizzla and Bounty Killer, by calling for boycotts of concerts and the withdrawal of sponsorship.

A number of singers, including Beenie Man and Sizzla, have agreed to sign an undertaking not to repeat songs containing lyrics that advocate homophobia, but the effectiveness of the agreement has been brought into question after performers, including Banton, agreed to its sentiments only to then deny ever having made any such a commitment.

The Black Music Council, a UK-based group set up to defend the singers, has accused campaigners of censorship and racism by targeting musicians who are reflecting hardline views on homosexuality held across all ranks Jamaican society, from Christian churches and Rastafarian preachers to the country’s parliament.

Certainly, homophobia is openly expressed in the highest echelons. Ernest Smith, an MP for the ruling Jamaica Labour Party, earlier this year used a parliamentary debate to claim that “homosexual activities seem to have taken over this country” and gay men are “abusive, violent”. He added that “acts of gross indecency” between consenting gay men should be punishable by sentences of up to life imprisonment and J-FLAG, which does not disclose the location of its offices for fear of attack, should be “outlawed”.

Rebecca Schleifer, of Human Rights Watch, said: “Discrimination against people based on their actual or perceived sexual orientation is widespread and entrenched. It is expressed from the pulpit to the schoolroom to the parliament. It is very important that the voices of Jamaicans who suffer this discrimination and are trying to overcome it should be heard. This is not a case of powerful white countries seeking to impose their will and values on Jamaica.”

Those who knew Mr Terry, whose wife had separated from him and was living in Kingston with the couple’s grown-up son and daughter, confirmed that the hotel industry worker often socialised with other men, but said he had never come out as gay.

Instead, his friends focused on the unstinting decency of a lifelong volunteer in dealing with the problems of others, from Britons with lost passports to impoverished Jamaicans, whom he attempted to assist. Joy Crooks, administrator for the Committee for the Upliftment of the Mentally Ill, said: “It is very sad for us to know that John has passed in such a horrifying way. It is frightening. He was a kind and caring individual and did anything he could to help the less fortunate.”

Ohio LGBT groups call for cancellation of Buju Banton show in Columbus

Paula BrooksSeveral Ohio LGBT rights groups, including Equality Ohio and the Stonewall Democrats of Central Ohio have begun a campaign pushing for the cancellation of an upcoming performance by Reggae starBuju Banton in Columbus.

Messages from Equality Ohio and the Stonewall Democrats of Central Ohio are being re-posted on Facebook, denouncing the reggae musician as homophobic for song lyrics that call for the murder of gays.
The Jamaican reggae singer’s music has in the past been blamed for inciting violence against LGBT’s and his 1992 song Boom Bye Bye called for shooting gays with Uzis and burning their skin with acid “like an old tire wheel.”

In June 2004, Banton and a gang of men broke into a house of near Banton’s Kingston recording studio and viciously beat six men he claimed were gay. After complaints from international human-rights groups, Banton was finally charged, but a Jamaican judge eventually dismissed the case for lack of evidence.

Last month concert promoters Live Nation and AEG canceled shows in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Chicago, Las Vegas, Dallas and Houston.

The show, scheduled to take place at Columbus’ LC Lifestyles communities Pavilion on October 3rd is being sponsored by PromoWest Promotions.
Both Equality Ohio and Stonewall Democrats of Central Ohio are encouraging people to call or email Amy Cooper, The Marketing Director at PromoWest Promotions at 614-461-5483 or amy@promowestlive.com to voice their concerns about this show.

of note at the time of this post the song is still available on youtube: