Allegations of harassment of gay adolescents and men by the police have once again surfaced. Last week on two nights in a row taxi drivers(not gay)and other msms who witnessed the happenings have reliably informed me that they witnessed police searching and ruffing up men and loiterers on the streets especially in certain business districts of Kingston. A police source however said that there is a drive afoot to clamp down on windshield wipers, pimps, ganja sellers, phone card sellers, prostitutes and dope dealers on the streets who peddle their wares illegally or try to solicit business openly.
In the drive to do so the cops seem to be employing a very hard handed approach to this.
Thursday September 17, at around 11pm two males known to some in our community were accosted and searched randomly by three officers who all had m16 guns drawn and using expletives at the men, they were overhead accusing them of being battybois, when the young men protested and said they weren’t the cops asked then why were they in that particular area. The area in question is a known strip for commercial sex activities carried out by predominantly females. The following night another set of guys this time, one who is known to be struggling after he was threatened in his rural community of his birth to leave as he was a faggot, he now resides in Kingston as a drifter were also searched, hit over the head with a baton and harassed vigorously by the lawmen.
While I can appreciate the need to rid the streets of the negative elements, randomly targeting males and accusing them of being battybois is not my idea of how to go about it, I had thought we were leaving that kind of behaviour behind with the small progress made under this new police administration with police community relations and lgbt people, we were beginning to see positive signs of properpolice conduct towards gays, one tiny step forward, three big steps back it seems, the other part to this equation is what can be done to provide safe houses or shelter for these homeless gays. The gay community itself loathes and fears taking in any of them in as persons feel they can’t be trusted as others who have been assisted but erred have made it bad due to breaking the trust extended to them by stealing and other awful happenings. As it stands there is very little in the way of interventions for this most vulnerable grouping. Can anyone help or suggest how we can begin to tackle this eyesore on our landscape and redeem these young males before they fall through the cracks and either end up dead, become drug addicts or perpetrators of violent crimes.