Jamaican police ‘burn out’ homeless gays

Jamaican police officers burned the belongings of ‘unruly gay men’ living in and around a gully in New Kingston

Jamaican police ‘burn out’ homeless gays
18 October 2013

Jamaican police officers have burned the property of gay and bisexual men living in New Kingston.

The officers from St Andrews Central Police burned clothing and other property of the men who are living in and around Trafalgar Road.

A TV report of the raid on 15 October claims some of the men were male prostitutes working one of the area’s busiest streets.

The report also says police and security guards accuse them of throwing missiles at local businesses and verbally harassing male employees.

It says the men went back to the fire to try to rescue their property and were heard denouncing the police and calling for urgent help.

One activist who went to the local police station to complain about the officers’ actions alleges she wasn’t allowed to make a report as they said it had to be referred to their watchdog – the Independent Commission.

Now LGBT Jamaican campaigner and lawyer Maurice Tomlinson has told Gay Star News: ‘Yesterday, (16 October), seven of the men went to make reports of the incident at the department responsible for police complaints.

‘This is after police at the New Kingston police station refused to take their reports on Wednesday. We are seeking more assistance for these men in the form of legal representation and also to meet their immediate physical needs.

‘Although the Jamaican Commissioner of Police has issued a directive that LGBT victims are not to be discriminated against, and there have been recent news reports showing Jamaican police rescuing gays from mob attacks, it is clear that there is a lot of work that needs to be done with the police in order for them to respect and support the human rights of vulnerable gay Jamaicans.’

Earlier this month four gay men in the resort city of Montego Bay had to flee their home after a mob firebombed it. They asked the police to take them in and protect them but were refused.

The property is thought to be the last place where gender non-conforming teen Dwayne Jones lived before he was ‘chopped and stabbed’ to death at a party in July.

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