Community in St James Mourns as Local Man Falls to Security Forces’ Actions

In a heartbreaking event that has left the community of Flanker, St James in deep dismay and outrage, a local man was tragically lost to actions attributed to the security forces. The sorrow has engulfed the neighbourhood as they mourn the loss of the individual known affectionately among them as Peter Johnson.

The unsettling incident unfolded on a day that started like any other, with Johnson amongst a gathering of local party supporters on Codac Drive. It’s here amidst the camaraderie and vibrant spirit of the community that the day took a dire turn.

From the recounts of those who witnessed the events, a harrowing tale emerges. It’s said that Johnson, in a moment of panic, attempted to flee from the approaching security personnel. Despite surrendering in an unequivocal display of peace — hands raised in surrender — he was fatally shot.

“The young man just ran into the yard over there and lifted both his hands, and then he was shot. Even after he fell, it didn’t stop there,” shared a deeply distraught eyewitness, her voice thick with grief and disbelief.

This tragic incident isn’t just a moment of personal loss for those who knew Johnson but a stark interruption to a rare unity that had been blossoming amongst supporters of the competing political factions within the area. “This doesn’t look good. We were all living harmoniously up to this point. I even wore my PNP friend’s hat today,” lamented another community member, speaking to the sense of communal harmony that had preceded this event.

The ripple effects of this tragic event were immediately felt, bringing a sudden and somber pause to the day’s activities, including the important democratic process of voting. Polling stations at the Flanker Primary and Infant School, a cornerstone for community gathering and expression, became scenes of confusion and sorrow.

“I had just left work to exercise my right to vote, only to be met with this tragedy. It’s disheartening. It brings back memories of similar incidents we’ve had to endure,” shared another resident, reflecting on the recurring sorrow that has marred the community’s attempts to participate in the electoral process over the years.

In the wake of this upsetting event, many residents voiced their despair and decided to abstain from voting, a potent indication of the deep-seated hurt and disillusionment that has taken hold.

The cry of Flanker is a cry for justice, for peace, and for a future where the community can gather, support, and express itself without the shadow of fear. As the community mourns Peter Johnson, their message is clear: the cycle of violence must end.

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