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Beetham rage and restlessness

Thursday, July 19, 2018

It has happened again.

Predictably, a police killing in the Beetham community early Wednesday morning sparked displays of community rage and turmoil that threatened to disrupt the flow of traffic on nearby major roadways—the Eastern Main Road, Priority Bus Route and Beetham Highway.

On this occasion, fortunately, soldiers and police officers responded quickly and brought the situation under control, minimising disruptions and possible threats to public safety.

The underlying story has to do with the fatal shooting of a 19-year-old resident of Beetham Gardens, Akiel Thomas, and the conflicting accounts of what transpired during the early morning police exercise in Hell Yard that resulted in his death. That matter will no doubt be pursued by the Police Complaints Authority.

A more pressing issue, however, is preventing these flare-ups, usually involving setting fire to debris, blocking roads and noisy confrontations between residents and the police. That this area, a known crime hot spot, happens to be located right on the fringe of the nation’s capital, presents a complex challenge for those charged with maintaining law and order.

Nevertheless, ways must be found to prevent these regular outbursts of Beetham rage.

The plight of Gloria Nicome, who has become a virtual prisoner in her Malabar home due to the 160-pound tumour growing on her body, warrants some intervention by this country’s health and social services.

A once-independent woman, Ms Nicome now barely survives on $1,150 in public assistance which cannot cover her medical and other needs.

Barely able to walk because of the tumour, which covers her back, buttocks, hips and legs, she is appealing for help to ease her plight.

It is unfortunate that the support she once got through the public health system has stopped and because of her limited mobility, she is not capable of travelling to get the medical attention she needs.

There should be some type of support for Ms Nicome, who deserves a better quality of life, including medical care to remove or reduce the tumour which is the source of her pain and suffering.

Compassion and care are urgently needed in this case.

Netball star Kalifa McCollin, just back home from her second stint in England, is giving back to her homeland in a special way over the next few days. The Gilbert Netball Ambassador will be sharing her talent and experience through two camps scheduled for the Jean Pierre Complex in Port-of-Spain and Shaw Park, Tobago.

Well done!

Kalifa deserves a standing ovation for this initiative.


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