Protesters Want “Justice for Jahhym!”


A small group of protesters gathered outside Police Headquarters this week calling for law enforcers to act against young men who reportedly robbed and brutally beat a 17-year-old boy.

“Justice for Jahhym Azoo”, read one of the placards, while another read, “MINORS are turning into CRIMINALS and our POLICE are doing NOTHING!! WE do NOT feel SAFE!!”

According to reports, a group of boys under the age of 18, severely beat the teenager after he resisted when they tried to rob him of his cellular phone and a pair of slippers.

The incident reportedly happened as Azoo was walking through Grays Farm on September 5.

Reports indicated, doctors initially deemed the injured teenager’s chance of survival at 50 percent due to bleeding on his brain.

He was later said to be recovering slowly after doctors performed life-saving surgery to stop the bleeding.

On Thursday, Acting Police Commissioner, Atlee Rodney told state media there had been no arrests in the case since police are ensuring they follow procedures in the Child Justice Act.

The Act, which was enacted by Parliament in 2015, established a Child Justice Board to deal with initial inquiries into allegations against suspects under the age of 18.

According to provisions of the Act, minors accused of crimes, must also be assessed by a social worker before taken before the board.

“We are speaking not only to the officers that dealing with it, but also to the other stakeholders when it comes to juvenile matters, so the other agencies are involved and we are trying to bring some solution to this problem”, Atlee said.

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    There may have been some ‘…mistake; …misguidance; or …misunderstanding’ on the part of the Police as to their statutory role and function, as opposed to that of the ‘…Child Justice Board.’ The ‘…Child Justice Act’ [No.13 of 2015] was ‘…Not So Intended’ to change the role of the Police or to curtail their powers; or redefine their responsibilities and functions as enforcers of law.

    More particularly, it does not affect their primary duties under the ‘…Police Act’ [Chapter 330: Laws of Antigua & Barbuda], in bringing perpetrators of crime to ‘…Criminal Justice.’

    Neither the Police, nor the ‘Child Justice Board’ functions in a judicial capacity.

    While the ‘…Police Service’ has a role to play under the ‘…Child Justice Act,’ the Commissioner of Police and his men and women are not subordinate to the ‘…Child Justice Board,’ that has a purely ‘…Administrative and non-prosecutorial role.’

  2. Those young who mauled this 17 year old young man,should all be arrested.Then after they are off the streets.You the bureaucrats could then determine the way forward.Because in my not a law man opinion.They should not be out on the streets harassing the community.Some one could be killed.Then what?Would we then be saying they were too young to be arrested.Come on Police top Brass.
    Thanks for your enlightened input into this matter.

  3. In my opinion it is shameful.That only 5 persons took part in that protest.When crimes affect all of us regardless of ethnicity in that Community of Grays Green and beyond.Where are the Community Leaders in this instance.Are they too busy and or afraid to show their faces.Are they themselves afraid of the Gangs in Rural West?

  4. What role is the police really playing in this matter? I can understand & perhaps appreciate that the child justce act may give the police the right to collaborate with social workers to enforce a charge on the minors, but it does not mean that the hands of the police should be off the offenders just because they are minors….. This could be sending a wrong message to youngsters and perhaps giving them a green light to continue to be criminals…. Yes the law is the law, but JUSTICE should prevail regardless of what age the offenders are…….

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