Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Jamaica: Homosexual accuses police of discrimination

Jamaica Observer:- A self-confessed homosexual, who is also an AIDS patient, yesterday complained in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court that the police are discriminating against him because of his sexuality. The man also accused the police of denying him his acquired immune deficiency syndrome medication.

The 22-year-old gay man was held at the Norman Manley International Airport on February 6, after attempting to smuggle two-and-a-half pounds of ganja to Curacao.

In explaining his story to the judge, the young man said that when he told the police officer that he needed to take his medication, the cop said “him no like homosexual”.

“One of the officer dem seh dem wi spray mi cause dem no like b….man. I didn’t get a chance to take my meds. I don’t go anywhere without my meds,” he continued, adding that he contracted the virus at age 11 when he was raped.

This is not the first complaint of discrimination by homosexuals before the court.

In the past, they have complained of being mocked and physically abused by members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).

In February 2015, the

Sunday Observer published a story about a cross-dresser who complained in court that he was ridiculed and beaten by police officers.

Assistant Commissioner of Police Glenford Hudson yesterday told the Jamaica Observer that the JCF’s Diversity Policy is clear that homosexuals should be treated equally, with consideration for their human dignity and their safety.

Hudson said that despite the JCF not having a specific detention facility to house homosexuals, they are separated from the general population in lock-ups when they are arrested and charged.

Hudson, while stating that he is not aware of the complaints, said there should be no discrimination against homosexuals.

“He should get his medication once it is known. He should get some sort of help for whatever illness there may be, once it is known,” he told the Observer. “We have the facility to get government medical personnel in our detention centres to check on people and to ensure that whatever illness they are saying they have is not used to get away from certain things.”

However, when the 22-year-old’s matter was called up yesterday, the court was informed that he is being held at Hunt’s Bay Police Station.

The court was told that about 4:50 pm on February 6, the 22-year-old went to Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston and attempted to board a flight to Curacao. He was stopped and searched by the police, who were reportedly acting on information.

During the search, a bulge was allegedly discovered in the region of his groin. Williams subsequently removed the irregular-shaped parcel, which contained the ganja, from his crotch.

When he appeared in court yesterday, he pleaded guilty with explanation to possession of and dealing in ganja.

Prior to adjourning the matter, Parish Judge Andrea Pettigrew-Collins instructed the liaison officer from Hunt’s Bay Police Station to find out what had happened to the accused man’s medication.

The young man will be brought back to court today.


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