The only Jamaican paper with balls–The Sunday Herald

Answers some questions about the owner of the BMW X6 whose driver killed a 17 yr old Jamaican and why his identity is being protected by the media, police, church and government.

November 6, 2011

UPDATE! For readers searching for information about the Sunday Herald you can tune in to my interview with the chairman of the board Rev Garnett Roper  about what’s happening with the Sunday Herald at 9 am Jamaican time on Newstalk 93FM, it streams live on the internet at http://newstalk.com.jm/LiveStream.htm. Back to my July 10 post below….

I’ve been very irregular with updating this blog. Largely this is because in February this year I started doing two weekly radio programmes, Double Standards and The Silo, on Newstalk 93. Coupled with my full time job at the University of the West Indies this leaves me with very little spare time. Something had to give and alas, its been Active Voice…

Double Standards, which I co-host with Yvette Rowe, a BBC-trained radio and TV broadcaster attempts to give listeners a more in-depth, analytical sense of issues in the news, both locally and globally. We also look at media coverage in general, pinpointing where we think it’s biased or employing a double standard, or just plain inadequate, leaving the public ill-informed, in the dark or providing it with little more than a succession of press releases. In the last week or two there’ve been so many instances of this that we can barely keep up.

For instance the cover page headline in today’s Observer, one of the two main daily newpapers in Jamaica, blares ‘Who is the X6 Killer?’ The question relates to the leading article in the paper, illustrated by the image below, about a killing that has shocked the country.

About two weeks ago Khajeel Mais, a 17-year old schoolboy travelling in a taxi, was shot dead by the driver of a BMW X6 which the taxi had accidentally grazed. In an apparent act of road rage the BMW driver leapt out of his vehicle and proceeded to fire at the taxi, which turned and tried to flee. One of the bullets entered the head of the unfortunate 17-year old killing him immediately.

Since then it has emerged that the owner of the luxury car is a highly connected businessman with ties to top policemen as well as politicians. No doubt this is why its driver felt empowered enough to attack the taxi in the brazen way that he did. No doubt this is why the major media houses here are scared to name either owner or driver. We don’t even know if they were one and the same or different.

Twitter was abuzz with the news and jokes about the X6, like this tweet: @afflictedyard: For Sale: BMW X6 #migratingmustsell #minordamage

All week long rumours have been flying about the murderous X6 driver to the effect that the man had left the country within hours of the shooting and that a senior cop with connections to the driver had been caught concealing information pertinent to the case. Although the policeman’s name has been mentioned at least once in a television news broadcast I saw, the alleged shooter’s identity, as well as the name of the owner of the car, have carefully been kept from the public in much the same way that the name of a Chinese restaurant in Mandeville, whose fried rice sickened at least 14 patrons, sending some to hospital, has been punctiliously withheld from the public.

What’s the deal here?

According to the Observer:

While the name of the alleged shooter cannot be published because he has not been charged with a crime, there are some things the Sunday Observer can report about him, based on interviews with persons who have intimate knowledge of him.

Clearly the newspaper IS in a position to divulge the name of the suspect, or the ‘person of interest’ to use a technical term, judging by the wealth of detail it goes on to provide about him. He’s “of dark complexion”, is a Canadian citizen and “has deep ties with both major political parties, though he is said to have greater loyalty to the Opposition People’s National Party”.

The murder suspect — who is a real estate developer and who is said to have enormous wealth — is also linked to other major local figures from the criminal underworld, while maintaining “very deep” connections with senior members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force.

The suspect, who over the years has kept a low profile, is said to have real estate developments in several posh St Andrew communities, including Liguanea and Norbrook.

Additionally, he’s said to have developments along Red Hills Road and owns several other multi-million-dollar properties in the Constant Spring area of St Andrew, among others.

He’s also the owner of a private jet.

The claim that the paper can’t publish the name of the suspect because “he has not been charged with a crime” is a crock of shit; this has never kept them from trumpeting the names of other less influential ‘suspects’ who have yet to be charged with a crime. In the very same paper there is another story: Security guard sought in mother-daughter murder:

A security guard is being sought by the Savanna-la-Mar police following the killing of two women and the injury of their neighbour during a dispute in Farm District, Westmoreland yesterday.

The accused has been identified as 25-year-old Roche Tomlinson.

The guard who is on the run, is yet to be charged with the murder, yet the paper boldly tells us his name! (omg! news has just broken that the security guard was killed and dismembered, then set ablaze by vigilantes, wonder if this has anything to do with his name being called?) Similarly some months ago Jamaican media, including the Observer had no qualms about bandying about the names of Vybz Kartel and Mavado when the two were taken in by the police for questioning as ‘persons of interest’ in crimes we are yet to be informed about. Mavado even complained of the resulting damage to his reputation but its not clear what compensation if any he has recieved. The same goes for Kartel who was kept in the lockup for two weeks prompting him to appear on stage at last year’s Reggae Sumfest in handcuffs and prison uniform.

Photo of Kartel: Marcia Forbes
spraggabenz

And only a couple of months ago we heard all over the media that DJ Spragga Benz was wanted for questioning by the police in connection with a triple murder. Apparently nothing came of it because he’s out and about. Has he been compensated for damage to his reputation?  The answer is a resounding NO. Talk about double standards!

Well, guess what? The Sunday Herald names the owner of the car, calmly and without any fanfare, in a short news item titled “Police awaiting forensic tests on BMW X6”. It’s Patrick Powell. Of course we don’t know whether this was in fact the car that was involved in the accident, nor do we know, even if it was the car,  that the owner was driving it at the time of the shooting.

But why is it only the Herald that had the balls to come out and name the owner of the car which is being investigated by the police? That’s what i want to know. More power to them! Again from Twitter: RT @JustSherman: Jamaica Observer and Gleaner couldn’t cross it, but the Jamaica Herald can swim #onlyrealjamaicannewpaper

Author: Annie Paul

writer, editor and avid tweeter anniepaulose@gmail.com

25 thoughts on “The only Jamaican paper with balls–The Sunday Herald”

  1. I love this post. I am most upset and disappointed in the Jamaica Observer. I told them in no uncertain terms on twitter. The fact is that the person described has engaged their lawyer. They cannot keep.doing this.to people. It could happen to anyone. Thank you for this

  2. Good post. Glad the herald manned up. Been wondering if is the x6 shoot the youngster. Hope that man faces the full force of the law. Then again this is Jamaica 😦 what law?

  3. Hail Annie Paul a.k.a Famous Voice on Newstalk 93. Blessings, may your successes in the world of talk radio be unparalleled.

    I have generally view things this way (I could be wrong) Gleaner = pro PNP, Observer = pro JLP. If the real killer is in fact connected to both major political parties it stands to reason that this “double standard” exists. The only question I now have is…”is the Sunday Herald politically aligned to the NDM or did it just practice good Journalism?”

    In any event the perpetrator when caught should face the full weight of the law so that others may come to their senses before its too late; because too many ‘eeediat’ in high places.

    There seems to be too much bravado among Jamaican males and wanton attitudes among young and not-so-young ‘ladies’. Too much ill gotten gain and brutish behaviour (including some dutty Taxi driva and bike ryda weh lik mi car and speed off). Too many double standards and corrupt politicians.

    Peace and love, Stero

  4. Excellent article. Two thumbs up. I am a Canadian and reading about the entire incident made me furious. The Jamaican Newspapers and Police Force has to stop supporting these accused. Clearly, they are always quick to identify the ghetto people. Why are they afraid of this Patrick Powell. Double standard indeed. I am very disappointed about the way in which the other papers handled the news story. Justice should be for all.

    1. Thanks Joy–its amazing how things are set up to enable such corruption yet these very characters are the first to jump up and spew forth self-righteously against DJs such as the ones named–no wonder the country is in a state of virtual civil war–this is why people think things might have been better if the British were still in charge–

    1. Its not that much, problem is they need a lot of money, because they often carry news that’s inconvenient to the government or big business they get punished by not getting ads and other kinds of support. it’s the only paper owned by journalists not business people…

  5. I would definitely subscribe to the Herald – can I read it online? Great article Annie and will definitely check out your radio show. From one fearless radio presenter to another – Sheron Pearson The Conduit show host at http://www.e2onair.com (Sundays 6-9 pm)

  6. Great Blogging Annie. I glad I ran into you while trying to find the Herald article from Sunday that named the shooter. Keep up the good job, though very busy :-).

  7. These pages generally seems to get a good ammount regarding visitors. How do you advertise that? It includes a pleasant personal twist about things. I guess possessing one thing genuine or even substantial to talk about is an essential thing.

  8. Hi Annie, loved this blog, and I do agree that there is a lot of bias in the media. I am currently trying to find the Sunday Herald online to know avail. Can you help? Would appreicate it. Thank you.

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