Yesterday a man named Ed Gallimore went to an ATM in New Kingston to withdraw money and fell victim to a robber who shot and killed him. He was a prominent figure in the tourist industry. According to a report in the Jamaica Observer:
Gallimore was shot at an automated banking machine on Knutsford Boulevard about 3:30 pm. Police report that Gallimore had withdrawn an undetermined sum of cash from the machine when he was pounced upon by a gunman upon leaving the booth. Gallimore was shot and the gunman escaped on a motorcycle.
In Jamaica gunmen always ‘pounce’ on their victims. Don’t ask why. A question I will ask is why Jamaican media seems to be conspiring with the bank concerned to keep the exact location of the ATM a secret. All we know is that it’s somewhere on Knutsford Boulevard in New Kingston. Such an omission raises serious questions about the media and exactly whose watchdogs they are…
In a sinister twist Ed Gallimore’s mother and other mourners were held up and robbed at his house today:
The Observer learnt that friends of the former tourism industry executive were at his house offering condolences to his mother when one of the gunmen, pretending to be a friend, walked in, hugged Gallimore’s mother, then pulled a gun and demanded money.
Something has changed about the calibre of crime we’re experiencing now. Only last week there was a brazen carjacking not very far from the unnamed ATM.
A Kingston mother was subjected to one of the most frightening ordeals of her life yesterday when an armed man forced himself into her car in heavy drive-time traffic, fought with her, and eventually drove away with her baby who was strapped into a car seat in the back. “I am still in shock,” Judy-Ann Hinds told the Observer about an hour after the ordeal ended when the thief crashed her car on Oxford Road and bolted up Belmont Road, leaving the baby unharmed.
Notice that the media wasn’t bashful about identifying the exact location in this instance; it gives you the precise address where the carjacker lost control of the car. No prizes for guessing why. There was no powerful business, political or social entity located there. As the crime wave continues the media needs to be reminded that they are supposed to be serving the public, not just those who advertise in their pages or buy their airtime. Their model ought not to be the dog in the HMV ads listening to His Master’s Voice…their job is to be the canary in the coal mine singing its heart out to alert us of the danger surrounding us. Your job is to inform not to withhold information.
This is a direct message to the media: The public needs information in order to minimize its risks. Kindly provide it. That’s your mandate.