MP for the Roseau South Constituency, Attorney Joshua Francis, has condemned the recent killing of a 27 year-old man in Newtown calling it a “senseless” act of violence.
Telford Kerry Ursan George, 27, of Stockfarm was shot and killed in an apparent drive-by shooting which occurred on July 4, 2018 in Newtown.
Francis, who escorted the two police suspects in the shooting, Jason Telemaque and Leon Ettienne, to police headquarters on Tuesday, has also called for a national plan of action to address such violence.
Francis spoke to Dominica News Online (DNO) on Tuesday.
“I am broken hearted, it is a very sad moment. As the Parliamentary Representative my spirit is hurt and injured by this act of violence and I sincerely condemn such behaviour,” he said. “Such violence is senseless…it brutally injures the heart and minds of families and the community by extension.”
He said lives are affected when things like that happen.
“The loss of life is a most painful thing for any family,” he said. “I can only imagine the brokenness and the pain that the family of the deceased is going through, as well as that of the alleged shooters,” Francis continued. “It is never an easy thing for a family to lose a young person and it is never an easy thing for a family to be on the receiving end as well, because the alleged shooters have a family and they must be hurting too.”
This latest episode of violence among youth has prompted the Roseau South Parl Rep to call for society to find a way, perhaps a national action plan, which he says must be implemented at the local level in an effort to avoid those types of senseless shootings.
“We have to find a way to make our society more peaceful, find a way to resolve our conflicts without resorting to violence,” Francis stated.
He appealed to the Roseau South Constituency, particularly the people of New Town and Loubiere, to rally with, and support each other.
“I want to ask people to rally and to support each other,” he urged. “It is a very difficult time, but when we come together as a team, when we come together as a community we are much stronger, we can support each other.”
Francis also highlighted the need to reach out to young men in society and to find a way to help them.
“Our young men are in trouble, we need to help our young men, we need to go back to the ground and connect with young men,” he pleaded. “And we need to hear them out.”
He said young men are quickly becoming marginalized.
“We need to listen to them, we need to find a way to help them,” he remarked. “Because the people who are being killed, the majority of them are young men and the people who alleged kill the majority of them are young men.”
The Roseau South MP recommended a proactive, preventative approach to stop that type of behaviour and called on families to take responsibility for their children, especially the boys.
“Talk to them, look over them, do not curse them, follow them, give them love, show them care, inspire them to go back to work,” he urged. “I think that is the biggest problem for our young men right now, is that they are being ignored and they become rebellious, they are aggressive, they become more and more violent…”