Friday, July 26, 2013, Kingston, Jamaica – The death of 17-year-old Dwayne Jones at the hands of a brutal mob in St James on July 22, is yet another horrifying example of the levels of violence we are prepared to tolerate in our society.
Reports are that Dwayne attended a dance dressed as a woman, and when this was brought to public attention, was set upon by a brutal mob that beat, stabbed and shot him to death. His body was then dumped, as the dance continued.
No-one must seek to justify this heinous and vicious criminal act on the basis of Dwayne Jones’ gender non-conforming behaviour. We cannot as a society tolerate acts of mob violence and we cannot as a society support – openly or tacitly – violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people or people who do not conform to society’s expectations of how each gender should behave. Our poor record of investigating and holding accountable persons who have taken part in mob violence cannot continue if we expect to prosper as a nation.
Since this murder, there has been little sense of outrage, little media coverage and only a few voices speaking up and out about this killing. We must ask ourselves what this says about us as a people.
We call on the Prime Minister and other governmental leaders, religious and church leaders and other prominent voices in our society to condemn this mob killing and ensure that their utterances do not contribute to an environment in which people feel that killing those who are different to them is the right thing to do.
We call on the police to do a thorough investigation in order to put before the courts those who have committed this crime.
And we ask anyone who has any information that can assist in this investigation to come forward with it. Evil flourishes when we all remain silent.