Rise Above, Bermuda

As most readers are aware there was another shooting over the weekend which claimed the life of 30 year old Kumi Harford. I personally wouldn’t know Mr. Harford from Adam, and I have no idea what he did or what connections he may have had with Bermuda’s underworld. All I know is that someones son, someones nephew, someones neighbour, someones friend, someones lover and someones father died the other day. I also know that it will likely lead to some more violence, some more deaths and more loss, and so on in the now all to familiar downward spiral of violence that has always been present in our island, but is becoming ever more public.

There will be the now almost ritual outpouring of community grief, of calls for people to cooperate with the police, of the need for more draconian punishments and the obligatory politicising of the situation, be it between the PLP and the Opposition or the PLP and the Governor. And more than likely nothing substantial will happen until the next round of violence intrudes into the status quo of political whinging and business deals.

I understand that the brothers Caines and Dr. Lou Matthews are launching a new community focused action group to combat the downward spiral of violence that has become so prevalent of late. They have called it ‘Rise Above, Bermuda’ and the initial focus of the group will be on youth mentoring and facilitating a coordinated action plan between Bermudas various community organisations, be they religious, sporting or other.

I do not know the full extent of their plans, but I understand they will be expanded on in the newspaper this week, and I will comment on them further at that time. I also understand that they have set up an email address to encourage public input. The email address is riseabovebermuda -@- gmail.com (delete the hyphens and combine the three parts as per a normal email address). If we can get 437 responses to the draft PATI legislation, I hope we can get the same, if not more, for something like this.

They also have a Facebook page which I encourage readers to visit, use and join.

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37 thoughts on “Rise Above, Bermuda

  1. Pingback: Global Voices Online » Bermuda: Of Leglisation and Violence

  2. Lovely pic of Mr Harford in the RG today.

    Bling ear stud – check
    G – Unit chavshirt – check
    Liberace level gay neck chain – check.

    I think he was in my house at Winchester.

  3. I’m at a loss. 14 shootings this year. That is absolutely staggering. People scared to walk around front street at night, which we’ve been doing for 30 damn years!

    I know the slope was said to be slippery, but in 12 months we’ve gone from the threat of being intimidated enough to stay at home to, well, staying at home.

    And 1 conviction, I believe. That’s the most depressing part.

    I’m often critical of the PLP, but in they’re miracle workers in comparison to our police force and judiciary.

    Everyone of us who knows something and isn’t telling is failing ourselves, our community and our children.

    14 shootings…I simply cannot believe that. To be it into context, using some stats, with a population of 60k, the top 5 highest gun murders per capita would go:

    1. 43 per annum – S. Africa
    2. 31 per annum – Colombia
    3. 19 per annum – Thailand (!)
    4. 9 per annum – Bermuda (GO US!)
    5. 2 per annum – Mexico

  4. Sorry, we actually only had 2 murders, so ammend the above table accordingly. Regardless, tied for fourth!

  5. I wonder how we, or if we, can draw a connection between what’s happening on our streets and the “Young Black Male” report? Should we assume that it’s predominantly young black males that are involved here? Also, this guy was 30 years old, why is he still “gang-banging”?

    One more thing, if the shootings are “area” related, wouldn’t it be worthwhile to have a stronger police presence in these areas?

  6. don’t complain, you voted in Ewart Brown’s PLP govt. who turned Bermuda into a criminal ghetto

    1)murders every week
    2) a billion dollar deficit
    3) not one hotel deal closed , hotels EMPTY, except for plp elitist’s giving themselves award dinners
    4) no managing to help unemployment,rents,homeless
    5) closed door policy on how TAXPAYER’s funds are spent when TRANSPARENCY was their entire political campaign
    6)Uighurs………

    the list is endless…

  7. It’s a crying shame whats happening on the streets of Bermuda. I guess they are not gang wannabe’s are they. Bermuda has a full fledge gang problem, and for such a small island, it will have devistating effects on the quality of life in the island if this problems is not taken care of. It is not time for divisiveness, as this problem will effect every single resident on the island.

  8. u people dont care about the underclass that you have created via your economic segregation

    this is just the tip of the ice berg as far as the social backlash

    the chickens are comming home to roost

    your only hope now is to finally listen to the grass roots people and enact the reforms in the system that they want to better their lives

    other wise u all fulla s@@@ and deserve the next wave thats comming. And the next wave is going to come to your doorsteps.

    ALL POWER TO THE PEOPLE BY ANY MEANS NESSICARY

    (EDIted for more pitifully disgusting language)

  9. Recession reduced the drug volume market lower sales. friends become enemies. Under the booming economy everything was slower now scores to settle occur. the real issue here outside the determination of the garrison shooters is…could this happen to you and how would you stop it?
    Only one answer T.I. said it all, ” if he was strapped he would be alive today.”
    This is was happens when you have weak liberal leaders, they leave you open like a sitting duck.
    Without gun leglislation only a fool would help the police.
    What you would do if garrison rolled up on you like Gaglio?

  10. Mambo? What the hell is that? Anyone can get shot if the shooter is determine what would you do if they come for you? be ready to die for what you believe or shoot first.

  11. Gun leglislation rifle in the closet, magnum in the glove compartment 22 strapped to the ankle. The only way to gang violence is to shoot first. like T.I. says, if he was strapped he would be alive today.”

  12. no change in this system = no positive change in the people that live in the system.

    this system has created this under class, and the system needs to be changed inorder for the under class and the social backlash to go away.

    economics have destroyed the family and the lack of family has created these issues.

    (edited for fowl language)

    ALL POWER TO THE PEOPLE BY ANY MEANS NESSICARY

  13. Kumi was the coolest cat you would ever meet! He could not control where he grew up or who he knew. Its senseless more so because he was not that type of guy that was caught up in all the “gansta wannabe’s”. My heart and condolences go out to his mother, his wife, the rest of his family but most importantly, to his son Knawledge. We were lookiing forward to the regular Friday nights, more so as this Friday would have been his birthday………

  14. So why was he shot five times DS? Did he pee on someones lawn? Did he park in their driveway? Did he throw his garbage over the wall/fence of a neighbour?

    Why DS, Why……………………………..

  15. the plain n simple truth ….. these people are not interested in changing anything. and the youth know it!!

    we see a bunch of plp people makin a desperate attempt to act so that the public dont loose any more faith in their party…they have already started their crusade to save the gang bangers off on the wrong foot by attempting to down play the fact that the economic conditions here and the need for systemic reform are low priority factors in the problems facing the under class.

    this speaks to the lack of sincerity to really fix all our social issues in one stroke!

    they r not serious based on a study that cost 350K on gangs with reccomendations done in 06 07 thats been shelved and never made public

    how many people could have been saved from that point till now if they acted 3 yrs ago

    cutt the BS youths see right throught it.

    they aint going to listen to any do gooder who aint comming to the table with the included solution of changing this system…..in order to break cycles once and for all to end generational poverty and the economic divide…..

    they aint trying to hear more hot air bs…..real talk!

    NO CHANGE IN THE SYSTEM = NO SERIOUS INTENT OF CHANGING THE PLIGHT OF THE UNDER CLASS AND STOPING THE GROWTH OF GANGS

    ALL POWER TO THE PEOPLE BY ALL MEANS NESSICARY

    (EDITED FOR FOWL LANGUAGE)

  16. Just noting that Dr. Brown has used this opportunity to once again ask that his government, the ‘elected officials’ be given control of the police force. And of course, mentioning that the governor, control and unelected as many times as possible.

    @ Jonny – I know your views on independence, which is why I’m interested to know if you support the Premier in these demands? Especially considering operational control actually rests with the commissioner of police, who is oddly ignored by Dr. Brown.

    What genuinely scares me is that Dr. Brown appears to be more than happy to leverage these killings to help his cause, and makes that his message rather than trying to get the community to help. It is in strong contrast to other MPs. I know he is a politician above al other things, but I would have hoped some things weren’t political.

    Further, given his record with tourism (just facts here) do we really want him having operational control of the police force? Would he just add that to his portfolio, splitting his attention even more? Shouldn’t there be a separation between government and the police?

  17. @ LiF – Yes, I do support independence, however I do not understand the insistence by the Premier and some others on this argument (about the police). If it is indeed an attempt to boost the pro-independence movement I think it is a poor one and it would be a lot more useful to tackle the independence issue by continuing the work of the now defunct Bermuda Independence Commission and encouraging island-wide discussion on the topic.

    I have not yet seen any argument about how policing would be any different should the Premier have operational control, but look forward to hearing them. To me the police should be essentially autonomous, like the Auditor General or Ombudsman, but with civilian oversight and accountability.

  18. Black Press, I was not making jokes about peoples families. If you can’t read between lines then that assures me of your mind set.

    Too put it in pond dog language what did he do to deserve this.

    Your off the mark with your comments. Just another knee jerk reaction that is so common place in Bermuda that is facilitated by outside means.

    You threaten me? Bring it on. ISP addresses are great when it comes to solving things.

  19. PREMIER’S STATEMENT ON POLICING IN RESPONSE TO VIOLENT CRIME

    It is tragic when we lose a life – any life – to violence. It is not enough to wring our hands and say awful it is. It is surely not enough to say that the perpetrators and the victims are just bad men and we’re better off if we just let them all kill each other. The perpetrators and the victims aren’t just criminals. They are sons, grandsons, brothers, boyfriends, cousins.

    I encourage anyone who knows about the most recent killing or any others to come forward and help the police to address this wave of gun-related violence and death. If necessary, we will see to it that witnesses are protected.

    I also want all of Bermuda to get serious about addressing, together, the underlying causes. On Friday, I stated what my government was going to do to respond to the Mincy report’s excellent analysis and recommendations. That’s a start, but only a start.

    In the next few days, I will be issuing a challenge to all of us about how we in Bermuda can make Bermuda safer for all of us. Working together is a proud part of our 400 year history. Let us remind ourselves about that and address our common problem as we have always done: as a community working together.

    In response to the recent violence and homicides, the Government had already initiated programs. We could see the “writing on the wall.” We know that much, if not most, of the violence is related to the illegal drug trade and drug use and abuse. Just last October, we implemented a mandatory substance abuse treatment programme to combat drug use. We announced the expansion of the Mirrors programme to prevent crime before it starts. We passed tough, new laws that give our police greater powers to investigate crimes and bring criminals to justice.

    While we’ve taken action to address the crime issue, we are not yet satisfied and are calling for more reforms. Unfortunately, despite being in government, we are hamstrung in our abilities to act. In spite
    of the fact that the Bermudian taxpayer pays for our police service, an unelected Governor has full control over operational policing.

    We have repeatedly called for reform in operational policing strategies. Specifically, we are calling for a greater police presence in known hot spots. We are calling for greater community policing to build trust between the people and the police. And, we are calling for international experts to be brought in to help train our police in best practices for reducing gang violence.

    The people of Bermuda expect results. They’re going to hold the people they elected accountable. Bermudians are rightfully outraged by the recent violence and are demanding action. We are taking action. We are pleading with Government House to adopt new operational policing strategies. And, we are making the case that those who pay the operational policing bill should have a say over operational policing strategies. We are making the case at the Overseas Territories Consultative Committee while we are in London. We believe that policing in Bermuda must be reformed, not more of the same.

    We believe that the time for talk is over and the time for action is now. We know what needs to be done and we’re going to do it.

  20. Good day All,

    @Jonny how does civilian oversight work with the police sorry I just don’t know as the police in Bermuda do not seem to answer to anyone. I know the Commissioner reports to the Governor but I always pictured it like the president taking the advise of a general type of deal and then the Governor would ok the recommendations based on what has been presented.

    CDF

  21. The Premeir already controls the police.
    GPS taxi driver got locked up for claiming the Premeir stole his idea.
    A girl was fined for using the Premeirs bank card.
    Another man was fined for cursing the Premeir about corruption.
    During the BHC scandal the police protected the Premeir.
    The Premeir sent the police 4 deep to arrest people many times. Just playing politics with the people.

  22. Cold blooded attack by Larry Burchall about the last victim of gunfire no respect to the grieving family at all. Bermudians have a tradition of prostituting death instead of reacting calmly with wisdom to heal those in shock.
    Uncle Toms who marry white need to ask themselves why the black majority does not follow them.
    Repulsion of miseducated negroes.
    Create jobs like Obama for the working class.

  23. Laverne

    How do you reconcile the explicit untruth being pedalled by the Premier for purely political reasons to undermine the Governor with the “need to come together as a community” as we are always being told. The Governor does not control the operations of the police – a fact well acknowledged by all.

  24. we were impressed with the turn out to the caines clan first meeting.

    basically a brainstorming session with great input from positive people…we r glad to see that people are motivated to act. No only to fix the gang issue but to transform the society that has produced the gangs.

    this can be a vehicle for change on a few levels IF the peoples reccomendations are converted into a REAL political pressure group.

  25. “don’t have a clue” ? Well my man, you just confirmed that I do.

    I’ve been an avid fisherman for 50 years. I know your good at math, go figure.

    Anyway…

    Have a great Christmas all and be safe.

    Rummy.

  26. “Working together is a proud part of our 400 year history. Let us remind ourselves about that and address our common problem as we have always done: as a community working together”.

    Oh puleeezee…..

    This guy makes my skin crawl. And Ms Furbert’s SOLE contribution to this fundamental problem, is to publish his speech.

    Pack it up Premier. Your making my bile rise.

  27. “J Starling
    @ LiF – Yes, I do support independence,”

    Why? What benefits would it bring to BDA? As it stands now we aren’t exactly “roughing” it now are we? What are the “perceived” benefits of going alone? We are all quite aware of the benefits of not severing ties…

    Please enlighten me/us…

  28. It is interesting to note how some of the most divisive, vitriolic, racists posters have suddenly transformed themselves into agents of peace and harmony! Must be the season.

  29. Another meeting tonight:

    Rise Above, Bermuda Planning Meeting and Rally “”30 Actions in 30 days””
    What: Club/Group Meeting
    Start Time: 14 December at 18:00
    End Time: 14 December at 20:00
    Where: Victor Scott Primary “Central” School

  30. we have political leaders who have been in politics for the entire life span of the history of this community ignoring the plight of the people who have suffered through the imbalance in the social economic conditions, while living under the poverty line.
    they are too highly paid to worry about the little peoples problems.
    and this 20 yr history of them ignoring the under class proves this.
    now that an active social backlash is emerging they all of a sudden care…but still do nothing to reform the system that has created the problems.
    no closure of the economic divide…no housing for the people makin under 70 k…no job protection for bermudians….no proper pay for bermudians to do more than exist…no proper education system
    all = development of an under class and crime
    the people need to get rid of these out of touch over paid politicians who do nothing but talk and pass worthless legislation that fixes none of the social economic issues
    If all these new community groups do no put political pressure on these out of touch politicians to produce the long promised reforms to this system……their efforts to save the youth from the social economic conditions created by out of control capitilism will means this countrys destruction, cause the environment that produced the existing underclass would not have changed thus setting the stage for the next generation of troubled youth…the by product of a troubled system of government.
    the PLP PROTECTS the UBP STATUS QUO
    therefore the plp is just as bad as the ubp

  31. OK. Rummy watch “Menace to society” for xmas where Mc Eight sings a song, “Hood took me under.”
    He says when you roll you dont care who with him on the spot or not just sew him up.
    Gangs just trained to shoot whoever is there.

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