The Movement Against Parking Meters (MAPM) renewed their protest action in front of City Hall yesterday in light of the recent killing of a man by city police and the resurfacing of the parking meter deal.
The demonstration, held one day after the Mayor and City Council (M&CC) voted for amendments to the contract with Smart City Solutions (SCS), highlighted three causes—the recent killing of Marlon Fredericks by a city constable, the allegation of the rape of a juvenile by another city policeman, and the still floating metered parking contract between SCS and the M&CC.
The protesters were few and although news of the parking meter contract was freshest in the air, the placards on display were dominated by calls for justice for Fredericks.
Fredericks, a mentally-challenged vendor was shot and killed by a city lance corporal on Sunday after he attempted to flee custody.
Registering the need for justice to be served for Fredericks, Social Activist Mark Jacobs said “I hope that the judicial process takes its course and that he’s locked up for a very long time because we have clear evidence of this man being shot in the back.”
“If you can’t arrest somebody without brutalizing them there’s something wrong. I don’t know why he was arrested in the manner he was arrested but it indicates to me that the city constabulary are not properly trained,” Renata Chuck-A-Sang another protestor remarked on the unprofessionalism of the city constabulary.
Meanwhile, protester Jonathan Yearwood, said his presence at the protest was to advocate on behalf of the 15 year old boy who was allegedly sexually assaulted while in the care of the city constabulary.
“I am out here today because so far nothing has been done against the Mayor and the Town Clerk…what they actually did was attempted to sweep it under the carpet. They swept it under the carpet for two months until it was eventually leaked out to the public and a cry came out. …They cannot deny that they did not know about it…their first choice was to sweep it under the carpet. They should be penalised for that,” Yearwood stated.
In regards to parking meters, member of MAPM and businessman Marcel Gaskin called the process a farce. “Everything that goes on up there is a farce. They’re renegotiating something that’s illegal to begin with…All that’s seemed to have come out of it is a reduction in the fee. That’s probably just a ruse to lure people into a false sense of security and once we get accustomed to the meters then they’ll raise the fee on us.”
Jacobs in his comment on metered parking opined that it should be controlled by the city and should not fall under the ownership of a private entity.