Thu | Jul 2, 2020

Maroon arrested for curfew breach, police assault

Published:Wednesday | April 15, 2020 | 12:00 AMPaul H. Williams/Gleaner Writer
O.G. Rastalogy Francis is a self-proclaimed paramount chief of the Scotts Hall Maroons in St Mary.

In the 14-second long video, the laughter in the background is rich. The woman laughing is having fun. She is witnessing a tall man in black silhouette, in the low light from a police vehicle, slapping the side of the service unit, and saying something about the “Queen”, “the law”, and “curfew”.

As the car turns, a tall man kicks the side of the car. As it drives away in the pitch-black night, male voices are heard hurling invective at the police.

The incident occurred in the Maroon village of Scotts Hall, St Mary, on the night of Saturday, April 12, at the height of the Government-imposed Easter COVID-19 curfew.

But the police did not go away and lick their wounds. They went back, this time with reinforcements, and eventually arrested L.A. Lewis and Rudolph Pink, who told The Gleaner that he is still the colonel of the Maroon village. But that claim is disputed by Lloyd Lattibeaudiere, who is aiming to become colonel.

According to the Castleton police, Lewis was warned and released, while Pink was charged for breaching the nationwide curfew, under the Disaster Risk Management Act, that was first imposed on April 1.

The tall man turned out to be O.G. Rastalogy Francis, who is claiming to be the paramount chief of the Maroons.

STAND-OFF

All hell broke loose on Sunday when some residents who blamed Francis for Pink’s arrest went on to Pink’s compound to confront Francis. A stand-off ensued, after which the boisterous crowd attempted to seize Francis.

In the tussle Francis was hit, and a woman who identified herself as Nana Dell, assistant to Francis, says that she was beaten by machete- and lumber-wielding attackers.

When the police arrived, the citizens assisted them in getting Francis into the service vehicle. He was charged for breaching the curfew, malicious destruction of property, and assaulting a constable.

He was held overnight at the Annotto Bay Police Station and bailed on Monday. Francis admitted on camera to striking the vehicle and assaulting the cop.

Pink and Francis are contending that the police had no business enforcing a curfew on sovereign Maroon territories without consultation.

But Pink and Francis are not supported by colonel of the Charles Town Maroons, Marcia Douglas, and Lattibeaudiere. Though they embrace the state-within-a-state status of the Maroon communities, they welcome the Government’s move to curb the spread of the new coronavirus – which has killed four persons locally and infected 105 – even on Maroon land.

editorial@gleanerjm.com