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Are we outraged enough yet?

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Murder victim: Diante Trimm (Photograph supplied)

Targeting women for death is not a new phenomenon in our morally wounded society. It is, though, a painfully fresh reminder that law enforcement could do with having the shackles removed so that the scales of justice can be tipped back into the favour of good over evil.

Evil. Yes, we said it.

The murder of 37-year-old Diante Trimm last Friday is the second execution-style killing of a woman in the past four years, following in the wake of the shooting of Garrina Cann, 31, from point-blank range at her residence in September 2020.

Murder victim: Garrina Cann

But, rather than settle on those chilling facts, assistant police commissioner Antoine Daniels was correct to emphasise this week that nine females have been brutally killed in the past 16 years as our criminal element descends into a modus operandi of “anything goes”.

For a country of such size and of supposedly such friendly demeanour, that is a shocking statistic — and one that should give us all more than considerable pause for thought.

But after that pause, can we please not return to the default mode of “play and repeat”, which has resulted only in a mounting body count?

While heartfelt, no doubt, the platitudes and condolences coming from our politicians and others have become worn-out, almost in the mode of “rent a quote”.

What this country requires is an appetite for biting legislation that gives our law enforcement some teeth so that it can get more proactively on the front foot.

It is believed that the armed response unit was among the first on the scene at South Terrace, Pembroke, near Friswells Hill, the site of the latest murder. But by then the killer or killers had already bolted.

Any suggestion that there should be more of an armed police presence in our communities underlines the seriousness of the social problems we are having to contend with in 2024 Bermuda.

Shootings in broad daylight and knife attacks on crowded public beaches depict the brazen nature of today’s criminal, and warrant a consideration for the threat of like force from those who are mandated to protect and serve.

While we do not want to become another United States, where public trust of the police has eroded because of some high-profile abuses of power — Rodney King, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Freddie Gray, Philando Castile, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd — we cannot allow this country to be given away to a small but deadly band that preys on the sympathies of friends and family.

But it now has to be a consideration. Are our legislators bold enough?

Including those already mentioned, there are more than 30 unsolved murders in Bermuda, the perpetrators of which we believe are hiding in plain sight — if they have not already skipped the country, otherwise fallen foul of the criminal justice system or met the ultimate justice.

Mothers and fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers, girlfriends and boyfriends, and other assorted associates are wantonly complicit in what we have before us. It is not as though the culprits are going underground, not to be seen until they prepare to commit their next atrocity.

They walk among us, socialise among us, and it is we who must hold them accountable.

We. Not you.

Just as in Tom Cruise’s Minority Report (2002), we can see a crime before it happens. So why do we tolerate it? Why don’t we get in front of it?

It is we who should make those who we know to be of criminal intent persons of interest to the police. Friend or no friend; family or no family.

If we are not prepared to do this, then we must give the police the tools and licence to be a more constant presence. Day and night.

The lesson from the collapsed Osagi Bascome murder trial is that we prioritise street cred and the “no snitch” culture over doing the right thing.

How has that worked out for us?

Out of more than 80 people who attended a party in St David’s on that fateful night in December 2021, only one had anything of note to say to the police. The rest, the killer notwithstanding, should rise each morning, look themselves in the mirror and see that they have blood on their hands.

That’s the kind of blood that doesn’t wash off.

It’s the kind of blood that should stain the conscience and turn dreams into nightmares.

It’s the kind of blood that evokes outrage.

We should be outraged by this. Some of us are. But evidently not enough of us. Not yet.

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Published June 12, 2024 at 8:00 am (Updated June 12, 2024 at 8:25 am)

Are we outraged enough yet?

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