Bush: “a ‘dark hand’ undermining C.I.’s”
In a broad appeal to the West Bay community on Wednesday night, Premier McKeeva Bush called for cooperation with police to stem a wave of violence in the district, and detailed recent additions to the police.
The five gang-related murders and serious wounding in the last week, he said, “shakes me to the core. What is happening? What is wrong?
“The police need help, and regardless what you think of the leaders or members of the force, they are our protection. They need the community to stop this,” he said.
“There are people who know that [gang members] live somewhere, sleep somewhere. They wash their clothes, they even iron them, and they know when they get a little money in their hand. We must do our part,” Mr Bush added.
In the wake of a last week’s $4.6 million supplement to the police budget, he said, the RCIPS would boost from 25 officers to 45 officers the ranks of the armed response unit within the uniform support group, accompanied by “about four vehicles, available 24 hours”.
The serious and organised crime force would double to 24 officers, an enforcement unit would be formed and a “tactical support group“, armed with tasers, would be created “to take control of hot spots and volatile areas”, he said.
“We have done all we can do under the constitution, and we stand ready to do more to support the police,” Mr Bush said, but launched into heated criticism of the foundation document — approved as part of the 2009 elections that brought Mr Bush’s United Democratic Party to power – which gives the governor almost-autocratic powers over police and security.
“You who voted for the constitution will rue the day, and I will tell you that when the Bill of Rights comes into play, well, you ‘ain’t seen nuthin’ yet’,” he said, referring to the 2012 promulgation of the civil rights roster that will form part of the constitution. “It will cost over $12 million for buildings alone.
“There are people who say it [the wave of violence] is my fault, but the buck stops with the governor,” he said. “We can tell him our concerns and vote millions of dollars and demand it be spent correctly, but he says how, when and where it will be spent.
“I felt it [the constitution] was totally wrong and that in this small island community, your elected representatives should have more say, but we have done all we can,” he said.
In an almost-eerie passage in his hour-and-a-half talk to an audience of several hundred at the John A Cumber School auditorium, Mr Bush pointed to a mysterious — but unnamed — “dark hand” that was seeking to undermine the Cayman Islands.
“I see a calculated and consistent attempt to destroy a people and its confidence. Where is this coming from? Why? There is a concerted effort, and the more hidden they are, the more successful they will be.
“I cannot rationally explain this, but something is happening all around us. I ask young people to wake up. Don’t allow the manipulators to tell you what to think, where to go and what to be.
He blamed “media editorials”, “the blogs” and “would-be politicians who cannot get elected”.
“Don’t listen to the hate I heard spewed on the radio this week. You say ‘it’s not me’, but then stop the dark hand from working its terrible mischief on this country,” Mr Bush said.
“Everyone things they are winning when they beat on Mac,” he said, in a self-reference. “but I tell you, they are losing. Those who ride the back of the tiger ands criticise me will reap the whirlwind.
“Look around carefully and see what is happening and who has the authority, and ask why I am spending money [while] the authorities under the constitution go their merry way.”