‘Too few police’ spark protest

2017-10-03 06:05

Following three days of protests, which closed roads into Ocean View, residents have spoken out about what they feel is a lack of engagement by local police.

Members of the Ocean View Civic Association released a statement after the protest, saying the protest “was a surprise to many as Ocean View is a community that is known for resolving conflict peacefully”.

Ocean View residents protested following the fifth shooting death in two weeks, as a result of the community’s frustration with a perceived lack of visible policing and there not being enough police officers. There have reportedly been 20 deaths due to shootings since April, with five of those happening in two weeks (“Protesting shooting”, People’s Post, 26 September).

The protest was sparked by “gang violence and the killing of innocent victims, including children”, the association says in the statement. The protest was initiated by the Rasta community, with the rest of the community supporting the march. “This should be seen in the context of the many attempts by community leaders to engage government, and especially councillors and police, to deal with this process,” the association says, citing calls for interventions made since 2012.

Residents estimate that about 65 people had been killed in drug and gang-related violence in Ocean View over the year and a half to June (“Cops silent on murders”, People’s Post, 6 June).

Ocean View police spokesperson Sergeant Leon Fortuin says a meeting was held with community members during the protest on Thursday, however, it was cut short due to “compromised safety”. “The next meeting will take place sometime next week under direction of our provincial office. More violence took place during the protests; some vehicles were thrown with stones while driving past, as well as police vehicles were thrown at,” he says. “Although no police infrastructure was damaged, a member of the public threw a petrol bomb at the police station on Friday afternoon. The police managed to get it under control before any damage was caused. This sort of behaviour will not be tolerated and will be punished by the full extent of the law.”


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