I loved playing the game of police and thief when I was young. The idea was the thieves would run until they got caught. We would squeal and say, “Look we catch them, we catch them.” And everybody would laugh.

These days both police and thieves carry guns. Neither party is running and everybody shooting. And at the end of it all absolutely no one is laughing.

Instead there is heavy arguing about who did not surrender. Who shot first and how the entire event gets reported in the media.

The take on the new “game” sees no one group of players victorious. Long-time children did not play the police and thief games with guns. Today they do.

There is a new extension to the game. Burning mountains of tyres and garbage in the streets, risking poisonous smoke inhalation and the expected piling-up of traffic. Bystanders are getting involved.

And because 2020 is an important election year there are questions about the veracity of the reported stories.

One argument from the police is that the alleged thieves can kill each other and nobody complains because there are reportedly never any witnesses. The thieves just let the homicides ride and keep retaliation private.

If and when the police approach alleged offenders, whether arms are in the air or not, at the very sight of a firearm, the police are allegedly poised to shoot to kill.

Admit it everybody. This is a dangerous game involving the lives of all players. There allegedly appears no attempt by the police to aim at an arm, leg or elbow. No time for that?

The Police Service Commission needs to step forward and clear the air on the rules of this game.

Dead is dead. Nobody is laughing.

Lynette Joseph

Diego Martin

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