‘Your address determines police treatment’, says J’can woman who lost brother tragically

Could a situation like that which happened to George Floyd, who died while in police custody in the United States, happen in Jamaica? 

Marvin Yearde was a kind and respectful, remembers his sister, Shannon.

Turns out it could, not due to racism but under another monster, which some sociologists say is inextricably linked to race, classism. At least according to one woman who says she lost her brother more than two decades ago to police brutality.

“The pain doesn’t stop, you never forget the hurt,” said the woman in a series of tweets.

The woman, who uses the Twitter handle @bethannspeaks, alleges that her brother, Marvin Yearde, was brutally gunned down in front of the family’s inner-city home in Allman Town, Kingston 4 in 1999. 

“As long as I live I will continue to tell your story. You did not deserve to die like this.”

– Marvin Yearde’s sister, Shannon

“He was taken from his bed and told to run. As soon as he started running his body was riddled with bullets. He died at my gate,” said Yearde’s sister, Shannon, in a series of pain felt tweets.

“A 9mm pistol was planted on him and his murder was labelled as “Mistaken Identity” in the news. Not a soul was charged and nothing came from it. My family was just left to deal with the loss,” she added, as she shared an old newspaper clipping, which shared details of the tragic incident.

Shannon went on to explain that being born and raised in an inner-city community makes young men a target of police brutality.

“My brother was a Jamaica College graduate, a member of the boy’s brigade, a jovial and a good upstanding citizen, but none of that matters when your address determines how you are dealt with by law enforcers,” she said.

“Marvin Marlon Yearde is his name. He was a caring, gentle, kind, and respectful human being. As long as I live I will continue to tell your story. You did not deserve to die like this,” she added, sharing photos of her brother on the social media platform.

Had Yearde been alive he would have been 44-years-old today.

A newspaper article published about the death of Marvin Year some two decades ago.

“21 years ago he was robbed from my family at the tender age of 23 by members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force,” added the Shannon.

Shannon’s tweets have received significant attention online, with many noting that her situation was very much similar to that of the recent case of police brutality in the United States.

“And we carrying on about police brutality overseas. The absence of racism do not make it any more acceptable. Where were the demonstrations and riots for this and the murders in Tivoli etc, “added one Twitter user in response to Shannon’s tweet. 

“That’s why when I see some people on here talking about being black in America, I wonder if they realize it’s the same as being from the inner cities of Jamaica. I worried about my brothers every day,” added another Twitter user.