March 14, 2014
Kartel draws the crowd
Bjorn Burke, Staff Reporter
The Vybz Kartel murder trial verdict was met with great disappointment by scores of supporters who faithfully waited until the final hour yesterday to hear the fate of the dancehall icon.
The mood was tense outside the barricaded perimeter mounted by lawmen at the intersections of Barry and King streets and Barry and Church streets, downtown Kingston, as several waited in anticipation of the final judgement.
At 5:15 p.m.: Adidja 'Vybz Kartel' Palmer fans interspersed with curious passers-by could be seen anxiously waiting in a crowd abuzz with Kartel tales. One supporter could be heard boastfully relating a story about a schoolboy who is believed to have said "School can't keep without di Teacha!"
At 5:28 p.m.: In an attempt to maintain order, members of the constabulary forces could be seen patrolling a section of King Street, identifying and sending home several high-school students still clad in uniforms.
At 5:38 p.m.: "Ay, unu a dis Kartel right now, yu know seh Kartel a one good yute. A weh di [expletive] do dem" a man exclaimed, seemingly growing out of patience.
A mother and daughter duo, 38-year-old Annmarie Williams and her daughter 15-year-old Abbygale Ffriend shared with THE WEEKEND STAR that they made their way from Morant Bay, St Thomas, to come out in support of the dancehall artiste.
"We a Teacha's pet! Right ya now, mi deh ya suh a dead fi hungry and mi would prefer drop dung," Williams said.
"Jesus died for us, we will die for Kartel! Mi woulda disappointed (if Kartel is found guilty), that woulda be foolishness because dem done tamper with di evidence." Ffriend chimed in, in agreement with her mother.
At 5:47 p.m.: The crowd behind the barricades at King Street could be heard chanting "Freedom! Freedom! Freedom!"
At 5:56 p.m.: News of the jury's 10 to 1 split broke. Upon the revelation, sections of the waiting crowd converted to revellers running back and forth, jumping for joy.
"Free Worl Boss!" the crowd chanted, while others banged gleefully on the shutters of stores that were closed for business.
At 6:14 p.m.: At the intersection of King Street and Barry Street, there was a dramatic change in the demeanour of Kartel's supporters. The moment had finally come; the dancehall artiste, along with three co-accused, was found guilty of the murder of Clive 'Lizard' Williams.
The anticipation turned to sorrow as the crowd, appearing dejected, dispersed into the night, while others mulled around the street angered.
"Dem better let him out!" one woman shouted.
"Lizard waan dead two more time! Don't trouble wah a nuh fi yu!" another said in agreement.