The year was 1980 I had just moved from North East St. Catherine as a fresh-faced young adult who had previously graduated high school.
Edward Seaga had just trounced Michael Manley at the polls and the nation looked toward a new future free from tribal politics, a future of hope.
I moved to upper Marl road where I stayed with my siblings and stepdad on Hyde Park Road.
I would later enter the Port Royal police training facility but was to later leave to begin training at the Jamaica Police Academy as the very first batch of recruits to begin training and graduate from the newly minted old school of agriculture.
I thought it was strange that the police never seemed to have anything built for them, they always seemed to occupy facilities others had vacated, but I digress.
After graduation, I was sent to the old west street facility, better known as the beat and foot patrol division, after a six-month stint I was one of a few officers ever to be transferred to the Mobile Reserve who were not trained specifically for that division, another first.
I didn’t like it there one bit but it eventually grew on me as I made the then highly respected Ranger’s squad.
My love of business, my profession today, began around then when I purchased a small bar from a lady who operated the bar right there where she lived on Plantain Avenue behind the old New Yorker Factory on Waltham Park and Bay Farm Roads.
It was there that I met Desmond Ballantine otherwise called (Ninjaman). Ninjaman was a budding DJ then, every Friday and Saturday night we had the sound system African Star, based on Marl Road playing at my little joint.
Ninjaman followed that Soundsystem then. He would walk up to the bar wearing a full-length dress coat in the sizzling Jamaican heat, his trademark I guess?
In the time since those early days when I was a young cop and Ninja man was a budding disc jockey trying to make a name for himself much water has flown under the bridge.
Despite the many successes in his rise to the top of the dancehall pyramid, Ninjaman never seemed to be able to extricate himself from the beguiling tentacles of crime.
Ninjam man did not have to choose that path, sure he lived in the community of Marl Road a sometimes gritty community as did I. He arrived from St Mary as I arrived from St Catherine around the same time.
The choices we make are our own not a function of where we come from.
That is the reason I have no sympathy for Desmond Ballyntine (ninja man) on his conviction for murder.
A life is a very precious commodity.
Each person gets a single life, in my estimation, it is an egregious injustice, a terrible transgression to take someone’s life unless it is in defense of your own.
It is now time that the Artical Don, stand like a man and face his punishment. After all, he will be living his life regardless of the penalty they mete out to him.
An option he and his son Jahneil took from Ricardo Johnson in 2009 when they unceremoniously snuffed out his life.
Desmond Ballentine and his son will never receive the justice they deserve. Under the Jamaican shit-stem of justice, they will not be executed as they should be for taking the life of Ricardo Johnson.
They will receive a slap on the wrist upon which they may very well appeal, who knows? Some money may change hands and eventually they case may get tossed on some minor technicality.
Welcome to Jamaica………..