I was a final-year student at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, Kingston, in 2003, when one of the most troubling incidents in Jamaica’s recent history separated our opinions on our nation’s spiraling crime rate. Seven young men between the ages of fifteen and twenty were killed in a police/military raid in my hometown. The entire country was divided by this act of cruelty. Reports were that their bodies were in positions of what forensics experts called “an execution” killing. The pathological reports filled our newspapers, and every detail was covered in our nightly news.

At the time, I felt I had a great grasp on things. I was sure that the officers were the criminals, and because of the victims’ ages, they were of course innocent. So, with my understanding of the information, I decided I was going...

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