Jamaica Observer readers were not pleased with entertainer Popcaan, whose real name is Andre Sutherland, after his Twitter rant in which he threatened to pull his Unruly Fest concert from St Thomas, complaining that police were harassing him.
The matter was addressed in an Observer editorial titled ‘Why don’t we just hand over Jamaica to Popcaan and his ilk?’ published on April 29, 2021. The singer was angered that the St Thomas police charged him for alleged breaches of the Road Traffic Act, for which he is to face the Yallahs Traffic Court on June 3, 2021.
The charges included: driving an unlicensed motorcycle; driving without insurance coverage; having no valid certificate of fitness; having no registration plate affixed; driving without a helmet; driving with no side-view mirror and failure to present a driver’s licence. The police also charged a member of his entourage with possession of an offensive weapon.
Readers were not sparing in their views on the singer and his threat. Here are some examples of what they had to say:
No time for the foolishness: The laws in Jamaica seems to be a shackle to many in Jamaica, but when they are overseas they are more than happy to comply with the laws in other people’s country. In fact, most are happy to be strip-searched when they are entering other country’s airport, just so they can enter the country they want to go into. But yet they want no standard in Jamaica when it comes to the rule of law.
Mark Chue: Kartel was his role model and Tommy Lee (Uncle Demon) was among his ‘chargee’. These kinds don’t understand that they have a duty to influence the next generation into being good law-abiding, respectful and model citizens.
Really: He probably thinks that because he is semi-famous that he should be treated with the respect that he does not show. I am happy that the police advised why they nabbed him, and he should be jailed for these infractions, if guilty. What a disrespectful entitled man. These are the people who young people gravitate and aspire to become.
ruff2ruff: I could not agree with you more, however, law and order is not slowly slipping away it has slipped away. And there lies the problem. To undo these wrongs will take a monumental task. Maybe he’s seeking a reason to migrate at his own musical peril, remember Shabba and many others.
guest: It has already been handed over. Think of the kind who have the most sway & influence in Ja. Popcaan seeking attention. He wants to test his importance. The “UNRULY YOUTHS OF JAMAICA” need to be admonished and to be told in no uncertain terms that a society crumbles without the enforcement of Law and Order. These issues need to be addressed by people in high places who once rub shoulders during the breaking of ground for the complex at the old tyre factory in St Thomas some time ago. What say you the Hon Culture Minister?
Vision2000: Jamaica has already been turned over to people like Popcaan and his ilk. The ghettofication of the country began decades ago.
Geministon: The feeling of being treated like “little gods” is being encouraged when the authorities feel the need to comment in an article such as this explaining the action taken, as if trying to kiss his foot bottom not to carry out his puerile threat. Let the law take its course and as a matter of fact, there should have been a segment of the law to confiscate the [alleged] undocumented possessions which he had on the streets then.
Mack: It would be good to know specifically what events caused Mr Sutherland to conclude that he is being targeted by the St Thomas police “in every move he makes”. It is very serious if anyone is being targeted by the police, and I would encourage Mr Sutherland to seek legal advice and to get his legal team to report the matter to the appropriate police oversight authorities as quickly as possible.
The_caveman: If this man really feels so aggrieved that he is going to do away with this event that is of such great importance to the parish and himself, he is well within his rights to challenge the authorities on the perceived misdeeds. I’m go wait over here… Page me when him forward with a legitimate complaint.
Sylvia Griffin: Bye-bye love
VXtruth: The violations posted are what many blacks in America end up running away from the police for. And since there is no respect for authority or rule of law, I do not expect things to get better.
XAMYCA: The majority of our entertainers, with few exceptions in the likes of Shaggy and Sean Paul for example, do see themselves as “little untouchable gods”. They have mistaken their celebrity for assumed royalty, entourage and all… almost a form of colonisation in reverse. They who were born in humble surroundings now believe that they reign over the Kingdom of Jamaica. Fame and fortune may bring you money but it can’t buy you class, something that most of these people know nothing about. Sadly, their ardent supporters are not much different. No wonder the country is in a downward spiral… the classless leading the classless. No examples being set.
Coretta_Burgess: He is probably one of those people who believe the laws of Jamaica don’t apply to them. The maroons I think they call themselves. I hear them now talking about some lumi thing. Or was it looney?
Courtney Barrette: Dem should a lock him up, if the charges are proven.
Mangoosetown: I really don’t think it would make a difference if you stayed or you leave. It is probably best for the people in the parish if you left. Think too much of yourself. You are a small fry.
Cory: The face of Jamaica. A nation doomed.
Really: He should use his popularity positively instead of being what seems to be a rebel. He ought to take an example from Bob Marley who brokered peace between the two political leaders on stage by joining their hands in front of everyone. Instead, he chose to be reckless using a vehicle which was not even licensed, allegedly. I hope that he is jailed and have to pay a hefty fine, if the charges are proven.
Lindel McCormack: What bothers me about these bhuttos in Benz is they have large following. Something is wrong with our society that gives rise to these people.
Kirk: Spot on with your assessment. However, while the entertainers are primed for beat down these days, the question could be asked: how many have been arrested during political convoys heading to the Arena on the special Sunday of September or November? Point being, the breakdown in law and order comes from the head of the stream, and they explicitly support it when they see fit.
Micah James: And why is Popcaan not in prison? Or on bail? And will he be fined massively for these breaches? I like Popcaan and his music, but I love Jamaica.