By LYNAIRE MUNNINGS
Tribune Staff Reporter
RELATIVES of a man killed at a nightclub in Fox Hill believe he would be alive if the ankle bracelet system that monitors people on bail worked better.
Orlando Curtis, 26, was shot and killed after a physical altercation on Sunday around 3am.
His relatives said that even though he failed to charge his ankle bracelet or adhere to curfew rules for weeks, authorities never contacted or arrested him.
In fact, his sister, Anthonique Curtis, said an official contacted her for the first time yesterday to ask about his whereabouts –– more than two days after he was killed.
“Y’all ain monitoring them,” she told them. “They know they have a curfew. Why you don’t, you know, shake down on them, let the police do what they supposed to do? If y’all don’t be home at a certain time, y’all get lock up. They ain’ doing that. I feel like they know what they doing. Every young man who come out on bail dying.”
One of Orlando’s brothers added: “My brother gone weeks without his ankle monitor charged, bey, and these people ain’t send the police to his location.”
People are frequently arrested and taken to court for failing to charge their electronic monitoring devices. Furthermore, many murder victims are men on bail, an issue that has vexed authorities for years. Prosecutors have increasingly urged judges to deny bail to men charged with murder for their safety.
Despite their complaints about the effectiveness of the ankle bracelet system, Ms Curtis and her relatives are uncertain about whether people like Orlando should be kept in prison until the completion of their trial.
“I is the one who sign he bail, so right now it really hurting me,” Ms Curtis said.
“You can’t take a life from these young man. They have children. My brother has a child, so for him to be incarcerated for something he didn’t do, that is not anybody right to take from him. So, I do not agree for my brother to be locked up or been in jail.”
Ms Curtis said Orlando was one of 11 children and the third brother she has lost to gun violence. She said he was employed in the construction sector.
“I don’t know my brother’s life in the streets, but I know he was a good father to his daughter, and he was a hard-working man,” she said.
National Security Minister Wayne Munroe, meanwhile, said authorities search and apprehend people who fail to charge their monitoring devices.
“Sometimes we find you right away, sometimes we don’t,” he said. “That has been an issue from all along. When you get bail and you’re subject to monitoring, the courts tell you that if you don’t obey the rules, you are liable to have your bail revoked, but people break the rules all the time and quite often their bail gets revoked, or when they go to court they come up with some excuse –– the device wasn’t charging; they forgot; they’ll never do it again. But the device doesn’t stop you breaking the rules. The device simply tells the authorities that you are breaking the rules.”
Since December 2021, Metro Security Solution has monitored people on bail. Before that, Migrafill and ICS provided the service at different times in the last decade.
“There have been issues with this company, there were issues with Migrafill, there were issues with ICS,” Mr Munroe said. “It’s a piece of technology. Human beings will cheat and not follow the rules. When they cheat and not follow the rules, they create work for the police to find you and arrest you. No piece of equipment is 100 per cent, especially if it requires you to plug it in. The commissioner of police’s thing is, you don’t get bail and then it won’t be an issue.”
“The reality that has to be grasped is, if you are on bail for murder, there’s a high chance that somebody will come to seek revenge. We tell the courts this. The people still insist on asking for bail; the family still insists on signing the bail. So if the individual who was murdered, if none of his family had signed his bail, he would have been in BDCOS. He would have been safe. Nobody could kill him.”