Four-year-old Jewel Davis still wakes up in the mornings asking for her dad. But the grief-stricken girl’s call continues to go unanswered.
“She is walking around with her daddy’s photo, kissing it and crying,” said Natasha Sobah, common-law partner of Constable Jason Davis, who was murdered by criminals in the Mountain View Avenue community of Back Bush on Sunday.
“When I told her that her daddy died, she asked me, ‘Does that mean I don’t have a father anymore?’
“When I cry, she starts crying, so I am trying to be strong for my daughter,” Sobah told The Gleaner in a telephone interview yesterday afternoon.
Jason Davis was one of eight policemen who were ambushed while investigating reports of gunfire near Excelsior High School in eastern St Andrew. Davis and Sergeant Wayne Henriques were pronounced dead at the University Hospital of the West Indies, while the other six cops suffered gunshot injuries.
The attackers had been emboldened by militiamen from Tivoli Gardens who had blockaded that community, which is regarded as the fiefdom of Christopher Coke, an alleged crime lord. Coke is wanted in the United States on drug and gun charges.
A father’s pain
The family’s grief was evident in the voice of the slain cop’s father, Lincoln, who is now lamenting having encouraged his son to become a crime fighter.
“I’m a strict man: if I say ‘A’, he accepts ‘A’. I was the one who told him to join the police force,” said Lincoln, whose son was recruited by the Jamaica Constabulary Force in 2002.
Lincoln said he had great difficulty telling his wife about their son’s death.
“I couldn’t tell my wife same time. I had to have two rum before I tell her.”
Davis and Henriques are two of three state security personnel – including a soldier – who have been casualties since tensions flared in Jamaica’s capital, as gun battles mushroomed in crime dens with ties to Coke – from downtown Kingston to Spanish Town, St Catherine.
Sobah, who shared a seven-year relationship with Davis, recalled the fateful day with agony as she said she had pleaded with him to stay home.
“The Sunday he was going to work, I begged him not to go,” she said.
“Everybody was asking him not to go and he turned to us and said it’s his job, and if everybody takes leave, what is going to happen.”
Lincoln said the week of murder and mayhem doesn’t change the memories of his son as a source of joy.
“Jason was a very good person,” the senior Davis said, his voice low. “I’ve never seen Jason vex. Never. He is such a jovial person.”
Lincoln said he was at the Elletson Road Police Station three days ago, listening to colleagues of his son recall what a hard worker the constable was.
“He was a crime fighter and a good, good person. He liked his job. He will be missed by a lot of a people,” he said, sighing.
It was last Saturday, the day before Davis was gunned down, that Lincoln spoke to his son.
“He told me what was going on and the police were giving him support,” Lincoln said.
He described his 27-year-old son as a lover of music and animals and someone who enjoyed a game of football.
“I can remember when he was a child. He was a goalie and when the other team was kicking the ball towards him, he ran out of the goal,” Lincoln said, laughing for the first time.
“Oh God!” he said, breaking off into silence.