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JM | Sep 16, 2021

Fact-checking Beenie Man’s irate claims as ‘party boy Floyd’ outrage swells

Gavin Riley

Gavin Riley / Our Today

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Dancehall artiste Beenie Man at a recent performance. (Photo: Twitter @KingBeenieMan)

As fallout ensues from the infamous R Hotel mockery of no movement day by Government officials Floyd Green, Andrew Bellamy and co., dancehall icon Beenie Man is calling out the apparent hypocrisy around how the ‘investigations’ are being handled. 

Beenie Man, in a tweet on Thursday (September 16), claimed he was charged and fined by the Jamaican Government for merely ‘making an announcement’. 

“I was charged and fined for an announcement! What is the consequence of actually planning and attending??? Will they be arrested?? Charged?? Or fined??? #Jamaica,” the artiste, born Moses Davis, wrote. 

(Photo: Twitter @KingBeenieMan)

The tweet is a contradiction of an earlier comment Beenie Man made on Wednesday, as he responded to an Instagram post from ZJ Sparks. At the time, reports had emerged that Prime Minister Andrew Holness was referring to the now-viral video implicating Green and Bellamy to the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF). 

The other persons identified in the video would also come under scrutiny, Nationwide News reporter Ricardo Brooks added.

“I was charged and had to pay a fine. Will all those people be charged and fined? While you are at it, address the JPS issue as well,” Beenie Man replied. 

(Photo: Instagram @sparkybabyofficial)

The truth is never nuanced, and for the sake of clarity and fairness, this journalist (i.e. me) would like to take this opportunity to state that Beenie Man’s tweet is misleading. 

First, a (not too distant) history lesson…

It was Thursday, December 31, 2020, and Beenie Man was seen in a video promoting a New Year’s Eve party, from midnight to 7:00 am, in St Elizabeth.

In the video, which was widely circulated on social media, Beenie Man said in clear view, that St Elizabeth was the ‘place to be’ to ring in the New Year and he, and those in attendance, ‘didn’t care what anyone had to say about it’. 

See video from The Den Jamaica:

The JCF, which caught wind of the video, began an investigation and issued a summons for Davis to answer some questions. 

Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) in charge of the parish, Narda Simms, in issuing the legal call, said at the time the summons was in relation to an illegal party held in the parish on November 29.

While it is not clear whether Beenie Man reported for the summons, a warning was nonetheless issued that no permits were given to any party organiser for events to be held. This was in keeping with the Disaster Risk Management Act (DRMA), the Government’s sweeping legislation to contain further spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and a ban on entertainment events islandwide. 

The police also warned the artiste he may be subject to prosecution.

The bonfire New Year’s Eve party as advertised by the entertainer was abandoned as St Elizabeth police scoured the parish for signs of an illegal event.

Two days later, however, on January 1, images of an arrested Beenie Man spread on social media, as reports surfaced that he was charged by officers at the Black River Police Station with breaches of the DRMA arising from the illegal November 29 party. 

Dancehall entertainer Beenie Man being processed by Black River Police on New Year’s Day.

The event reportedly took place in Shrewsbury District located in the southeastern side of the breadbasket parish.

Beenie Man was slapped with two charges: breach of the Noise Abatement Act and breach of the DRMA, with his first court date set for mid-February 2021 in the St Elizabeth Parish Court. 

Months later, in April, the King of the Dancehall deejay pleaded guilty to breaching the DRMA and was in May sentenced to pay a J$150,000 fine or spend 35 days in prison. 

Davis pleaded not guilty to breaching the Noise Abatement Act, which the court reportedly dismissed. 

Next, a crocus bag of questions

Now, my first question to you Mr Davis, why are you lying to your fans? 

Okay, I’ll bite. Let’s say the argument postulated by your legal team was true, that Beenie Man was not the host of the event but rather his image was used in the event promotion to attract patrons.

Why then throw away your innocence and plead guilty? 

Why GIF | Gfycat

As an entertainer, you know full well that tours are an essential part of show-business, so why would you accept a crime that would be a permanent mark on your police record? 

If you supposedly were arrested and charged for ‘just’ announcing a party that later didn’t happen, why are you quoted by the Jamaica Gleaner as saying: “Mi nuh wah nobody fi feel like mi above the law so we affi deal wid dat right and mek Jamaica feel safe and mek di people dem know dat we wid dem”?

Breaching no movement is a serious offence, yes, but let’s not kid ourselves: your case and that of Mr Green, Bellamy and co. are NOT the same. 

It would have been better if you had rightfully called for everyone implicated to be charged as you were, for the sake of equality for all under the law, regardless of one’s status or connections in life. 

Former Agriculture and Fisheries minister Floyd Green speaking during a December 2020 post-Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House. (Photo: JIS)

And I would agree with you wholeheartedly. I still believe so. 

Green must answer to the laws he helped to create and later disregarded. 

But this swan song has fallen on deaf ears. 

Simmer down, Beenie and stop grasping at straws.

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