PHILIPSBURG–Today, March 9, the second anniversary of Jordanio J. Bakmeijer’s death, family and friends of the young murder victim are holding a March for Justice in Philipsburg. They call on the community to join them at Cyrus Wathey Square, in front of the Courthouse, at 2:15pm.
Jordiano’s loved ones are incensed that the murderer, now 18 years of age, gets away with psychiatric treatment instead of prison time. On February 1, the judge ruled in the criminal case against the suspect J.B., who on March 9, 2020, when he was 16 years old, emptied a firearm at four young people in a home on Pendant Cactus Road in Sucker Garden. One of these youngsters, Jordanio J. Bakmeijer was killed in the attack.
Contrary to the prosecutor’s demand, who called for a prison sentence of 16 years for murder, three attempted murders and firearm possession, the Court of First Instance decided not to treat the young defendant as an adult, but to sentence him to placement in a juvenile institution for mandatory intensive forensic psychological treatment for a duration of two years. The judge awarded damages to the injured party in the amount of US $4,840.38.
“There is no justice on St. Maarten,” said the victim’s mother, Joanne Peters, supported by friends and family who believe the verdict is “nothing but a slap on the wrist” of the perpetrator. “This verdict sends out the wrong message to young criminals, it shows that in St. Maarten young people can get away with murder.”
Jordiano’s relatives point out that a programme for youth being placed at the disposal of the Government for intensive treatment, so called Jeugd TBR (Ter Beschikking van de Regering), does not exist in St. Maarten. “The killer of my son will have to be sent to the Netherlands for treatment, but that will be done under the condition that he is reintegrated into society. That means our society in St. Maarten. In two years’ time, this young murderer will be back on-island.”
St. Maarten is currently seeing a spike in extremely violent acts committed by youngsters. Just last weekend a 64-year-old pedestrian was severely abused and robbed by four teenagers in Schoolsteeg next to Oranje School in Philipsburg. The unprovoked assault took place around 6:15pm and left the victim with a badly bruised face and damaged leg. The man is barely able to walk.
According to police reports, more violent incidents involving young perpetrators have taken place in the Philipsburg area recently.
Young criminals must be shown that their actions have serious consequences for themselves, Jordiano’s family stressed. “We feel that Jordiano’s killer should have been sentenced to 16 years in prison, as the prosecutor had demanded,” the victim’s mother said. “I can’t get my son back with it. And the girl who lost her eye due to the shooting does not get her full sight back with it. But a long prison sentence prevents repetition of the facts. What we are going through, you don’t wish that on anyone.”
Jordiano’s family calls on the community of St. Maarten to honour his memory and join in a non-violent protest march through Philipsburg. The March for Justice will start in front of the Courthouse at 2:15pm, head through Front Street and Back Street, past the Parliament Building and back to the Courthouse where the protesters will gather on Cyrus Wathey Square.
The victim’s family kindly request participants to wear a white T-shirt and jeans. Everyone is free to carry banners or bring protest signs, as long as these reflect a call for justice in St. Maarten.
Bron: Daily Herald