Josiah ‘Jonty’ Robinson featured as an integral part of the zeitgeist at the recent West Indian Day Parade in New York.

‘Justice for Jonty Robinson’ trends at West Indian Day Parade 2023

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Josiah ‘Jonty’ Robinson featured as an integral part of the zeitgeist at the recent West Indian Day Parade in New York. Jonty Robinson was the victim of a brutal murder on the 18th of June, 2023. Since then, multiple organizations, institutions and individuals have come out to seek justice for the young man. Jonty was 24 years old and belonged to the LGBTQ community, which has raised many questions about the motivation behind the gruesome crime.

Jonty belonged to Grenada, and was a resident of Beaulieu, St George. His story though, has found the hearts and minds of not just the Caribbean, but people all over the world. Tyler Perry, a famous Hollywood personality and celebrity publicist Yvette Noel-Schure came together to offer a reward of $100,000 to any one who could give information leading to a conviction in the case.

Sadly though, no one has been charged in the case till date. The Caribbean Equality Project recently posted a video via Instagram which shows banners seeking ‘Justice for Jonty’ at the West Indian Day Parade which took place in Brooklyn, New York. The Instagram post was shared with 11.7k followers and gained wide spread recognition, reigniting the quest for justice in this case. The post also used the captions ‘Justice for Jonty’ and ‘say his name! Josiah Robinson’.

By these means, the organization seeks to bring queer and trans visibility to the forefront in the Caribbean region.

Robinson was an openly gay man which brings into question the nature of the crime. He was found dead at the popular BBC beach in the Mourne Rouge area, just south of Grenada’s capital. Although his death was ruled as a murder, the Grenada Police Force stated, following initial investigations that there was no reason to believe that the crime had racial or homophobic motivations.

This goes against the prevailing narrative on social media which would have you believe he was killed because of his sexual leanings. The Eastern Caribbean Alliance for Diversity and Equality (ECADE), based in Saint Lucia issued a statement one month after the incident in which they said that little progress seemed to have been made in the case despite a high level of societal and political pressure.

The ECADE also spoke of a rise in tensions due to the incident which has had a drastic effect on the LGBTQ community in Grenada and in the eastern Caribbean region. They once again questioned the lack of urgency in the matter, stating that stringent action in the case leading to the conviction of the perpetrators would go a long way in proving that the lives and right of the LGBTQ community matter just as much as other communities.

The Grenada based NGO GrenCHAP Inc gave the following statement, “We cannot fathom the contribution that his family, his community, Grenada and the world will never realise. This is the cost that we must keep in mind as we continue to advocate for justice for Jonty, who during his life was subject to continuous abuse and denied the protection rightfully due to every Grenadian, because of his sexuality.”

The ECADE and GrenCHAP also issued a joint statement saying, “There is additional responsibility of authorities where lives, particularly of gay men, are at risk, whether through public, domestic or intimate-partner violence, fueled by public policy and discriminatory laws. We, at GrenCHAP and ECADE, are hopeful that the police will work assiduously to ensure the safety of citizens, especially gay men and other LGBTQ+ people; to cut through the noise and fear to resolve this case professionally and swiftly.”

The police continue to say that that they are pursuing the investigation with vigor and were open to any information or lawful pursuit which can bring the desired results.

Dr. Keith Mitchell, the leader of His Majesty’s Opposition in Grenada wrote a letter to Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell, making the suggestion that Grenada should seek the assistance of foreign experts in the case.

There was also a controversy surrounding the initial autopsy which listed the cause of death as an accidental drowning. Forensic Pathologist Professor Hurbert Daisely was then employed by the family of the deceased to conduct another autopsy. This subsequent autopsy revealed that the cause of death wasn’t drowning but manual strangulation.

Amid all these variables, the one thing that remains unchanged is the need for a resolution to this case. At this point, the Jonty Robinson case has become immensely important, not just for the bereaved family but also for the Caribbean LGBTQ community on the whole.