In this photo taken Wednesday, May 19, 2010 a Jamaica Defense Force armored vehicle make its way into a barricaded street in Hannah Town, West Kingston. Jamaica. Jamaican Police have an arrest warrant for Christopher "Dudus" Coke, who allegedly leads one of Jamaica's drug gangs and is sought by U.S. authorities on drug and arms trafficking charges but residents of West Kingston neighborhoods have set up barricades to prevent the police for entering the slums to execute the order. (AP Photo/The Jamaica Gleaner, Norman Grindley) ** JAMAICA OUT **
Jamaica's Ambassador to the U.S., Audrey Marks, walked into an East Flatbush community center and saw concerned faces. This largely Jamaican community had been anxious for days, after hearing loved ones on the phone describe gunshots and raids.
"Every effort is being made to protect lives," said Marks, "while we go about this operation."
But the operation, to locate and capture Christopher "Dudus" Coke, a suspected drug kingpin wanted on charges in New York, has so far been a failure. At least 70 civilians have been killed in house-to-house raids. the Jamaican government says some citizens failed to obey an evacuation order.
But East Flatbush resident Anthony Ross blames the Jamaican Government for being too historically cozy with criminals.
"I grew up in Jamaica," said Ross, "they catch the guy and they say, oh, police, you can't hold that guy he's a big deal in the area."
Brooklyn DJ Sharon Gordon helped arrange the Ambassador's visit, her first to New York since taking her post.
"More than anything," said Ambassador Marks, "people should understand the rule of law is being applied in Jamaica."