IN JAMAICA (CONGRATULATION- BITTERSWEET) : Slain cop graduates Crystal Thomas’ mom accepts associate’s degree on her behalf

Monday, July 20, 2015   
The ceremony
IT was a bittersweet afternoon for Jacqueline Brown yesterday as she walked up the podium at the National Indoor Sports Centre in Kingston to receive an Associate of Science Degree in Business Administration from the University College of the Caribbean (UCC) on behalf of her daughter, woman Constable Crystal Thomas.
Thomas, 24, was fatally shot while on her way home from work last Tuesday by hijackers of the Coaster bus on which she was a passenger on Spanish Town Road in Kingston.
“Mi feel proud, you see! Mi proud a mi baby, man,” Brown said of the younger of her two children. She may have seemed brave, but Brown confessed that she was a bag of nerves. “Sometimes mi feel weak,” she said. “When mi did fi go up mi feel like mi did ago cry, mi haffi squeeze it back.”
As she walked up the aisle, Brown was greeted with a standing ovation and cheers of encouragement. She was escorted by Sergeant Raymond Wilson, head of the Central Executive of the Police Federation.
UCC President Dr Winston Adams presented her with the certificate, shortly before the moment of silence in Thomas’ honour was observed. “I applaud her because, as a parent, she must have made a lot of sacrifices for her daughter,” Adams said.
Woman Constable Crystal Thomas’ graduation portrait
“I had to encourage her to keep the faith and let her know that we share the grief with her and extend my condolence on behalf of the university,” the president continued. Had womanconstable Thomas been alive, she would have graduated with her cousin, Amanda Walker, who received her bachelor’s degree in business administration yesterday. She told the Jamaica Observer how proud she was of her cousin.
“She always get some excellent grades, and she would call me and say ‘mi cousin, mi get A inna dis or dat’, Walker said. “Sometimes she study so hard she will say ‘mi nuh sleep last night’ or 5:00 o’clock inna di morning she just a go har bed,” a remorseful Walker stated.
“She is more than just a cousin, she’s my close friend, somebody I can talk to when I have any problems. She’s always there for me,” she continued. Sergeant Wilson added that Constable Thomas’ colleagues describe her as a polite, hardworking, sensitive, brave, and ambitious individual. more

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