Another Blow To INDECOM …sorta

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Justice Nicole Simmonds deci­sion to quash the appli­ca­tion of the Inspector of Investigations for INDECOM, to com­pel a police con­sta­ble to answer ques­tions, is a step in the right direc­tion for the courts.
In right­ing a mon­u­men­tal and uncon­sti­tu­tion­al wrong done by the two polit­i­cal par­ties, the deci­sion should set the stage for the police to file a con­sti­tu­tion­al chal­lenge to the INDECOM law as we have urged in this medi­um since 2011.
Unfortunately, rank and file should not hold their breath for the Federation to take action on their behalf. Having con­fer­ences and mak­ing speech­es at north coast hotels are far more impor­tant to-dos on the Federations agen­da..

The Bruce Golding admin­is­tra­tion gave unfet­tered pow­er to INDECOM to har­ras the police. At the same time, the PNP was more than hap­py to sign onto the mea­sure.
Every per­son has the right to remain silent and to refrain from self-incrim­i­na­tion, con­sti­tu­tion­al­ly.
So too does police offi­cers!


The deci­sion came after the attor­ney for Constable Delmond Grant, Chuck Cameron, filed an appli­ca­tion for judi­cial review against INDECOM.
The police­man’s attor­ney how­ev­er erred in my esti­ma­tion, when he told the media that he thought it is pos­si­ble that an offi­cer of the Commission has the pow­er to com­pel a Policeman to answer ques­tions, just not the Inspector of Investigations.
A cow giv­ing a pail of milk then kick­ing it over maybe? Just a thought!
If the attor­ney is speak­ing to what exists present­ly in the uncon­sti­tu­tion­al­ly designed INDECOM law, that I under­stand.
On the oth­er hand, if he is mak­ing a con­sti­tu­tion­al argu­ment, then, he too is out in left field.


The con­sti­tu­tion is the pre­em­i­nent law of the land, each and every piece of leg­is­la­tion must pass con­sti­tu­tion­al muster.
The con­sti­tu­tion gives each and every Jamaican the right to remain silent. Police offi­cers do not have few­er con­sti­tu­tion­al guar­an­tees than oth­er cit­i­zens. As such, nei­ther can they be forced to answer ques­tions if they chose not to.
Sure, offi­cers must give a detailed writ­ten account of their actions, but under no cir­cum­stances should they be expect­ed to answer ques­tions of a hos­tile agency hell-bent on per­se­cut­ing them.

Mike Beckles is a for­mer Jamaican police Detective cor­po­ral, a busi­ness own­er, avid researcher, and blog­ger. 
He is a black achiev­er hon­oree, and pub­lish­er of the blog chatt​-​a​-box​.com. 
He’s also a con­trib­u­tor to sev­er­al web­sites.
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