Comm. Anderson Unable To Address Issue So Minister Runs Interference And Blunders…

Minister Of National Security Horace Chang

Having heard the Minister of National Security address­ing the pep­per-spray­ing inci­dent of for­mer Deputy Superintendent of Police Altamont (Parro ) Campbell by the police, I was stunned that the Minister would pub­licly offer an opin­ion in his capac­i­ty as Minister of National Security while the inci­dent was fresh and still under inves­ti­ga­tion.
More con­se­quen­tial to him­self I thought, was the fact that the Minister would offer opin­ions with­out the req­ui­site knowl­edge of the laws and the(RT, Act) Road Traffic Act in par­tic­u­lar.
The Minister, a med­ical Doctor, is not a lawyer or police offi­cer.
He isn’t a for­mer police offi­cer either, So the Minister for all intents and pur­pos­es, is no more, no less, than an aver­age cit­i­zen on this issue. Chang says the Senior cop did not behave appro­pri­ate­ly. He says it’s the type of behav­ior not­ed among politi­cians and oth­ers who feel they are above the law.
The National Security Minister says it’s the Senior cop’s aggres­sive behav­ior that caused the on-duty police­man to use the pep­per spray.
I was with the min­is­ter on the need to obey the laws and par­tic­u­lar­ly when he ref­er­enced politi­cians and oth­ers in the soci­ety who believe they are above the laws.
Nevertheless, his assess­ment on what tran­spired is a rapid depar­ture from what I and count­less oth­ers saw on the video and my under­stand­ing of the Road Traffic Act.



Commissioner of Police Antony Anderson

The min­is­ter has made some mis­steps includ­ing liken­ing the police to glo­ri­fied secu­ri­ty guards, and not defend­ing the cops when he need­ed to since he took office. I believe that the Minister’s attempt to defend the offi­cer in this case, may be an attempt to ingra­ti­ate him­self with the police after his pre­vi­ous mis­steps.
And so the Minister has found him­self run­ning pro­tec­tion for com­mis­sion­er of police Antony Anderson who is him­self not a police offi­cer or lawyer and so he can­not respond to issues of this nature with any degree of author­i­ty either, with­out embar­rass­ing him­self.

Neither sce­nar­ios of the Minister run­ning pro­tec­tion for Commissioner Anderson, nor Commissioner Anderson play­ing it safe so as not to embar­rass him­self, absolves the so-called Police high com­mand, which has incom­pe­tent­ly failed once again to be out front on this, as it has on so many oth­er issues.
The Police has an infor­ma­tion arm which is some­thing which it nev­er had dur­ing my brief stint in the late ’80s to ear­ly ’90s. Why was there no offi­cial state­ment from the inept police high com­mand?
Why did the Commissioner of Police hide from the media when he could have stepped in front of the micro­phones and giv­en a gener­ic state­ment like the fol­low­ing.

[We take note of the inci­dent involv­ing one of our offi­cers and a mem­ber of the pub­lic”. “We have pro­to­cols in place to ensure the safe­ty of the pub­lic when they come in con­tact with our offi­cers, at the same time, we ful­ly appre­ci­ate the dif­fi­cult cir­cum­stances under which our offi­cers are asked to per­form their duties. As a con­se­quence, we ask the pub­lic to allow the process to play out and the inves­ti­ga­tion to come to a con­clu­sion.
We promise that the process will be fair to all par­ties as we are bound to pro­tect the pub­lic, while ensur­ing the safe­ty and secu­ri­ty of our offi­cers.]

The fore­gone was a gener­ic state­ment we draft­ed which the Commissioner of police could have made to the media or send his media per­son out to make.
It would indi­cate to a skep­ti­cal pub­lic that the lethar­gic police were not asleep at the wheel.
At the same time, Deputy Commissioner of Police Selvin Hay who was appoint­ed Inspector General of the JCF told the media that he has not done an inven­to­ry to see whether solu­tions are avail­able, after pep­per spray has been employed, but he said the High Command will be rolling out a suite of less-lethal weapons to help police main­tain law and order. This is like­ly to include more pep­per spray, tasers, batons and hand­cuffs. “Everything is being looked at, so if there is not suf­fi­cient, then we will cer­tain­ly look at where they are need­ed, because there is nev­er ever any plan to put the offi­cer out there, both for him to be at risk and for him to be at risk to the cit­i­zen,” he said.
Of course, being a part of the high com­mand Hay could not avoid stuff­ing his foot all the way into his own mouth.
Quote; A lot of peo­ple just jump on the word ‘train­ing’ as if we have this Police College that trains peo­ple to be dis­re­spect­ful and unpro­fes­sion­al and uncon­scionable.”
Nobody trains any­body to shoot with­out jus­ti­fi­ca­tion or to spray some­body with­out jus­ti­fi­ca­tion; that is not what train­ing does. It is a super­vi­so­ry régime that needs to be improved and peo­ple being held account­able. That is what needs to be improved.

DCP Selvin Haye

I beg to dif­fer, it is about train­ing. Supervisory break­downs are about train­ing your own atti­tude indi­cates it is about train­ing.
In every instance that there is a break­down of estab­lished pro­to­cols train­ing has to be re-eval­u­at­ed to see what can be fine-tuned or done dif­fer­ent­ly.
But Haye’ com­ment is typ­i­cal of a [so-called high com­mand] which has con­sis­tent­ly seen itself as dif­fer­ent and detached from the offi­cers on the front line.
As I have said maybe a thou­sand times, get rid of some of the Selvin Hayes and give me a good con­sta­ble deter­mined to serve the pub­lic, and I feel a lot bet­ter any day.