Speaking at the Jamaica Labour Party conference at the National Arena in Kingston on Sunday Andrew Holness the Island’s Prime Minister finally came to his damn senses, sort of, at least.
Addressing the party faithful, Holness had a come to Jesus moment of sorts, an epiphany even, one which even his wife and member of Parliament Juliet Holness, had a long time ago.
Holness finally argued that INDECOM sometimes go too far in its functions and in the process, is causing members of the security forces to be fearful in the execution of their duties. He says the security forces need to feel that they are protected as they fight the high crime rate. He says a balance is needed.
My good friend would say “no shit Einstein, what took you the f**k so long to figure that out”?
Here’s the thing, for as long as this destructive law has been in effect I have fought it’s existence tooth and nail.
I have had many people call me all kinds of names, others have even threatened me for daring to criticize a law they wanted which finally handcuffs law enforcement the way they wanted it to.
I, on the other hand, have stridently argued that yes we need police oversight, but we also need strong law enforcement if ever our country is to have a shot at prospering.
Though not a zero-sum game we have to enforce our laws and iron out the issues which emerge as we go along.
Under no condition can we have a situation in which police officers are afraid to do their jobs because of onerous over-zealous oversight.
In the case of INDECOM and those at its helm, the agency is not merely an oversight entity, it has deliberately cultivated an atmosphere of animosity and bad blood which has nothing to do with its mandate.
Ultimately the law was poorly written, way too much power was given to the agency and to add insult to injury they placed a narcissistic little Napolean at its helm.
The Prime Minister must have seen the comments coming from the lips of the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago Dr. Keith Rowley who made it clear days ago that lawlessness would not be tolerated in his country.
Despite Holness’ words, one cannot copy common sense, you either have it or you don’t.
He went right ahead and placed his feet in his mouth as was to be expected.
Said Holness “the government has set aside funds in the Supplementary Budget to assist members of the security forces with paying the legal costs of lawsuits arising from their actions in the line of duty”.
The law is not a shackle, repeal the law if it’s bad, debate the act again, this time with the added benefit of seeing what did not work and pass a good law which protects both citizens and police officers alike.
Unless of course, the law was written to offer work to the phalanx of lawyers who are leaving school and finding it difficult to find work? The law cannot ever become bigger and more powerful than those who made it or those it was intended to protect, repeal it now.
The answer to the problem cannot be to allow Terrence Williams’ zealotry and narcissism to destroy people’s lives at the expense of taxpayers.
The reality is that once the Government came to its senses that the law is becoming a net negative and thereby causing the escalation of crime, the law ought to be done away with.
In 2010 when the framework of the law was made public, I was shocked that something that destructive could be passed out of the Parliament.
Since then I have consistently made the argument that it would be a crime producing law.
I have taken much flack from academics and idiots alike, I’m sometimes unsure where the lines are between those two groups.
Ultimately, I understand that many who criticized me for the position I take do not understand the law do not understand what law enforcement officers face and some did not want to understand.
I know that the palpable hatred many in the society have for the rule of law and law enforcement officials would keep the monstrous crime enhancing law intact, regardless of the loss of lives it causes.
I said repeatedly in the many articles I wrote on the subject, that the shit would hit the fan and they would come to their senses.
There are spatters on the ceiling now but from the comments of the Island’s chief executive, he still hasn’t come to his senses fully yet.
“Many more will have to suffer, many more will have to die, don’t ask me why”. (Hon Robert Nesta Marley)