The recent incident involving a Jamaican sprinter (who shall remain nameless outside the video tag, because he does not deserve to have his name mentioned, at least in this medium), and police officers, continue to highlight the huge gaps in basic policing protocols.
This is not about the little lout who clearly believes that owning a car and being able to run makes him something special.
That kind of ignorance is larger than the individual sprinter, it is a cultural malignancy which will only be fixed through public education campaigns, proper training and best practice adherence by officers.
The incident in question began with a vehicular stop in which the occupants, including the sprinter, was asked to leave the vehicle so that an ad-hoc vehicular search could be executed.
As the Corporal conducted the search and seemed to have a legitimate desire for transparency, a-la the filming by one constable, the entire episode was painfully reminiscent of a skit from the theatrical circuit.
A Florida traffic stop
The behavior of the imbecilic sprinter, who has since offered an apology to the police, is to be expected, after all, this is Jamaica a county in which every moron is above the law, or so they feel.
This corporal and his team clearly could be good officers in a police department which has competent leadership. However, this JCF continues to be a leaderless theatrical caricature of actual policing, clearly incapable of offering the men and women on the streets the focused leadership they need and deserve.
Washington state traffic stop
As a consequence, the public, including the men in this video, believe they have a right to be hyped when dealing with officers.
I cannot recall ever hearing the police high command register support for the actions of its officers on the streets, outside of this instance.
This time the small team of three had a video which forced a response from the high command, bravo to the officers on that.
Unfortunately, the grudging support of the brain dead high command must be processed in the context of what was wrong with the entire cinematic episode and not some nugget of what may have been right from this pantomime.
NYPD traffic stop.
Jamaica’s terrain is conducive to motorists remaining in their vehicles when they are pulled over by police.
(1) There are decades, and a multiplicity of instances in which motorists alight from vehicles, shoot at police and simply disappear in bushes and gullies.
In the instances in which police are able to respond with force, they are oftentimes left without evidence to justify the use of lethal force because the culprits have in fact escaped with their weapons.
This particular trend helped to create mistrust of the police and has helped to foster the general lawlessness in the country, something the incompetent high command has done nothing to remedy.
You get the picture .
(2) The unavailability of adequate backup in a timely manner as well as the shortage of resources and lack of proper training of officers also militate against motorists being allowed to leave their vehicles when stopped by police.
There is no data which supports allowing motorists leaving their vehicles when pulled over by police, certainly nothing which would come close to adequately countering the need for them to remain in their vehicles.
That is the reason why police departments across the developed world adhere to these best practices. In Jamaica, the need to adhere and adapt is far more pressing.
Despite this, the police high-command does nothing to change this practice!
The attempt of the officers in this video to police themselves through the use of cell phone and other cameras is commendable, even as it left the team vulnerable to being exploited in this instance. In one instance the officer doing the filming had his back turned to one occupant of the vehicle. If these men wanted to exact cost on those officers we would be having a whole different conversation about this traffic stop.
Mind you, I won’t bother to delve into the whole painful episode of the corporal’s inane “Jamaican ambassador“. statements, It was just too painful to watch. Maybe its time to stop hero-worshiping those who run fast.
If this debacle is worthy of praise, we must expect that Jamaica will continue to experience the levels of crime it has been experiencing with the same and escalated impunity going forward.
Then there are the Jamaican cops.
An integral part of policing is the authority officers exude through the execution of proper protocols. Many Jamaicans have traveled overseas and have seen how it is done. Others have been deported having experienced effective policing, whether one agrees or not. Then there are social media platforms which are rife with citizen/police encounters, those wishing to show out or break the laws are constantly probing for lapses and ways to breach police defenses.
It is the responsibility and indeed the duty of police leadership, not just to keep abreast, but be steps ahead of those who would transgress the nation’s laws.
On this issue, the police hierarchy has been woefully inadequate and incompetent.
Despite the protestations of support for these glaringly regressive practices, what is abundantly clear, is that insofar as effective respectable and professional policing is concerned, the JCF is light years away from where it ought to be.
If we are celebrating the fact that these officers did not ask for a bribe, then we need to say so, because this encounter certainly is befitting a timeslot on the cartoon network.