For as long as INDECOM has existed I have called for the repeal of the law and if necessary a comprehensive review of the principles which necessitated the law in the first place with the view to the passage of a better law.
The supporters of INDECOM are vehemently opposed to anyone touching the law regardless of the harm it is causing. Those supporters range from inside Jamaica House to PNP HQ and places beyond.
The question which must be asked then is, why are they opposed to a comprehensive top to bottom review of the law?
If the law is righteous it will stand any scrutiny so there is nothing to fear.
The fact of the matter is that supporters of the law know full well that the law is bad. Aspects of the law may even be unconstitutional but they would rather keep a bad law in place which injuries police officers than do the work to change it.
One of the talking points used by proponents of the law is that if officers act appropriately they have nothing to fear from having INDECOM there.
Many people outside the circle of power of politics and law enforcement who simply want checks and balances in the system fall victim to this lie because they do not understand the minutia of how a bad law like INDECOM may have devastating consequences for officers who do exactly what they are supposed to do and are criminalized by a law which should never have been authorized in its present state.
The instances of the abuse of INDECOM are many the latest being the case of assault INDECOM brought against Corporal Delroy McDuffus and Constable Adrian Beckford, who was attached to the Morant Bay Police Station six years ago. McDuffus and Beckford were arrested and charged by INDECOM for allegedly assaulting a man during a roadblock that was mounted by residents in the Whitehorse community in the parish.The complainant was arrested by the police after he was reportedly seen blocking the roadway and was ordered to move away from the scene but refused and resisted the police’s attempt to remove him.
This case should never have been brought in the first place, there was no evidence outside the complainant’s words to go by.
Point number one is that he was arrested for refusing to move away from the scene after he was caught blocking a public thoroughfare.
If he refused the police command to do as he was told why would we not believe he had to be forcibly subdued by the police in order to effect the arrest?
It is exactly because of abuses of this nature that I am alluding to when I criticize the INDECOM law as a flawed law entrusted to a demagogue to execute.
Additionally, the police cannot sue INDECOM for wrongful arrest even when they act with haste, without due-care, a lack of caution and maybe malice as is seemingly the case here.
Police officers are sued for doing exactly what they are tasked with doing and are being arrested and treated as criminals for doing so. INDECOM faces no legal jeopardy for abusing it’s powers.
If police officers are unnecessarily rough or abusive to a suspect they are arresting, officers involved in the arrest open themselves up to legal jeopardy.
On the other hand, police officers have tremendous leeway as it relates to use of force when they are making arrests.
For the record and for the edification of those who opine on this subject without objectivity or the necessary knowledge, that latitude includes the power to take life.
Regardless of the reason for the arrest if an offender fights with an officer that officer has the right under the law to use the force necessary to make the arrest. Without the benefit of video evidence which showed that officers, in this case, acted against their oath in making the arrest the case brought against the officers should never have been brought.
Even with video evidence, it is incredibly difficult to argue with the force used by an officer in the heat of arresting a belligerent suspect.
After the suspect is cuffed, officers are at much more legal exposure if allegations of unnecessary force are alleged.
That was not the case here,
On the basis of cases as these INDECOM is operating without accountability a license to commit more egregious breaches against officers without any accountability or without incurring any penalty.
This law needs to go.