Is This Ellington’s Farewell?

Is this Owen Ellington’s farewell?

Former Commissioner of Police Hardley Lewin came out strong against crime and corruption. He labeled Tivoli Gardens the mother of all Garrisons then he resigned.

Hardley Lewin.

Present police commissioner Owen Ellington came out strong against what he saw as the real issues which has stifled growth and prevented the Jamaican people from reaching their true potential. Ellington’s Observations were refreshing yet bold considering Jamaica’s political system.

Is this a sign that Ellington’s tenure is coming to an end? Over the last several months there have been calls for the resignation of the Commissioner of Police, some of the most strident calls coming from the People’s National Party’s Youth Arm,PNPYO). Not to mistake the PNPYO with substance, but it seem the Simpson Miller Regime is unable or unwilling to keep these young upstarts under control.

 Commissioner Owen Ellington.

The PNPYO has never been anything but a bunch of ideologically driven thugs ,waiting in the wings to hold state power, their claim to fame based on nothing more than communist/socialist dogma  that has no place in present day politics. Nevertheless they are part of the governing administration and their bellicose rhetoric may have had an impact on the administration of Miller as well as it may have impacted Ellington desire to continue serving.

Ellington’s concise yet forthright article, is a radical departure from the standard norm for previous commissioner’s of police. In essence it is a policy blue-print which is diametrically opposite to the governing direction of the country. Ellington’s Article is a profound policy direction which if adopted would change Jamaica from the way we have come to know it over the last three decades plus.

Written by Commissioner of Police Owen Ellington

One of the points the Commissioner advanced most stridently was the revolving door criminal justice system. Judges seem to be a law onto themselves. Either there are no guidelines or they do not feel obliged to follow set  guidelines.

I have written numerous articles pointing to this almost criminal disconnect in our country between what law enforcement is trying to accomplish and the actions of the courts. Time  again criminals before the court are summarily granted bail, they kill are re-arrested , granted bail and the cycle continues. On one occasion one particular defendant who initially killed several people was arrested and was granted bail. He left the jurisdiction and was brought back to Jamaica from the United States and was granted bail five seaperate times  after killing each time he was released.

The question of Bail may not have been intended as punishment, but it should be used to send  a strong message that if an accused or anyone acting on his/her behalf tamper or attempt to tamper with the process, the accused will spend the rest of his days locked away.

Jamaica simply cannot continue to operate this way. It seem that Jamaica’s incompetent and sophomoric politicians not conversant with the changing times and the sophistication of criminals operating in that geography. It is indeed a graphic indictment on the character of legislators in that country. Jamaica’s judges operate on the principle that the question of bail should not be punitive. That may be true but there are over-riding facets of the Bail Act which must be considered.

♦ The likely-hood of flight, (abscond).

♦ The likely-hood that the accused will re-offend.

♦ The likely-hood that the accused will tamper with the investigation and or witnesses, being of paramount significance.

Based on the crime situation all of these factors are pretty much apart of the plans of criminals who offend in Jamaica.

Yet the country’s far left liberal judges seem to take a single line from the Bail Act when they consider Bail. And that is that Bail should not be used as punishment.

The Courts are staffed by judges who are largely products of the University of the West Indies, not exactly a a place where one expects sane thought to emanate from, this is the same University which had Adija Palmer (Vybes Kartel )on Campus doing lectures.

Those who argue about extra-judicial killings must focus their attention on the root causes of this phenomena.

Just last week the Police were asking two men from Grants Pen to turn themselves in to them . Hopeton Forrest (o/c Buck ) and Man-Saw , whose real name has eluded me as a result of the passage of time.  Twenty Two years ago while I was at the Constant Spring CIB both men were carrear criminals . Forrest was from a group of brothers who were all felons, they did time over and over for serious crimes to include shootings.

Forrest was brother-in-law to a constable named Clive Smith who lived in a small community called Ackee-Walk in Kingston 8. When I went to Constant Spring I was told by detectives there that Smith was a dirty cop.  I never spoke to Smith and he took umbrage, he told me he was a senior cop and I treated him like I was better than him, I told him bluntly, I was better than him because he was dirty and we would not be staying in the same department. He reeled off a litany of expletives aimed at me which did not bother me I knew my time would come.

Sometime later I was investigating a shooting which occurred in the Grant’s Pen area, the victim was Hopeton Forrest(Buck), I went to the University Hospital to speak to him. Buck had been shot in the leg. Buck told me that Officer Clive Smith loaned him a gun to do a robbery, he did the robbery but did not share the spoils with Smith, neither did he return the weapon to him, as a result Smith shot him.

Hopeton Forrest was not going to testify against Clive Smith, no one would, I asked Buck where he did the robbery  and asked him to turn the weapon involved in the robbery over to me. He laughed at me and said “misa Beckles cool nuh man”. I knew Buck would never testify against Clive Smith, he would exact his revenge the ghetto way. I also knew that my hope of finding out where he did that robbery and finding anything to link him to that robbery was next to nil, so I concentrated on Clive Smith. Buck revealed to me that  Smith had stolen goods which he would not be able to account for in the apartment he shared with his sister.

We gathered a team which included retired Ruddy Dwyer, and Noel Asphall , also there was now Assistant commissioner of police Elan Powell then acting corporal. I wasn’t the only cop who wanted to get rid of Smith from the department, DSP Dwyer hated his guts and wanted him gone. When we hit Smith’s house that morning he could not even remove the Ganga Spliff he was smoking from his lips. I took the cigar from his lips and put it into an envelope. I said to Smith I told you I would get you out of the Force”. He did not utter a word .

Smith plead guilty to all the charges, and was dismissed from the force, I never saw him again. Despite all the crimes Man-saw and Hopeton Forrest committed they were in and out of prison like it was a revolving door. Just recently a Judge in the United States sentenced a 9 time felon to 50 years in prison, as a habitual offender, and an incorrigible rogue.

For the record there are provisions in law for a judge in Jamaica to throw the book at a habitual offender much the same way, they just don’t. Twenty two years after I left law- enforcement ,Hopeton Forrest and Man-saw are still orchestrating and carrying out serious crimes to include armed robberies.

It doesn’t matter how many times they are arrested the criminal coddling judges turn the right back onto the streets.