At the time the Tivoli inquiry was commissioned by Portia Simpson Miller as a political witch hunt, this medium was not shy about speaking out against it.
The Commission was set up as a supposed fact finding mission, not a judicial court with the power to bring charges.
This medium believed then that this commission was fraudulent as (1) the witnesses against the security forces were manufactured. (2) The commission led by David Simmons, a retired chief justice and former attorney general of Barbados was biased and disrespectful of the Jamaican security forces. (3) The commission head had no understanding of the crime culture of Jamaica and therefore was ill-equipped and ill-prepared to hear and decipher evidentiary data from manufactured lies.
(4) Other members of the panel, retired justice of the Court of Appeal of Jamaica Hazel Harris and Professor Anthony Harriott, director of the Institute of Criminal Justice and Security at the University of the West Indies not exactly friends of the security forces,went into what was a fact finding exercise with preconceived ideas and made up minds. (5) That the mere existence of a commission of inquiry into this operation by the security forces was an affront to the sacrifice of the two members of the security forces who died annexing that lawless community to the rest of the country.
Nevertheless, I was not surprised that the PNP used that heroic event by the security forces as a political football.
It was classic PNP-JLP modus operandi to use the security forces to clean up their mess then muster their lying uninformed supporters to demonize the Police and military.
This time however it was different Simpson Miller went for the juggler she brought in a post colonialist -neocolonialist interloper to come into our country to be judge and jury over our long suffering security forces.
Simmons and the panel wasted no time demonstrating that the so called fact finding mission was not going to be a fact finding mission but a grievance forum to allow lying criminals and their families to perpetuate more lies and propaganda against the security forces. (As seen in video above).
According to a Jamaica Gleaner report in July 2016, the cost to Jamaica taxpayers for high powered lawyers representing the various agencies involved in the inquiry was almost J$150 million.
The report detailed separately from documents obtained through the Access to Information (ATI) Act that Chairman of the three-member commission, David Simmons, has been paid US$459,170 (J$52.8 million). Retired Court of Appeal justice, Hazel Harris, another commissioner, was, up to the time of the reporting [paid US$344,475 of the US$372,300 (J$42.8 million) she is due under her contract. The documents showed a balance of US$27,825. Meanwhile, the third commissioner, Professor Anthony Harriott, has received his full payment of US$372,300 (J$42.8 million).
It must be remembered that Desmond McKenzie, the member of parliament for Kingston Western, who was in Opposition then, had himself called for the scrapping of the commission.
After the Kangaroo commission concluded the expensive charade it issued a rambling report which recommended among other things that some members of the security forces not be allowed to command in the future.
The JCF also did it’s own review under the capable leadership of Assistant Commissioner of Police Wray Palmer.
That review concluded that members of the JCF did nothing wrong. It went on to argue ..
“The Tivoli commission did not identify any specific act of dereliction of duty or misconduct on the part of any of the named officers,” It further questioned the integrity of the inquiry, saying that the tribunal – consisting of two former judges and an international crime expert – engaged in speculation and was confused and biased in several instances.
The review committee is correct in its assessment, an assessment I made in previous articles as I detailed the reasons that the Tivoli Commission was an expensive farcical exercise intended to defraud and confuse the Jamaican people.
Of the huge cost of that inquiry to the taxpayers, it is safe to say hardly a penny of those resources came from Tivoli gardens.
The Palmer review has infuriated the usual enemies of the Police, the taxpayer funded Office of Public Defender and its head, attention seeking Arlene Harrison Henry and Horace Levy of the so called peace management unit started their usual mongrel barking immediately.
Said Henry, “What we have now is the JCF impugning a commission of inquiry that was properly constituted under the laws of Jamaica, and this cannot be allowed to stand,”
“We say they need to withdraw it. It cannot be business as usual when 74 are dead on the public defender’s account and 69 on the police’s account.”
“What we have to ask ourselves as a country is this: 74 dead on the public defender’s account, 69 dead on the police account, so what happened? All these people were justifiable killings?”
This nonsense inherent in this ideological zealot’s irrational and hormonal tirade is that 69 or 74 people could not be justifiably killed by the security forces.
Not to be outdone another media whore the little mongrel Horace Levy would not allow a discussion to go without pushing his little snout in.
“The review was “disgraceful” and an “insult”. “It is a very bad statement. It’s pathetic. The evidence that they cite for their conclusions is very, very weak, and in many cases, non-factual.”
Thus far the Commissioner of Police George Quallo has indicated he stands by the review.
I salute the police Commissioner and support his stance in standing in defense of the men and women under his command and the organization he heads against the lies and smears from these slanderous anti-police demagogues.
I am unaware of any country in which an arm of government is openly hostile to law enforcement as the office of the public defender is in Jamaica.
I stand to be corrected and so I will await responses from readers on this.
From the creation of the office of public defender, Earl Witter created a decided anti-police stance. That position is now the path of Arlene Harrison Henry, another mediocre lawyer who couldn’t cut it at the private bar much the same way Earl Witter couldn’t.
The attitude of INDECOM’s commissioner Terrence Williams must be processed in the same light that these utterances are.
The Jamaican people, (outside the leeches in the inner cities) will have to make a decision whether they want their tax dollars to fund criminal supporting anti-police agencies and elites while they and their children are being slaughtered daily.
It’s time for Arlene Harrison Henry and Terrence Williams to go.