Lets Examine Police Killings !


Citizens demonstrate against police killings in Jamaica:

Awhile back I wrote an Article which was featured in the Jamaica Daily Gleaner, in The article I attempted to discuss the issue of extra-judicial killings. One of Jamaica’s leading criminal/constitutional lawyer Bert Samuels responded that he would like to see police confess to killing innocent Jamaicans. I had known Bert for years as a cop stationed at Constant Spring, he is a son of the soil, a man who has done well for himself having come from the local community of Glen Drive Kingston 8, just across from Cassava-Piece. Mister Samuels has the unique distinction of having come from the hood, while having pulled himself up to the heights of power through education. I could empathize with his little outburst, having understood his background.

There has been a lot of debate on the issue of extra-judicial killings by police officers not just in Jamaica but across the world. Incidents of questionable police killings are mostly confined to urban or depressed communities. I cannot give you a psychological explanation for it, in countries like the United States and Britain race is seen as a determinant. In other places like Jamaica the arguments are more convoluted, less rational.

In the US Police line up in anticipation of protest action:

The general argument which dominated the discussion in Jamaica is (“because dem poor”) because the victims are poor. This line of argument has little legitimacy when we look at where police officers come from. Jamaica’s Police Force is almost 100% from the poorer class of people. So one would have to buy the argument that police are against the poor, the very class from which they come. Thus far we have seen no data which would support that theory.

Rastafarian’s have long argued that police take action against them because they are ……… well Rastafarian. Criminals argue that police single them out because they are poor, never because they are…… well you guessed it, criminals.  It follows that the argument that police treat people in so-called upscale neighborhoods better, is absolutely true. There is however a reason for it, at least in the Jamaican sense, if your life is less threatened you are less likely to be aggressive.

Whether we agree on this or not is immaterial, police officers get killed less in suburbia, that’s a fact. One does not have to be a police officer in Jamaica to understand this, people simply do not go into certain areas, and if they have to, they are scared as hell with the hair standing on the back of their necks. It’s no different if you are a cop, only difference is that in the case of a cop, that fear is translated into awareness.

Dr. Carolyn Gomes is a pediatric doctor who is head of the group which calls itself Jamaicans for Justice (JFJ). The Group presents itself as a legitimate Human Rights Agency. However time and again by their very actions, they have put that legitimacy into question. Human Rights is a fundamental right which is given by God, not just to criminals, not just to people who have been victimized by the state or it’s agents, but to everyone.

One of the most fundamental right guaranteed to us is the right to life, yet the highly misguided Dr. Gomes fail to recognize that simple fact. As I have said everyone has the right to the life and human dignity bestowed  by our creator. … … And yes Dr. Gomes even the murderers who you so stoutly defend have a right to life.

My own view is that even though I respect the sanctity of human life I would prefer to spend my time advocating for the innocent. I would rather spend my time advocating for the approximately 1600 Jamaicans who are reported murdered each year for the last decade plus .

I would rather advocate for…

♦The innocent people burned out of their homes.

♦The countless women violently raped , too scared to report it to authorities because of threats to their lives and that of family members.

♦The little boys and girls forced into a life of prostitution because a family member  lost a gun belonging to the area don. Forced to pay, for the rest of their lives, with their lives, for something they never lost themselves.

♦The mothers and fathers who are forced to send their daughters away to give them a chance to grow up free from rape from the don , then report them missing to the police to save their own lives.

I could go on and on Dr. Gomes but you get the picture.

There are some who are fooled by the actions of people like Dr. Gomes and others, believing that everyone who comes in the name of Human Rights are legitimate, sorry I live in a country where there are many problems of Human Rights, and where Human Rights advocacy abounds.

One thing is certain Human Rights cannot, and is not allowed to interfere with the rule of law. As important as the individual right is, it cannot come at the expense of the many.

Extra-Judicial killings are immoral and illegal, Police Officers who kill summarily should and must be removed from the Force or any police department in any civilized country. With that said Extra-judicial killings cannot be determined by the amount of people killed by police. Each case of police shooting/killing is a separate incident, has separate and defining characteristics which determines whether they conform to the use of lethal force guidelines outlined to officers.

If they don’t they are not necessarily illegal, they are not necessarily murder, there is a lot of  space between justifiable homicide and murder. Officer made a mistake, suspect acted like he had a weapon, suspect attacked officer had no weapon, suspect is shot…..

Is that murder?

Where is the malice aforethought?

You see Dr. Gomes, you alleging extra-judicial killings is synonymous to me alleging that you are summarily and illegally dispensing drugs to children who do not need it. Without knowing how many babies you see each year, how sick they are, what illnesses you dispense drugs for, or how many times per day you do write prescriptions.

You are still practicing medicine aren’t you? If not ,you should concentrate on what you have been trained to do. Go back to taking care of babies and let the cops take care of the terrorists.