As I have said repeatedly INDECOM should not have the right to prosecute its own investigations.
In a letter to one of the daily publications, Attorney at law Valerie Neita Robertson said the following:
INDECOM must not arrest, charge, and prosecute its own investigations but must be subject to the constitutional buffer of the Office of the DPP if we are to ensure that justice in Jamaica is not an illusion. Let us all be guided by the oft-used phrase that “there can be no peace without justice.”
(Listen to the audio commentary).
Miss Neita’s words are timely on this matter even as this issue has been of burning import over the last eight years since the Act came into being.
When there is no constitutional buffer see the (DPP)INDECOM gets to run roughshod over our law enforcement officers even when they are acting in conformity with the letter of the law.
In case after case, we see INDECOM overstepping the bounds of its mandate and the bounds of common sense in its gleeful zeal to embarrass police officers using the faulty justice system as a tool of persecution.
I spoke about one such case in an article in November of 2017.
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.
Dealing with lawbreakers at scenes of this nature are not easy for police officers. In these scenes, the most docile person is empowered and emboldened to be aggressive and unlawful based solely on the numerical strength of the group.
Police officers are still expected to clear thoroughfares and restore order. When they attempt to do their jobs there are no shortage of assaults on their persons.
If they act to protect themselves they are indicted.
This nonsense must stop.
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 its powers.
(This post has been updated since it was first published.)