Police Not Showing That They Know How To Make Arrests Safely

Conrod Tucker

From con­trib­u­tor Conrad Tucker.

When a police offi­cer tells an offend­er that he is under arrest and reads him his rights, the offend­er must com­ply with the order of the offi­cer. However, that is not the real­i­ty in Jamaica today, there have been myr­i­ads of videos cir­cu­lat­ing on social media, show­ing police offi­cers being mobbed when they try to make an arrest. Some of these videos depict phys­i­cal and ver­bal assault on police offi­cers by peo­ple who show no respect to the rule of law.

Compounding the mat­ter is that fact that the major­i­ty of the police offi­cers exhib­it­ed igno­rance and inept­ness in effect­ing an arrest. As a for­mer police offi­cer, I received my basic train­ing on mak­ing an arrest thir­ty-sev­en years ago, and I vivid­ly remem­ber how to exe­cute it. It con­founds me by the actions of these offi­cers who allow offend­ers in their spaces with­out any con­se­quence. Many might argue that the offi­cers are scared to use the nec­es­sary force to effect the arrest, because they may become anoth­er INDECOM sta­tis­tic, and that may car­ry some valid­i­ty.

That said, these videos show the real vic­tims are the offi­cers in these sit­u­a­tions. The videos por­tray vio­lence, threat, and anni­hi­la­tion of police offi­cers for doing their jobs. The videos could be the offi­cer best allies, which could exon­er­ate them if charges are brought and may pre­vent charges from being brought against them. What is often not dis­cussed is the fact that in most of these sit­u­a­tions, the offi­cer’s lives are at risk, when being sur­round­ed by so many angry, bois­ter­ous and hate­ful peo­ple, whose objec­tives are to see their demise.

Sometimes you have to won­der if they are obliv­i­ous to their safe­ty and secu­ri­ty to be so tol­er­ant of peo­ple who want to hurt them. What is shock­ing­ly dis­turb­ing is the apa­thy of their col­leagues to assist. What hap­pened to team­work? What hap­pened to hav­ing a col­league’s back? Where is the true spir­it of com­rade­ship? I am hor­ri­fied to see an offi­cer being assault­ed, and the other(s) just stood there and offered no assis­tance. During my tenure in the JCF, we looked out for each oth­er espe­cial­ly in those types of sit­u­a­tion.

We were not always in agree­ment on many things, but we still show that we are unit­ed when deal­ing with an adver­sary. These offi­cers lack the gump­tion, grit, and deter­mi­na­tion to stand up these thugs. Honestly, they have become the laugh­ing stock, and get no respect from the peo­ple they serve. Stop blam­ing the gov­ern­ment, as police offi­cers they are giv­en pow­ers that oth­er peo­ple in soci­ety don’t have. If they under­stand the tenets of the law and they should, then most of these recal­ci­trant punks should be behind bars. Instead, they con­tin­ue to per­pet­u­ate this type of behav­ior, and it appears it has become con­ta­gious. Obstructing police offi­cer dur­ing the law­ful exe­cu­tion of their duties has become a pas­time, a fad, and a lifestyle for these law­break­ers. And they will con­tin­ue because there are no con­se­quences for their actions.