Having served in the JCF for a brief ten years I have been a vocal critic of the Agency in areas in which I know it can be better despite the challenges it faces. I am also a staunch supporter because I know we desperately need law enforcement if we are to survive as a nation.


And so for us Jamaicans, not of mal-intent, it is important that we come together for the greater good of our country.
It is with that in mind that I wrote an article in response to the Public Defender, Arlene Harrison-Henry’s partial submission to a select committee of the parliament on a raft of issues to include the treatment of prisoners in custody and that public body’s perceptions regarding the State of Emergencies declared and in effect in select areas.

Although the (OPD) said it’s submission was not complete, I thought that there were areas in which the Public Defender had dipped its nose that was vastly outside its remit.
What was clear to me is that like Earl Witter and [stand-in] Matondo Mukulu before her, Arlene Harrison-Henry’s understanding of her role and that of her office was one which was created to be antagonistic toward law -enforcement.
This may or may not be so, it could also be that [Arlene Harrison-Henry] who came from the Bar Association is merely acting-out what are natural instincts evident in many lawyers to be unprincipled rapacious vultures rather than principled officers of the court. 

Nevertheless, in writing a response I tried to steer clear of specifics, conversant that the oftentimes inept Constabulary, should itself confirm or refute the claims made by the Public Defender.  
In fact, I was hoping that a response would come from the JCF which systematically rubbishes the claims made by the Public Defender.
That response came today in a no-nonsense response from the commanding officer Senior Superintendent of Police Anthony Morris, who is the officer in charge of the SOE. 

Speaking to local media (SSP) Morris rubbished specific areas of Harrison-Henry’s report on the number of children in police custody and other areas.
Arlene Harrison-Henry lied to the Parliament that there were some 105 children up to the age of 17 detained as of October 31.
SSP Morris refuted that claim,“At no time did we ever have that number of children in custody.”
Police records show that in January, 10 children were in custody; in February there were 12; in March, eight; April, 11; May, seven; June, five; July, 13; August, 12; September had eight; October, 11; and during this month, eight.
See link here. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/front-page/not-true-police-counter-public-defender-s_151060?profile=1606

The larger issue here is this, what if there were the 105 children Harrison-Henry argued in custody?
If these minors committed crimes, are the police supposed to simply walk away from arresting them?
Minors are walking around murdering people in Jamaica are the police supposed to simply ignore them?

The Public Defender talked about the quality of the food being given prisoners. The officer pointed out that the meals are provided for both police officers and prisoners alike. Asked about the quality the senior officer said, for bulk food, it was pretty good and encouraged the media to go see for themselves.

On bathroom facilities that too was a [lie] the media found that no clean up was done in anticipation of their arrival and in fact discovered that there were decent ablution areas for prisoners to practice personal hygiene.
According to the (Jamaica Observer) Police Officers were not too pleased with the fraudulent report submitted by Arlene Harrison-Henry.
The information that ended up in the public domain, which I think was meant to demean the (JCF) was broadcast right throughout Jamaica,” said Deputy Superintendent Ainsley McCarty.

Suffice to say, the day before the public defender went to Parliament — because the public defender has spoken to me on numerous occasions and she knows that I am accessible 24 hours a day to her — she called me to clarify certain information. And if she wanted [further] clarity, she could have asked during that period of time and I would have said to the public defender that this was the situation,” DSP McCarty said.

Which brings us to motive.
Being anti-police is Jamaica’s largest growth industry. Like everyone else, Arlene Harrison-Henry is crucially aware of this, as is every Tom, Dick, and Harry on the streets.
Like Terrence Williams who heads INDECOM the Independent Commission Of Inquiries, everyone seeking relevance, national awards, and other accolades are critically aware that dogging the police department is a surefire way to get what they seek.
Arlene Harrison-Henry a duplicitous, conniving, and rapacious lawyer did not make herself available for the job because of any burning desire to do good.
Like countless others before her, including the disgraced former head of (JFJ) Jamaicans for Justice Carolyn Gomes, she is seeking fame and recognition and what better strategy than to ride on the backs of  the police to get there?

And so there must be a recognition that people have their own individual motives and agendas.
As such the Parliament must move to codify into law, safeguards which appropriately criminalizes those who would lie to the parliament.
The exigencies of the times demand it. The legislature must act on it.

READ AND SHARE THIS ARTICLE


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.