The process of Justice in Jamaica does not have many cheer-leaders. In fact it seem at times that the only dyed-in-the-wool believers were the police, until many of them stopped believing. That was when the you now what hit the proverbial fan. The criminal Justice system and criminal lawyers have now given new meaning to those two terms. Many people talk about police corruption without understanding the reasons police departments are overcome by corruption. What never ceases to amaze me in criminal trials is the absolute bias the press shows toward  criminals.  Defense lawyers are placed on pedestals some of them have no business being on. They do this while poorly paid prosecutors and Police working on behalf of the people, are cast as dishonest, less than  morally-upright people of character. That is the imagery which greets young Jamaicans starting to form opinions about life during the formative years. Is it any wonder then that Dons are revered and Cops are regaled?

As a young officer I loved the Courts, I loved to tangle with the high and mighty Legal-Eagles, I recognized pretty early, that many were nothing more than school-yard bullies dressed in suits. There are decent Lawyers ,a lawyer has a duty to defend his/her client in the best way he/she knows how. Yet a defense lawyer is an officer of the Court. That means a he/she has a propitiatory duty to the interest of justice, not just an acquittal for his/her client. How many lawyers can say they have been guardian of that trust? There are more than enough documented case of lawyers stepping over the line in the interest of money, basically acting as criminal concierges , not just to tilt the scales in their clients favor but actually distorting and perverting the course of justice. Many of those supposed legal luminaries were more than eager to cut a deal when they realized certain detectives were involved in their client’s case. The Vybes Kartel murder trial is no different than any other murder trial in Jamaica, all the cheer-leading is for the criminal accused, no one cares about the process. A Police witness Corporal Sean Brown testifying for the prosecution told the court that he did not go through all of the text messages of Vybes Kartel.

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 Defence attorney Pierre Rodgers accused Brown, who is assigned to the Crime Forensic Unit of the Organised Crime Investigation Division, of being unfair and unjust. Rodgers charged that Brown’s incomplete perusal of the phone data obtained from telecommunications company Digicel was unprofessional.”Wouldn’t justice and fairness dictate that you go through all the data?” Rodgers asked.

Brown admitted that he had used key words such as ‘murder’, ‘killing’, ‘Kartel’ and ‘Lizard’, to narrow down the pool of text messages and call records he provided to the court as evidence.”That formed the basis of the analysis,” Brown said. But Rodgers would have none of it. He cited two cellular calls that were made within a second of each other on a phone allegedly used by Kartel but were made from cell cites at the Norman Manley International Airport and Acadia in upper St Andrew. This information was not given to the court as evidence, Rodgers claimed. “Wouldn’t fairness and justice dictate that you go through all the data?” he asked. Rodgers had earlier accused Brown of concocting a text message said to be sent by the alleged victim, Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams, to his girlfriend Onieka Jackson, in an effort to fabricate a case against the accused men.

I am proud of this officer and the evidence he gave, this Attorney has show just how unprepared he is to the point he resorts to what they always do, character assassination. This officer had no obligation to go through every text message for this purpose, this accused most likely has tens of thousands of messages both sent and received , This officer must have been trained to use key-words to narrow his search. Had he gone further the allegations would have been one of personal rights violation.Whatever other evidence may have been gleaned from accessing the remainder of his text messages may have no probative value as far as this court is concerned but may potentially be a gold-mine going forward for investigators. It would be wise if some of the village lawyers with no idea what they are talking about ,would just calm down and await the outcome of this trial. There will be time enough for them to go off on their irrational rants, arsenic bile foaming from their mouths about police incompetence. A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing.



  1. I think the investigating officer should have gone through all the messages in the interest of fairness and thoroughness Beck , that’s what an efficient detective would have done . The man is a prisoner and the property in question , the cell phone, forms the basis of investigations , so whatever rights this defendant had as far as privacy is concern ,was temporarily extinguished and the police is well in their right to have perused all messages , for pattern and relevance .If you were following the evidence in the Shawn Storm situation you would have understood where I am coming from . unfortunately Beck ,its these neo-detectives executing shabby investigative procedures, who have caused a shrewd lawyer thinking on his feet to detect these inefficiencies and deficiencies and capitalize on it and in the process showing up their ineptitude . I have not been impressed with the evidence presented by the police in this case and I will tell you this , Vybz Kartel will be walking …..truly an unfortunate situation . The defense lawyers are within their right to defend their client , they have done nothing wrong so far , as a former detective , you would have gone through similar assertions and battering by lawyers , this is nothing new .

    1. These lawyers aren’t a bother at all. What makes critics of these officers believe they did not harvest information from his account which they cannot divulge to the court? As I said before, had he answered in the affirmative the lawyers assertions would have been different. The allegations would have been that they weren’t after what they should be after, they were after Kartel.

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