The Arrest Of Ruel Reid, Pinnock And Brown-Lawrence Sends The Right Message For Jamaica…

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Former edu­ca­tion min­is­ter Ruel Reid

News out of Kingston Jamaica is that for­mer edu­ca­tion Minister Ruel Reid, for­mer pres­i­dent of the Caribbean Maritime University Fritz Pinnock, and a JLP parish Councillor have been tak­en into cus­tody by local police ear­ly Wednesday morn­ing.
Reid and Pinnock have report­ed­ly been under police inves­ti­ga­tions for months. (According to the Jamaica Gleaner) The months-long probe involves the Major Organised Crime Agency (MOCA) and the Financial Investigation Division (FID). Reid resigned on March 20 amid the cor­rup­tion alle­ga­tions and yes­ter­day, Pinnock was sent on spe­cial leave with imme­di­ate effect pend­ing the out­come of the probe. Law enforce­ment offi­cers swooped down on Reid’s St Andrew house at 5 o’clock this morn­ing, the same time they arrived at Pinnock’s Hellshire home in Portmore, St Catherine in unmarked vehi­cles. MOCA detec­tives are also at the St Ann home of Jamaica Labour Party Councillor Kim Brown Lawrence.

Fritz Pinnock

Already the par­ti­sans are all over social media crow­ing on the one hand and lament­ing on the oth­er. Those opposed to the JLP are exu­ber­ant, those sup­port­ive of the par­ty are incred­u­lous that mem­bers of their par­ty could be arrest­ed by the police.
At this time we will not com­ment on the speci­fici­ty of the case because we have not seen the indict­ment.
Sufficing to say, how­ev­er, whether these accused are inno­cent or guilty, this is a good day for the rule of law.
Jamaicans are not used to see­ing police offi­cers raid­ing homes and arrest­ing politi­cians, regard­less of how low on the food chain they fall.
Simply put, the high com­mand of the JCF has been so com­pro­mised through polit­i­cal-affil­i­a­tions, feal­ty, and cow­ardice, that the prospect of the JCF con­duct­ing seri­ous inves­ti­ga­tions against peo­ple with pow­er has been zero.
Despite the tril­lions of dol­lars siphoned from the Jamaican peo­ple, the Island’s Teflon politi­cians have all avoid­ed inves­ti­ga­tion and pros­e­cu­tion, with the excep­tion of two.
(1) J.A.G Smith of the JLP spent time in prison for fraud and (2) Kern Spencer of the PNP who was indict­ed but not con­vict­ed because a sit­ting Magistrate (Judith Pusey) used her posi­tion to stymie the pos­si­bil­i­ty of Spencer being held to account for the crimes alleged against him.

This writer makes no state­ment of guilt or inno­cence regard­ing the accused. In fact, the his­tor­i­cal incom­pe­tence and lack of case prepa­ra­tion for which the JCF is infa­mous, is enough to inspire cau­tion.
Nevertheless, (inno­cent or guilty), the arrest of these accused, sends the right mes­sage to those who believe that their posi­tions of pow­er insu­late them from the reach­es of the law when they decide to trans­gress our laws.
This should not be a glee­ful moment, nei­ther should it be a sad moment.
Supporters of both polit­i­cal par­ties should see this moment as a water­shed moment in the his­to­ry of our fledg­ling demo­c­ra­t­ic nation.
It should say to each and every Jamaican,” the laws apply to every­one, regard­less of their sta­tion”.
For the gov­ern­ing JLP, it is an oppor­tu­ni­ty to say “we don’t want crim­i­nals in our par­ty” and for the PNP in oppo­si­tion, it is an oppor­tu­ni­ty to take heed that crim­i­nal mis­ap­pro­pri­a­tion of pub­lic resources will not be tol­er­at­ed.
Regardless of the out­come of this case, today is a good day for the rule of law, and for law-abid­ing Jamaicans, regard­less of their pol­i­tics.

Mike Beckles is a for­mer Jamaican police Detective cor­po­ral, a busi­ness own­er, avid researcher, and blog­ger. 
He is a black achiev­er hon­oree, and pub­lish­er of the blog chatt​-​a​-box​.com. 
He’s also a con­trib­u­tor to sev­er­al web­sites.
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