The Police High Command in Jamaica has raised the threat level against its members to extreme, in the Saint Catherine, north , south and the Clarendon Divisions, this means that as far as they are concerned, officers who live and work in those Divisions and their families , as well as other police personnel passing through , doing business ,or visiting those divisions are also under the threat of death.
Criminals in any society who threaten the lives of agents of the state do so because they are emboldened because of one reason or another. There are only a few states in the world that would bow to threats from domestic terrorists, or are ill-equipped to handle low-level punks with a few guns and big egos. The security forces last May forced into a corner and with no help from the political directorate, demonstrated unequivocally that they were capable and had the will to eradicate any domestic threat posed by local punks.
So then , why am I writing a blog on this subject? This seem like a regular cut and dry issue for any democracy , criminals having the temerity to threaten the state are exterminated right? Not so fast my dear friends, I do agree that would be the way things gets done in any other country in the world , capitalist or communist, dictatorship, or democracy. Just recently the Government of Trinidad and Tobago instituted a State of Emergency, not a (limited state of emergency as was the case in Jamaica). The Trinidadian Government resolved to do what it took to give the necessary tools to its security forces to flush out and eradicate home-grown terrorists. They are well aware that left unchecked, criminals will do what we allow them to do, the Universe does not like a vacuum.
Women demanding that murder accused Adija Palmer, aka Vybz Kartel be freed from custody
So why is this not the case in Jamaica? It seem like a nice place down there, lots of sun, fun, beaches, it’s like, Jamaica no problem right?………………………………..RIGHT…..?????
Well not exactly , you can’t buy a product based on the packaging alone, beautiful wrapper , shitty product, all of the above is true except the no problem part. Our politics is controlled by people who are less than honest, as is true in most nations with a majority black population it does seem that Jamaica is stuck with below mediocre political leaders who are hell-bent on fattening themselves and their cronies at the expense of the nation, this has gone on for decades. Both Political parties are aligned to criminal gangs and the leaders and other operatives within each party are deeply enmeshed with criminals. On both sides of the political divide Jamaica’s politicians are affiliated with criminals .
It is of the gravest consequence when the Prime Minister refuses to honor an extradition treaty untill he was forced to , a treaty that would see a confessed gun-runner and drug dealer get his just due.
It is of the gravest consequence when the leader of the opposition and his entire party refused to vote to give the security forces more special powers even for a limited time ,which would see them consolidate the gains they made when they routed the aforementioned gun-running , drug dealer from his redoubt.
The Governing party refused to let a criminal get extradited . the opposition prevented the security forces from going into their enclaves where they have twenty times the criminals in their camp. Both Political parties are criminal gangs, the police and Military are operating in a vacuum unable to get the requisite support to effectively eradicate criminal terrorists.
So the answer to the question of why is this not an easy thing to do is simple. Criminal political leaders.
Pictures courtesy of Google
Pictured above are different segment of crowds of people from western Kingston demonstrating against the impending extradition of confessed gun-runner and drug dealer Christopher dudus Coke, now in US custody.
Jamaica’s current Prime Minister Orett Bruce Golding is now in the final stages of stepping down from office,or so he says, even before completing a full term. Golding is severely damaged from his handling of an extradition request made by the United States Government for Christopher Dudus Coke the preeminent enforcer of the former so-called mother of all Garrison communities in Jamaica, Tivoli Gardens, the center of labor party politics and the nerve center of Golding’s constituency of western Kingston. Coke is the adopted son of Lester Lloyd Coke aka (Jim Brown) now deceased co-founder of the notorious shower posse , so named for showering their enemies with bullets, Jim Brown was burned alive in a Kingston prison cell as he awaited extradition to the United States on criminal charges. He never got to testify, and no one was ever held responsible for his death, despite the fact that he was in a prison and it must be fairly routine to determine who had access to his cell and when, someone wanted him dead before he could testify in America and they made sure of it.
Christopher coke in the custody of US authorities and his late father Lester Lloyd Coke in Jamaican police custody.
Many years ago as I served in the JCF I felt that if I worked hard and was able to take as many criminals off the streets as I could, I would be able to positively change my country, I really felt that it was up to the police to effect change in the culture of pervasive criminality that is at the core of the Jamaican psyche. As a result I worked incredibly hard to bring sanity to the streets of Grant’s Pen, Red Hills road, Barbican and all places in between, sometimes we passed on our days off, not because we weren’t tired but because we knew there was work to be done and we were the only ones that were going to get it done.
Officers Like Altamont (parra) Campbell , Now dismissed Inspector Dadrick Henry, Cornwall Bigga Ford and a host of other no-nonsense cops, all of whom were older men than me, were cops I looked up to. They made sure people could walk the streets of Saint Andrew North we were not going to have any dons in our sphere of influence, when I exited the Department in 1991 I never had the benefit of having been issued a bullet proof vest, we made pennies for our effort, but we made damn sure that criminals got their just deserts. Most times I did not take administrative leave, an entitlement, many times certain dead-wood cops would ask us why we did not take sick leave which the department allowed with pay, my position then, as it is now owning my own business and working for myself is ” I am not sick”.
As the years went by I started realizing that despite the work we were putting in it seemed crime was getting worse nationally, I personally started taking a serious evaluatory look at what we were supposed to be accomplishing. Having almost a decade of experience of the gritty nastiness the political choke hold politics has on law enforcement in our country I had by that time seen most of the political players at their worst and had taken the informed decision they were not on the side of Jamaica. I realized it was not confined to just the politicians we love to hate, but encompassed all sectors of national life. From Judges to trial lawyers, from Court staff, to Media, from Academia to the garrisons it became abundantly clear that the goal we had as crime fighters in seeing our country adhere to the rule of law was by and large confined to us , a spattering of poor people in the inner cities, rural folks, and some business people.
It became clearer as time went by we were set up as fall guys for the failings of the political and intellectual elite, this epiphany was not confined to me, the extremely high attrition rate from the JCF is adequate testimony to that fact. Many argue that some who enter the JCF do so solely for the paycheck this is undoubtedly true,but on the flip-side that pay check is not enough to keep most members interested once they realize what they are up against.
It became more and more evident when criminals who had committed the most serious crimes, and taken the most elaborate measures to avoid detection and apprehension were routinely returned to the streets by Judges who smiled and greeted their defense lawyer friends as they stood in court usually with one foot, on the floor and one on the bench. As Investigating Officers we watched helplessly as dangerous murderers we had busted our asses to remove from the streets laughed at us as they are routinely granted bail for the most paltry sums of money. This created a don’t care attitude amongst certain officers, a criminal attitude in others and drove others from the department. When law enforcement feel that their work is being sabotaged by those who should be supporting the rule of law the end result is that the tail start wagging the dog, the crime situation in Jamaica did not develop because of the police. Incompetent some may be ,but they can do the job. The fact is there is no national consensus by relevant stake holders to coalesce around a policy of intolerance to criminal activity. Inevitably what we ended up with is a coalescing by some of the same stakeholders, joining the ranks of the criminal world, those who do not actively engage and benefit financially, give aid and comfort to them, say hello to the, Media, Judiciary criminal rights, and legal fraternities.
Criminals in Jamaica are no different than criminals anywhere else in the world, They watch trends , they look for weakness of resolve, and they know who to look to for support. In most countries in the civilized world they stay below the radar as much as possible, they understand that well thinking citizens are watching, willing to do what it takes to remove them and the cancerous scourge they perpetuate on others who want a life free from crime. Not so in Jamaica , as is evident in some of the images above the reverse is true, the worst murderers and scum of the earth are celebrated, revered ,and idolized, make no mistake about it ,it may seem as if this is only true of the poorer class on the streets, think again , this criminal coddling runs deeper than meets the eyes.
That my friends is the reason criminals can brazenly threaten the lives of law enforcement officers with impunity. At every level the support for criminals is stunning ,one would imagine that poor people in depressed areas would be susceptible to being manipulated by those who wield influence, hand out token treats and of whom they are afraid.
What is stunning is the level of support that obtains for criminals from those who practice law, those who sit in judgement, those who are supposed to report the news, and many other sectors of national life. This whole notion of “Jamaica no problem” is a farce which needs to be exposed. There are some who feel it is not right to wash one’s dirty linen in public, to them I say sweeping the house and storing the dirt under the rug still results in a dirty house. As the Coke Extradition have exposed, there is a deficit of trust as it relates to the political leadership within the country. They cannot even be counted on to honor International agreements as it relates to criminals. Others cannot be trusted not to leak critical national security information to common criminals, this runs the length and breadth of the political food-chain. What is most embarrassing is that one party acting in unison , voted down a measure that would allow the country’s security forces a little time and space to effectively remove criminals from the equation.
That my friends is the most shocking, most un-Jamaican,most treasonous of actions any individual or party could take against Jamaica. Interestingly Portia Lucretia Simpson Miller and her cronies are running around Jamaica with the same band of criminal supporting punks , again asking for another chance to raid the barren national coffers,. Have they no shame ? No! Have the people no sense of what’s right for them ? No !
Peter Phillips National Security Minister under the PNP Administration of Portia Lucretia Simpson Miller did not trust Miller the Prime Minister, nor any of the jokers that made up her cabinet, with keeping state secrets, when he signed the Memorandums of understanding with the American Government. This spoke volumes of the lack of confidence Phillips had in anyone in the Government, much less the then opposition not to reveal to dangerous trans-national criminals that the JCF and others were listening in on their phone conversations. Former Police Commissioner Rear Admiral Hardley Lewin revealed that he briefed Prime Minister Golding and National Security Minister Dwight Nelson at Vale Royal, Official residence of the Prime Minister on the Extradition request the United States made for Christopher Coke, he contended it took him less than 10 minutes to get back to his Office at 103 Old Hope Road, and by the time he got to his office it was clear to him that Coke had been warned that the Americans wanted him. Remember the only two people he briefed was the Prime Minister, and National Security Minister of the country.
It can be understood when a down trodden portion of any population cheer for the bad guy, the one that got away, the one who beat what they perceive to be an oppressive system. This is nothing new , neither is it confined to Geography or Generation. It is another thing when those who should know better, those tasked with being keepers of the gate , turn around and betray the trust we place in them.
I am no longer confident the change we seek can come from within. it is becoming apparent that irrespective of who gets placed in leadership, it will be tantamount to nothing more than a re-arranging of the deck-chairs, as the Titanic sinks.
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