On the tragic event of the passing of my friend Senior Superintendent (SSP) Dathan (Duffy) Henry, I was shocked and saddened beyond words.
Duffy was more than what is now refered to as a (senior cop). Dathan Duffy Henry and I served together at the Constant Spring CIB when we were very young men. It is a remarkable thing which separates police officers in Jamaica from other young men. One could join the police department at the tender age of 18 years. most of us joined fresh out of high school. Duffy was one of those young fresh-faced kid. He was not only young , he was smart and willing, he was intelligent, and innovative, I close my eyes and I am right back in that upstairs office hearing Duffy participate in those strategy sessions we had, discussing how we would remove criminals from the streets.
The passing of my friend, shocking, and painful as it has been, has now been exacerbated by news that the cause of death has been ruled inconclusive. This has sparked the rumor mill churning, with the front-line argument being that he was poisoned.
It seem to me that even if he was poisoned, a proper autopsy would not only have revealed that truth, it would also be able to in most cases, nail down with conclusive specificity, the toxin which was used, if there is any truth to that rumor.
IS SSP HENRY’S DEATH AN INDICTMENT ON THE MEDICAL SYSTEM?
What I personally found shocking is the fact that Dathan laid dying in the Kingston Public Hospital and no one figured that they could not save his life. Hospitals and medical staff are sometimes unable to prevent someone from dying. However as someone who has been injured and arrived at a professional medical facility clinically dead, I am inclined to believe in the miracle of modern medicine, not only to diagnose problems but to effect recovery of even the most gravely ill persons.
It seem incomprehensible to me a lay person, that irrespective of what ailed Duffy, that he could not have been better diagnosed and effectively treated. If he could not be treated in the country his family and organization could have sought medical help in another jurisdiction.
One night in 1987 I was shot on Blackwood Terrace off Red Hills road as I went to investigate threats against a resident of that community, that resident was also shot in the stomach and back. I was able to neutralize that threat that night and remove a 357 magnum from the streets.
Bleeding from a wound to my hip, my shoes filled with blood, I took the gentleman to the Kingston Public Hospital for treatment. Still bleeding profusely I helped to lift him and took him into what obtained for the emergency room, the gentleman was screaming in pain on the stretcher as we wielded him in. There was a man Sitting behind the counter with his feet up reading the Gleaner, he did not bother to glance in our direction despite the agonized groans coming from the man on the stretcher.
No one ran out to help us, no one bothered to pay any attention to us, I identified myself and asked for help, no one moved , I again asked for help and no one moved to help us , and the man kept reading his paper. I then lost it and went ballistic, upon which the Gleaner reading moron jumped up and identified himself as the on-duty doctor. I won’t bother to tell you what I said to him before I left for the University Hospital to be treated.
I obviously was not surprised yesterday when my blog-post in that (dish-rag) the Gleaner was not posted. That incompetent poor excuse of a doctor was in fact reading a copy of the Gleaner, go figure.
SEEN FIRST HAND:
As a young detective one of the requirements of the job was to be present at autopsies in cases where I was actively engaged in an investigation. I would also attend when asked to stand in, which also required me to potentially testify in any court proceeding that may potentially emanate from that enquiry. In the way modern autopsies are conducted today with appropriate professionals, technologies, care, and purpose, backed up with scientific analysis of the most minute detail , those Jamaican examinations were as far as the East is from the West.
What obtained then as I am told obtains now, is as I saw it. A porter cuts open the corpse, the doctor stays two yards away and jots a few things on a note-pad, seemingly put-off at the possibility of touching it. That’s the way an autopsy is done in Jamaica. The truth is these grave disservice are passed off as professional behavior because the people do not demand better.
The Jamaica Constabulary Force for its part, is now asking people to come forward if they have any information regarding what seem to be a now active criminal investigation.
The INEPT Police Department has now confirmed that there is an active investigation going on by its Major Investigations Task-Force (MIT). They are also asking people to come forward and tell what they know if anything at (92-922–5344) or (92-948-9181) The police have also stated that they are awaiting the toxicology report to come back.
As the police await the toxicology report, what are they doing in the meantime? If the Hospital did not have the capacity to save the life of my friend while he laid there for days dying, cannot determine what caused his death, what makes them think that this fiasco of a system will have the capacity to determine cause of death, through toxicology tests done by the same inept system?
(1) What about retracing the steps SSP Henry took prior to him falling ill?
(2) How about talking to everyone from family members to every person with whom he may have met over the previous 48 hours prior to him having fallen ill?
(3) How about talking to all of his colleagues with whom he may have met over the same period?
(4) How about literally walking in Dathan’s shoes backwards, in an attempt to see with whom he may have had a drink, shared a lunch,had a casual cocktail, if any?
(4) Surely in this day and age even in Jamaica there are security systems that may tell more than the inept police are willing to acknowledge.
(5) How about looking at insurance to see who the beneficiaries are?
(6) How about looking at people within the Department with whom he may have had a disagreement?
(7) How about looking at criminals who may have had it out for Henry because of his vigilance in disrupting their activities, who potentially may have planted people into his inner circle, to include police officers?
(8) How about looking to see if anyone may have threatened his life, at any stage, prior to his death?
(9) How about looking at Hospital staff to see who may have been administering treatment to him in an effort to see if they were compromised? His initial hospitalization may not have been life threatening, he however could have been done in right there in the hospital.
There are a lot real detectives could be doing in the interim as they await toxicology results. The longer an investigation drags, the less likely it is that a positive conclusion will be reached. Twiddling thumbs is not an option . If the Jamaican Police cannot investigate the death of one of its brightest most celebrated stars, how can it expect to engender trust and confidence in the Jamaican people?