For years since the INDECOM Act was passed this writer has said that the law is bad , it is costing lives, it is driving crime upward.
Many good people have pushed back at my arguments understandably , they were just happy that there was now some real oversight of what they saw as an out of control police force.
The truth is that among the good people, were some who weren’t as righteous. They wanted as much shackles on the Police force as possible. Without mincing words , it’s important that we call it as we see it.
There is no denying that the police department has done much to bring onto itself some of the pickle it has found itself in. But we also know that the political directorate has done even more to render the force impotent.
They created within the JCF the possibility for the children of their friends in certain circles, to enter the department and attain the rank of assistant commissioner of police without ever making an arrest or having the slightest idea how to fill out a charging affidavit.
The stories my sources relate to me are many. People given positions of leadership yet having to ask the people they are leading how to do the leading.
Owen Ellington was an enabler of this policy. Many used these assistant Superintendent positions as rest stops to continue their studies then move on after they receive their graduate degrees.
Of course the average “Grunt” who play by the rules, cannot get time off to attend a seminar much less attend college.
It was difficult for someone like me who support law enforcement to be heard amidst all the noise emanating from the hoopla, that finally something was being done to the wicked evil police.[sic] Speaking of the INDECOM Act.
Now, never mind that oversight is always needed , the police already had oversight. Oversight which was far more effective but far less acrimonious . Oversight which was carried out by police and civilians combined that did not endanger police.
The problem was never a lack of oversight for police as many believed . It was a failure of recruitment and effective background checks.
It must be understood that when a police officer goes out and join with other criminals to rob and harm citizens that’s not a matter for oversight. When police officers catch them they are treated like every other criminal. When Cops commit crimes that’s not something which requires an INDECOM type investigation.
It is a failure of recruitment, training, supervision among other things.
To conflate the entirety of what police officers do when they fall afoul of the laws is to ignore facts and embrace demagoguery.
THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO MERIT TO THE ARGUMENTS MADE BY TERRENCE WILLIAMS, THAT IF OFFICERS DO THEIR JOBS PROPERLY THEY HAVE NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT !!!!
When Terrence Williams say police officers have nothing to fear if they do their jobs within the laws he is speaking as an ignorant bystander who was given much power by a bunch of ignorant lawmakers who did not do due diligence before they passed a bad law .
Scenario # 1
Police go into garrison community and confront heavily armed men.
Men lay down fire.
Police take cover return fire.
Criminal gets killed , friends lay down covering fire and retrieve the weapon.
By the time the police take control of the scene the other shooters escape with the weapons.
The police are left with a dead man and no gun.
Community comes out on Don’s orders and cries murder.
Cops have body no gun.
Police gets charged , suspended , five years without any income, .
Who feeds his family?
Who pays his legal bills?
Were these officers in the wrong?
Police officer tries to write a taxi driver a ticket after who refuses his command to move from an illegally parked position.
Driver refuses to hand over his driver’s licence and starts to fight the officer.
Crowds quickly converge , egging the offender on.
The offender struggles with officer and tries to disarm him of his weapon.
Officer manages to pull his weapon and neutralizes the threat to his life.
Crowd alleges murder.
Media sells the story as “cop kills unarmed hard working cabbie”
Officer is suspended without pay , loses the weapon he has to protect his life. Charged with Murder on concocted lies.
Loses his salary so he is unable to find legal fees to secure quality defense.
Unable to feed his family, unable to pay his mortgage/rental.
Was this officer in the wrong?
The stark reality is that this whole notion that police officers doing the right thing has nothing to fear from this monstrous criminal empowerment law is ridiculous .
I say to the rank and file police officers , as long as your freedoms are threatened and they refuse to see what you face shoulder your weapons.
Let the bodies pile up . Let Terrence Williams go out and deal with it.
Committee chairman Wykeham McNeill said that “if the problems between both parties are not resolved the country could see rising crime rates”.
I wonder what rock this idiot has been living under,?
The country could see rising crime? This inane and totally moronic statement typifies what many of us already knew , these guys are woefully oblivious of what is happening around them. When was crime not rising?
Conversely , here’s what Juliet Holness wife of the Prime Minister and member of parliament had to say.
“When you speak to officers they tell you: They don’t give a darn what we are saying to them and what an MOU says because at the end of the day ‘my pay is what will be affected. I am the one who will have to sit down at home until this is resolved and possibly I will have to find additional money to pay an attorney, so it is safer for me to collect my pay and shut up my mouth and don’t stick my neck out if I see anything going wrong and go to my home because of INDECOM’.”
It was utter disrespect of the police , military and the men and women of the correctional department why the government of Bruce Golding with the acquiescence of the opposition PNP passed this monstrous law on the demand of Jamaicans for Justice Carolyn Gomes and the phalanx of other people who make a living on the blood of dead cops.
Then they gave a National honor to Gomes. That National Honor is a millstone around the neck of Carolyn Gomes .
It is tarnished with the blood of dead cops. It ought to be like a dead weight tied to a drowning man around the neck of Carolyn Gomes. It should haunt her for as long as she live.-
Imagine the arrogance of drafting legislation which will significantly impact the lives of people who are tasked with placing their lives on the line for the protection of others without asking their opinion.
Imagine the sense of elitism which precedes the notion of drafting and passing legislation solely on the say-so of a special interest group.
Well this is Jamaica at it’s best, lazy, incompetent, dolts masquerading as lawmakers .
In this medium I pointed out that the law cannot adequately serve the purpose which it was supposed to primarily because the members of the security forces did not get to add their input.
We made it clear that the law would cost lives.
We made it clear the law would embolden criminals.
We made it clear that the law would increase crime .
Committee member Fitz Jackson added that INDECOM reports to the Parliament and as such the PAAC, in its full report to the House of Representatives should propose an intervention strategy to address the senior cop’s concern. “None of us are God unto ourselves,” Jackson said noting that the INDECOM Commissioner has to be accountable to the Jamaican Parliament.
In our relentless push to bring this to the attention of the Jamaican people I have consistently said that the very idea that INDECOM would agree to a memorandum of understanding between the agency and the police department is a tacit understanding at the minimum that the law is bad.
That someone of the character of Terrence Williams would want to be party to a MOU is a serious sign that he wants the growing realization that the laws is inherently bad to go away.
As I said then it is appeasement to those who are calling for the repeal of the law.
As I said then and continue to believe today a MOU cannot fix this horrific law. The Law should be repealed.
That the Public Administration and Appropriations Committee (PAAC) of Parliament hearing testimony of the relationship between the two agencies now recognizes that a MOU cannot fix these structural issues is encouraging.
What is needed now is leadership at the highest level. As the chief of defense staff said the law was enacted without zero input from the security forces . Acknowledging what I have been saying for years. This INDECOM laws is a fraudulent one sided piece of legislation which should never have been passed.
Sure there has to be vigilant oversight of those in whom we have invested great power, politicians , police and all others. What we cannot do is ask people to risk their lives and limb to protect us then imprison and ruin them when they act.
No one’s interest is served by the INDECOM act except Terrence Williams and criminals .
The Act must be repealed.