Facts On The Side Of Those Opposed To (indecom)

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Recently Damion Crawford spoke out again about the (inde­com act). …It was­n’t the first time Crawford came under attack for dar­ing to crit­i­cize the rich peo­ple’s pro­tec­tion from police vig­i­lance.

THIS IS THE JAMAICA GLEANER’S CHARACTERIZATION OF MINISTER CRAWFORD’S STATEMENTS.
The paper pre­tend­ed to pass the sto­ry off as a reg­u­lar news sto­ry yet end­ed up inject­ing it’s own bias­es into the sto­ry and com­ments made by Damion Crawford. Despite not pre­sent­ing the sto­ry on it’s Editorial page.

This time he is accus­ing the enti­ty of only being inter­est­ed in pub­lic rela­tions while fail­ing to ful­fill its objec­tives. INDECOM was set up in 2010 to inves­ti­gate actions by mem­bers of the secu­ri­ty forces that result in death or injury to per­sons or the abuse of the rights of per­sons. However, in a series of social media out­bursts in recent weeks, Crawford has attacked the agency and the author­i­ties for alleged­ly only being inter­est­ed in pub­lic rela­tions. In a post on Twitter today, the East Rural St Andrew MP said INDECOM has been in the news fre­quent­ly but not in rela­tion to the con­vic­tion of bad cops. He says either there are only a few bad cops in Jamaica or INDECOM is incom­pe­tent, adding that per­for­mance is being sac­ri­ficed for pub­lic rela­tions. In a post last week Tuesday, Crawford, the Junior Minister in the Tourism and Entertainment Ministry, said the renew­al of Terrence Williams’ con­tract as head of INDECOM proves to him, that pub­lic rela­tions is more impor­tant than per­for­mance. Last Monday, Williams was sworn in for a sec­ond five-year term as com­mis­sion­er of the over­sight body.

In 2013, Crawford called for the clo­sure of INDECOM claim­ing that the enti­ty had failed to meet its objec­tives. Legislators are dis­cussing whether to estab­lish an over­sight body for INDECOM, with some crit­ics say­ing the inves­tiga­tive body has been ham­per­ing police efforts to catch crim­i­nals. INDECOM has claimed a major role for the approx­i­mate­ly 50 per­cent fall in police-relat­ed killings in 2014 when com­pared to 2013. Read more here. .Damion Crawford Continues Anti-INDECOM Campaign

Damion Crawford

Damion Crawford

Response by one Charlene H Foote

Damion Crawford needs to adopt the adage, ‘be quick to lis­ten and slow to speak’, because for some­one who is sup­posed to be a mem­ber of the artic­u­late minor­i­ty, his anti-INDECOM state­ments are asi­nine — and that is putting it mild­ly. Taken in parts, his fuzzy log­ic can be torn apart as eas­i­ly and quick­ly as he blast­ed his mis­guid­ed views all over the microblog­ging site, Twitter. I invite Mr Crawford to write a paper, or even an arti­cle of no few­er than 1,000 words, to con­vince us why INDECOM should be closed or why he believes the estab­lish­ment of the organ­i­sa­tion was a pub­lic rela­tions stunt. Only when he is forced to actu­al­ly do some research will he see that he will come up short on actu­al facts to sup­port his posi­tion. Mr Crawford infers that INDECOM has not ful­filled its man­date because he is hear­ing more noise than con­vic­tions. This is laugh­able! For all the time he spends on social media tweet­ing and post­ing on FB, did­n’t he see:

1. The con­vic­tion of eight police per­son­nel for breach­es of the INDECOM Act?

2. Or the con­vic­tion of DSP Albert Diah for fail­ing to com­ply with a law­ful require­ment on the com­mis­sion with­out law­ful jus­ti­fi­ca­tion or excuse, con­trary to Section 33 (b) (ii) and obstruct­ing the com­mis­sion in the exer­cise of its func­tions, con­trary to Section 33 (b)(i)?

He cer­tain­ly did not see the news about the con­vic­tion of Detective Sherwood Simpson for wound­ing with intent and ille­gal pos­ses­sion of a firearm. By my count, that is 10 police per­son­nel in three mat­ters com­plet­ed in a court sys­tem that, if it was mov­ing any slow­er, it would be going back­wards. INDECOM report­ed that it has had more than 85 mat­ters in the court.

MOST ASININE STATEMENT

Mr Crawford also com­ment­ed that either there are few bad cops or INDECOM is incom­pe­tent. In my many years of fol­low­ing the work of INDECOM, I have nev­er heard any claims by the com­mis­sion, or any­one else for that mat­ter, that all police per­son­nel are bad. Among the many asi­nine com­ments Mr Crawford has made, this one may be a win­ner for being THE most asi­nine state­ment I have ever heard from some­one who is sup­pos­ed­ly a mem­ber of the artic­u­late minor­i­ty. Contrary to pop­u­lar belief, ‘Dirty Harry’ polic­ing is not a sus­tain­able mod­el to man­age Jamaica’s crime sit­u­a­tion; it has nev­er worked, and it nev­er will. But all this rhetoric is not about that. I am will­ing to bet that we would not have to deal with his anti-INDECOM cam­paign had the con­cept of INDECOM been craft­ed by, and estab­lished under, the People’s National Party admin­is­tra­tion. A lit­tle advice for Mr Crawford from Abraham Lincoln and me: Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.

CHARLENE H. FOOTE
The fore­gone is a Letter of the day which appeared in the Jamaica Daily Gleaner in response to a Junior Minister of Tourism Damion Crawford con­tin­ued com­ments regard­ing the (inde­com) Act.
As an un-apolo­getic crit­ic of the law I am par­tic­u­lar­ly inter­est­ed in bring­ing Minister Crawford’s point of view to the fore on this mat­ter. I hold no brief for mis­ter Crawford whom I believe is quite capa­ble of defend­ing him­self from ver­bal assaults. I must how­ev­er acknowl­edge the views of Damion Crawford in light of the colos­sal blun­der which is the (ide­com) as it is present­ly con­sti­tut­ed.
I will deal with the Writer Charlene H Foote’s attack on Damion Crawford sole­ly on the mer­its of her igno­rance and mis­guid­ed argu­ments with­out engag­ing in the per­son­al attacks she lev­eled at Crawford.
1. The con­vic­tion of eight police per­son­nel for breach­es of the INDECOM Act?
♦There would have been no breach of the (inde­com) Act if there was no (inde­com) Act. To sug­gest that chal­leng­ing a law which was unset­tled and still is is the epit­o­me of ASNINE.
2. Or the con­vic­tion of DSP Albert Diah for fail­ing to com­ply with a law­ful require­ment on the com­mis­sion with­out law­ful jus­ti­fi­ca­tion or excuse, con­trary to Section 33 (b) (ii) and obstruct­ing the com­mis­sion in the exer­cise of its func­tions, con­trary to Section 33 (b)(i)?
Again not abid­ing by a law the full con­sti­tu­tion­al­i­ty is yet to be deter­mined as it regards com­pli­ance is no proof of crim­i­nal wrong doing. To sug­gest that offi­cers who chal­lenge the legit­i­ma­cy of a law is guilty of crim­i­nal con­duct is the heights of non­sense.
He cer­tain­ly did not see the news about the con­vic­tion of Detective Sherwood Simpson for wound­ing with intent and ille­gal pos­ses­sion of a firearm. By my count, that is 10 police per­son­nel in three mat­ters com­plet­ed in a court sys­tem that, if it was mov­ing any slow­er, it would be going back­wards. INDECOM report­ed that it has had more than 85 mat­ters in the court.
♦ I am going to haz­ard a guess that the writer is a Lawyer loy­al to the Opposition Labor Party , which seem to be a haven of Elitist anti-police oper­a­tives wait­ing to get their hands on pow­er with a view to car­ry out the demo­li­tion of the rule of law and the JCf.
Said Foote Quote: I am will­ing to bet that we would not have to deal with his anti-INDECOM cam­paign had the con­cept of INDECOM been craft­ed by, and estab­lished under, the People’s National Party admin­is­tra­tion.
♦ Ah ..So this is what the attack on Crawford is about . Politics, the fact that the law was con­struct­ed under the Golding Administration does not make it a good law . The reverse is actu­al­ly true , It is a bad law which was for­mu­lat­ed with no con­sid­er­a­tion or study done by impar­tial pro­fes­sion­als on the way the law would impact crime or more sig­nif­i­cant­ly the feel­ing many now have that they can attack police offi­cers at will with­out the com­men­su­rate response nec­es­sary to dis­pel such notions.
I am among those who want over­sight of police and every pub­lic body. What the infan­tile attack on Crawford reveals is exact­ly what I write about in these blogs on a dai­ly basis, the elit­ism of some who live above cross roads who ben­e­fit from police sac­ri­fice yet are not thank­ful for the work they do.

In every pub­lic body there is cor­rup­tion. Jamaican lawyers are some of the most cor­rupt so-called offi­cers of the courts any­where. Every year sev­er­al of them are dis­barred from prac­tic­ing law. Ever won­der why they do not want an effec­tive Police Force? Many of them have engaged in fleec­ing illit­er­ate and unsus­pect­ing clients both abroad and at home. The only rea­son more of them are not in prison is exact­ly because of the inep­ti­tude of the police depart­ment. The only rea­son there is not more phys­i­cal response against them is because too many Jamaicans believe they are some kind of big-man .
Certain Jamaican’s con­tin­ued sup­port of (indecom)has pre­cious lit­tle to do with cor­rup­tion or abuse with­in the three agen­cies with­ing the agen­cy’s scope of respon­si­bil­i­ty but more to do with their con­tin­ued sup­port and engage­ment in crim­i­nal con­duct which places them at odds with effec­tive polic­ing.
If they can muz­zle the police and no one is watch­ing the store they then engage in crim­i­nal acts unper­turbed.

Having being sub­ject­ed to some of the most out­ra­geous and degrad­ing names for stand­ing on prin­ci­ple I would bet that Damion Crawford will shrug off this Uninformed par­ti­san assault and con­tin­ue to speak out on issues the way he sees them. Not through unin­formed myopic par­ti­san lens but with seri­ous well though-out and care­ful delib­er­a­tion. the pre­dis­po­si­tion of Jamaicans to berate and demo­nize those with whom they dis­agree can­not be of con­cern to Crawford as it is not with me . Those who resort to vit­ri­olic intem­per­ate out­bursts do so because the facts are not on their side.
The (indecom)Act. is a crime-esca­lat­ing, crime-cre­at­ing law which places the lives of the Police and cit­i­zens alike in deep jeop­ardy.
The law needs to be repealed and redone. The fact that the law is still being re-worked is proof pos­i­tive the Law is imper­fect and should be abol­ished. We are still not sure how many Jamaicans have lost their lives as a result of the mind­set cre­at­ed from this ill-advised piece of leg­is­la­tion. On the face of it the law offers more pro­tec­tion to Jamaica’s maraud­ing crim­i­nal-gangs than it removes alleged bad cops . Thanks to the atten­tion-starved head of the agency who spends more time com­plain­ing and demand­ing pow­er than he does doing any­thing pro­duc­tive.
A ris­ing tide rais­es all boats , as such well mean­ing Jamaicans have to push back against the destruc­tive nature of this ill-advised law. Otherwise I would be the first to say let sup­port­ers live in a Jamaica with (inde­com) while those with com­mon sense live in a Jamaica with­out that law. Improve and mod­ern­ize the force, pay police offi­cers put in place impar­tial over­sight which has no axe to grind, I’ll sup­port that.
No one who came out of the Norman Manley Law School or the University of the West Indies has the moral com­pass to be a part of that process.