From contributor Conrad Tucker.
When a police officer tells an offender that he is under arrest and reads him his rights, the offender must comply with the order of the officer. However, that is not the reality in Jamaica today, there have been myriads of videos circulating on social media, showing police officers being mobbed when they try to make an arrest. Some of these videos depict physical and verbal assault on police officers by people who show no respect to the rule of law.
Compounding the matter is that fact that the majority of the police officers exhibited ignorance and ineptness in effecting an arrest. As a former police officer, I received my basic training on making an arrest thirty-seven years ago, and I vividly remember how to execute it. It confounds me by the actions of these officers who allow offenders in their spaces without any consequence. Many might argue that the officers are scared to use the necessary force to effect the arrest, because they may become another INDECOM statistic, and that may carry some validity.
That said, these videos show the real victims are the officers in these situations. The videos portray violence, threat, and annihilation of police officers for doing their jobs. The videos could be the officer best allies, which could exonerate them if charges are brought and may prevent charges from being brought against them. What is often not discussed is the fact that in most of these situations, the officer’s lives are at risk, when being surrounded by so many angry, boisterous and hateful people, whose objectives are to see their demise.
Sometimes you have to wonder if they are oblivious to their safety and security to be so tolerant of people who want to hurt them. What is shockingly disturbing is the apathy of their colleagues to assist. What happened to teamwork? What happened to having a colleague’s back? Where is the true spirit of comradeship? I am horrified to see an officer being assaulted, and the other(s) just stood there and offered no assistance. During my tenure in the JCF, we looked out for each other especially in those types of situation.
We were not always in agreement on many things, but we still show that we are united when dealing with an adversary. These officers lack the gumption, grit, and determination to stand up these thugs. Honestly, they have become the laughing stock, and get no respect from the people they serve. Stop blaming the government, as police officers they are given powers that other people in society don’t have. If they understand the tenets of the law and they should, then most of these recalcitrant punks should be behind bars. Instead, they continue to perpetuate this type of behavior, and it appears it has become contagious. Obstructing police officer during the lawful execution of their duties has become a pastime, a fad, and a lifestyle for these lawbreakers. And they will continue because there are no consequences for their actions.