I write about the value of truth from time to time, I do so because I believe fundamentally in the importance of truth as a moral principle on which we must build our societies.
As a kid, I prided myself on speaking the truth to the best of my ability. My guardians knew well, that whatever my answer was to their questions they could rely on it. I strove never to let them down on that front.
As a parent now, I impress upon my own children the importance of being honest with their answers so that when trouble comes I may count on their answers to guide me in my defense of them.
I recently wrote about the times we are living in and in that article, I wondered whether or not we have entered a post-factual stage as some experts surmise. What is evident is the fact that those who control information mediums do have the ability to shape narratives. Those people are not always honest players.
Does that mean we have entered a post-factual world or have we simply entered a phase in our history in which those who promulgate information understand the value of shaping the narrative to suit their own agendas?
EXTRAJUDICIAL KILLINGS AND THOSE WHO CRY WOLF
Take for instance the fact that there are now fewer police shootings in Jamaica since the Bruce Golding Administration passed the INDECOM act into law.
Does that fact mean that there were universal extrajudicial killings by the police?
Or rather does it mean that police officers have chosen to be less proactive in going after criminals and therefore violent law-enforcement encounters with criminals have gone down?
More importantly, as a result, criminals have been vastly emboldened and the nation has seen a subsequent increase in homicides and other violent crimes including assaults on police officers themselves.
In order to understand this question, one has to look at the definition of extrajudicial killings.
[Extrajudicial killings are characterized as is the killing of a person by governmental authorities without the sanction of any judicial proceeding or legal process].
In this characterization, there is nothing which speaks to the dangers police face when they are forced to use lethal force to save their own lives or the lives of others in the lawful execution of their duties. And for good reason.
The fact that police are forced to shoot violent criminals though regrettable, may be viewed three ways depending on what narrative a person chooses to convey.
(a) violent police officers.(b) violent society.© both.
If a police officer kills a person who poses no threat to himself or the life of others that action would constitute an extrajudicial killing.
What is wrong and deceptive is that there are those who take large swaths of data and use that data to make their arguments that police are killing large amounts of innocent people extrajudicially.
Carolynn Gomes did that and no one except myself challenged her, instead, they gave her a national honor for distorting data, not just at home but in front of International Human rights agencies.
Terrence Williams learned the value of that lesson to make his points. Of course, that kind of deception could only fly in a society intent on supporting criminality, a society ignorant as hell or both.
The Commissioner of INDECOM must submit quarterly reports on its functions to the parliament.
Those reports indicate the nuances of how the agency is progressing as per its mandate. Withing those reports are numerical data of people charged with crimes, files submitted to the Director of Public Prosecution for action, files submitted to the three agencies over which INDECOM has oversight for action by those department heads among other things.
Despite the fact that INDECOM is the agency tasked with investigating allegations and arresting errant officers of the departments, and despite having done it’s very best to do so, INDECOM’s principal officers continue to smear the police that its use of force is a cause for concern even though it[the chief investigative agency] have no evidence of wrongdoing by officers involved in these use of force instances.
Gone are the days when there were cries and outcries that the police are a law unto themselves.
There is an oversight agency, a confrontational, ineffective one that produces nothing over and above what the CCRB was doing but one nonetheless.
In fact, every Tom Dick and Henry[sic] is now an authority on police use of force protocols.
Truth cannot be what Terrence Williams or his supporters say it is or what the conniving duplicitous media allows him to proffer.
Truth must supersede rhetoric and demagogic smear.
We live in violent times, we must hold our law enforcement agencies accountable, no one wants to live in an unaccountable police state.
On the other hand, it is disingenuous and wrong to continue to use the term extrajudicial killings when there is no evidence to support those claims.
A lie is a lie no matter how many times it is retold. As such, it is important that the nation understand that no matter how many times Terrence Williams and his supporters lie about questionable killings it does not make them so, guns included or not.
It is very disturbing that Terrence Williams can continue to give the false impression to a gullible public that the police has no legal right to use lethal force if they are attacked with weapons other than a gun.
In fact, the Police has the right to use lethal force to defend his life even if an assailant does not have a weapon of any kind, as long as the assault on his person convinces him/her that his/her life is in danger.
No police officer has an obligation to absorb assault in the pursuit of his duty. When you attack an officer of the law you must know that you by your actions have placed your life in danger.
What is even more despicable is that those who ought to know better have gobbled up fake news and embarked on the process of spreading it against the nation’s law enforcement Agencies.
If the traditional media is unable or unwilling to push back against this kind of misinformation maybe it’s a signal to the rest of us that its time has come and gone.