Though not a lawyer , having read the INDECOM Act on it’s roll-out, I concluded that this law would (1) Increase crime. (2) Embolden criminals.
(3) Dramatically erode the morale of the men and women of the Police Department, among other things.
My opposition is a matter of public record.
Set aside my well known sense of revulsion for the head of INDECOM. A good, and just piece of legislation, well thought out, and enacted, would have put corrupt cops on notice that betrayal of their sacred oaths would not be tolerated. Additionally it would be a truth-surrogate for lawful police actions.
I have spoken to many police officers , past and present, hardly anyone with whom I have spoken has had any opposition to oversight .
So the straw-man arguments that, (1) Police officers want to operate outside the bounds of the laws, and, (2) That they are opposed to oversight are simply not true.
At the time the law was enacted, then Prime Minister Bruce Golding had this to say.
“We will support you but we will hold you accountable” , In reference to the Police department.
I am not sure whether any Police officer realised or benefited from that support Golding offered before he stepped aside.
What I do know is that the entire Police Force, Military and Corrections have been bitten by the loving hands of Bruce Golding’s largess[sic].
Hundreds of people have died unnecessarily as a result of this gift he so willingly forced on our country. The criminal underworld could not ask for a better gift.
What we do know is that a bill was cobbled together and passed which (1) seemingly violates the constitutional rights of officers by forcing them to promptly give written affidavits of their actions even after the most traumatic encounters.
Anyone conversant with most life and death situations in which police lawfully use lethal force, know that the officer or officers involved are generally severely traumatized.
I understand that all too well, having been shot at point blank range in the darkened zinc fenced alley known as Blackwood Terrace in the Kingston 8 area. When you are forced to use force to save your own life you need time to recoup your thoughts.
That is the reason Police departments across the western world do not force their officers to give written affidavits until they have had time to recover from the trauma of their ordeal, withing a reasonable time of course.
No one can be forced to give a written statement according to the Jamaican constitution.
However, agents of the state were correctly required to give written accounts of their actions withing a reasonable time , of course this was before the INDECOM Act which Golding gave the nation and the Police.
Forcing them to give statements immediately after facing death up close is unconstitutional. The Act was, in my view designed explicitly to snare police officers rather than arrive at the truth.
The entirety of the INDECOM Act is punitive and destructive to law enforcement and the nation. Bruce Golding must have known that this was a bad law. He is not a lawyer but the then Prime Minister had at his disposal lawyers within his cabinet and a slew of other lawyers, including his then Attorney General and Justice Minister.
Forcing Law enforcement to give statements up front is only one of the many problems which goes to my continued argument that the law is bad.
Having created a firestorm of dissent within the Constabulary, INDECOM was forced to acknowledge that there needs be a memorandum of understanding between the two agencies. That alone is proof that the law is not only imperfect, it is fundamentally flawed.
Using, what appear to be bully tactics, the head of INDECOM has picked fights with the Director of Public Prosecution , the JCF, the Military and Corrections Department.
Having acrimonious relationships with agencies INDECOM is tasked with investigating does not enhance the investigative capacity of INDECOM, it complicates them.
No ill which may credibly be laid at the feet of INDECOM is more consequential than the chilling effect it has had on the ability of police and the military to do their jobs without the very real specter of prison and financial ruin hanging over them for well……… doing their jobs.
This had led to a dramatic rise in the number of serious crimes to include Murders, rapes, abductions etal. The evidence that criminals are more emboldened is lost only on the conveniently blind.
Just recently Minister of National Security Robert Montague told the police that as part of a parting gift to outgoing Commissioner Carl Williams the administration would be moving to complete the MoU with INDECOM and the JCF and would have it signed expeditiously in honour of Dr Carl Williams. That is my going away gift to him,” Montague told police officers and other guests at the JCF annual devotion exercise.
As I have consistently said, no one is denying them their oversight , But it cannot be a type of oversight headed by their cronies , designed to put police officers in jeopardy for doing their jobs.
Bruce Golding may have thought this a cruel joke when he stuck the Jamaican people with it but no one is laughing now. The eyes of the people are finally seeing for themselves the consequences of this dangerous law.
To the cynics and others unable to think for themselves.
Those who have criticized me for consistently speaking to the flawed nature of the INDECOM Act, I say the following:
♦ If the law was perfect why is a MoU required to bridge the gap between two Agencies?
♦Why are the constitutional rights of officers violated in the giving of sworn affidavits when no other Jamaicans are required to do so?
♦ If the law was perfect and should remain,why are no other police departments in the western world forced to give sworn statements even while they are traumatized, contrary to their constitutionally guaranteed rights ?
♦Why will the Government now pay the legal costs police officers incur in dealing with INDECOM?
♦Why would members of the Parliamentary select committee having heard evidence from both sides, conclude that the issues inherently wrong with the law probably cannot be fixed by a MoU?
I wish I had a dollar for every person who has said to me ” I have read the INDECOM Act and nothing is wrong with it”. Never mind those who have insisted that if officers are following the laws they have nothing to fear.
Those are the talking points of village lawyers and know-nothing trolls who speak or write because they can put a few words together. Understanding fundamentally the consequential negative effects a law like the INDECOM Act can have on law enforcement requires law enforcement experience , law enforcement input, or a serious desire to understand the minutia of the consequences such a law can have.
Nationally honoured ,Carolyn Gomes and her foreign funded JFJ has been on the forefront of the creation of INDECOM.
These people in my view are responsible for the wave of murders and rapes sweeping the country.
Yet they are untouched by the carnage…
There was no desire to co-opt the views of the law enforcement community into the framework of the law. As a consequence, the Golding Administration stuck it to the police with devastating consequences to the country.
The partisan political shills will now do one of two things . They will either be deathly silent or they will come gunning for me with their cattle-prods and pitch forks for daring to criticize their political idols, and a law they do not understand.
As one who is more closely aligned to Golding’s Party I do not care about critics assailing me, they were wrong since my arguments started after reading the law ,and they are wrong now.
At the same time Jamaicans with whom I disagree politically, have come out against the law and have been excoriated for having the backbone to do so. Damion Crawford comes to mind.
This murderous crime wave which has gripped the Island is not ordinary.
People who ordinarily would never commit certain crimes are now emboldened to engage in criminal acts such as rape and murder of little girls in the most heinous demonic fashion.
They do so individually like dangerous predators and in packs, like beasts of prey they pounce on the weak and defenseless. They do so fully conversant that they will not be caught, and and worse ,will never be prosecuted.
Marching and praying cannot, and will not do a single thing to solve crime.
A total repeal of the INDECOM Act is a must.
The law must be redone with appropriate law enforcement input and the level-headed approach necessary ,so that citizens wronged have redress . It must however have the necessary safeguards and protections for our law enforcement officers to do their jobs without being intimidated about the distinct possibility of imprisonment and financial ruin, or both, for doing their jobs.
Clean up the corrupt Judiciary which is actively engaged in corrupt practices . Judges are corruptly returning dangerous criminals to the streets after they have killed multiple times, and are arrested.
Pass truth in sentencing laws which send murderers ,rapists , and those who engage in other dangerous crimes to prison for life. Remove from the hands of the corrupt liberal judges the ability to decide the sentence in cases of murder , rape extortion and racketeering.
Encourage investors to come in and invest after removing the ridiculous bureaucratic impediments to economic development in the private sector. Offer tax incentives to returning residents. Hire new judges from the prosecution side ,so that criminals will receive the memo that they will not be rewarded for their lives of crime.
Anything outside these actions is futile useless pandering.
By Mike Beckles – Check out his blog HERE
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