sharp, pointed, often witty commentary on current events in Jamaica, the Caribbean, India and the world
What the Police can do: Michael Sirjue, Cary Lyn-Sue and the quality of justice in Jamaica
What a day, what a day. While i was busy taking in various activities at the SALISES 5050 Law and Justice Conference today news broke that a fugitive cop, Detective Sergeant Michael Sirjue, had fled the island after it was established in court that he had forged a witness statement in a case involving alleged leader of the Montego-Bay based Stone Crusher gang, Eldon Calvert and his brother, Gleason Calvert, and Michael Heron for the 2006 murder of cook shop operator Robert Green.
Apparently the witness statement was first flagged as false by handwriting expert and author Beverley East and corroborated by another expert who is actually a member of the police force. The witness in question, Artly Campbell, had been shot and killed. The discovery of the forgery has persuaded Director of Public Prosecutions Paula Llewelyn “that in the future she will ensure that statements are examined in cases, where the witness is dead or cannot be located.”
Now what’s interesting about all this is that the very first piece i posted when i created Active Voice in January 2008, my inaugural post as it were, involved another policeman, Detective Constable Cary Lyn-Sue, who had confessed to having not only manufactured a witness statement but the witness as well. What is really interesting is that Lyn-Sue’s supervisor was the self-same Det Sergeant Sirjue who is now absconding.
Fascinating isn’t it? With what passes for law and justice in this country is it any wonder that this is such a violent society? A lot of the crime plaguing us is the result of people taking the law into their own hands because the extant justice system just isn’t delivering.This is what gives rise to vigilante justice or informal justice systems presided over by dons.
Complementing this is a dishonest, unreliable police force that doesn’t hesitate to resort to criminality in the name of policing. A recipe for disaster that makes you wonder how many innocent people are languishing in prison today. It might interest you to read my post about Lyn-Sue…
Detective Constable Cary Lyn-Sue. The name will probably go down in Jamaican history in years to come; Thirty-one year old Lyn-Sue put the cat among the pigeons last week by doing something revolutionary. He told the truth. The detective constable confessed in the Montego Bay Resident Magistrate’s Court that he had fabricated witness testimony in the trial of 22-year old Jason James, allegedly a member of the Killer Bee gang.
Well, I didn’t even know such a gang existed. Lyn-Sue openly admitted that it was frustration that had driven him to invent a crown witness complete with incriminating testimony when fear prevented any actual witnesses from testifying. He was aware of various crimes committed by the accused, he said, and thought that getting James off the streets even for a day would be doing society a favour.
Speaking on Nationwide Radio’s This Morning programme the emotional constable said that he realized that his motive did not justify his deed and that he was perfectly willing to face the consequences for his crime of perjury. However he had recently converted to Christianity and found it increasingly difficult to live with what he had done. Owning up to his misdeed had made him feel good, and he felt a sense of relief, he said, even though he realized that the consequences would be dire.
There was something moving, if not awe-inspiring, about this extraordinary admission by the young policeman whose voice vibrated at times with the tension he was obviously feeling, having decided to take this lonely step of owning up to his misconduct, in a culture which appears to prefer to keep the truth behind bars or six feet under while making the sign of the cross and singing sankeys.
PS: As i write this I’m watching Mavado tell Entertainment Report on TVJ about his friend who was shot by a policeman some months ago at a nightclub. To date no investigation has been announced and no action taken against the policeman. Nor is any explanation forthcoming.
What law! what justice Jamaica enjoys after 50 years of independence!