Red Alert: Yet another Police killing in Jamaica

Noting with alarm another tragic and completely avoidable police killing in Jamaica.

I was just getting ready to write a rare pro-Police post, after listening to Police Commissioner Owen Ellington on one of the morning programmes; he was describing in detail the gang structures the police are trying to dismantle and what a Sisyphean task they face. Listening to the calm, rational voice of Commissioner Ellington I actually wondered if sometimes we aren’t unfair to the Police when we protest so vigorously against their unnecessarily life-threatening tactics. Then I listened to the 5 pm news on Nationwide Radio and found myself seething with rage at yet another wanton, vicious police killing.

Two 16-year old cousins in Hanover were riding a motorbike when police ordered them to halt. Afraid because they weren’t licensed to ride the bike the boys took off with the police in hot pursuit. Having blocked them successfully after a chase the police are alleged to have beaten them to a pulp. How dare they disobey the Police? This would teach them to do such a thing again. Well if there’s one thing the Police seem to excel at, its the application of violence to hapless youths (not the apprehension of real criminals judging by the 5% conviction rate for murders and the rising number of kidnappings, robberies and murders we hear about daily). So soundly were the boys beaten that one of them succumbed to his injuries yesterday and the other remains critically injured.

Tell me how this is acceptable Commissioner Ellington? How can you expect the rest of us to sit idly and watch this brazen brutality continue? If the police involved in this boy’s death are allowed to go unpunished aren’t you sending a message to other cops with no respect for human rights, especially the rights of the poor, that they have a license to behave like this? how many other youngsters will meet their deaths at the hands of uncontrollable policemen? Why are none of them ever found guilty and punished?

I’ve met so many really good police men and women over the years. Especially officers, some of whom are or were students at the University. I’ve always been amazed at how civil and considerate most of them seem. But where are they now? Why aren’t they speaking up when these atrocities happen? Why aren’t they stopping them? How much longer will this wanton bloodletting be allowed to go on? If you, the good police, don’t put your collective foot down you surely will be considered to be aiding and abetting in some of the most inhumane policing tactics in the region. Please. Say something. Do Something. Stop the killing.

Author: Annie Paul

writer, editor and avid tweeter anniepaulose@gmail.com

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