That Jamaica can be a violent place goes without saying. What also goes without saying that amongst the top perpetrators of violence on the island is the police.
Recently, for example, Kayon Lamont, a 27 year old pregnant woman, who in the eighth month of said pregnancy was shot in the head by Constable Dwayne Smart after resisting arrest which resulted from the Constable citing her for the use of an expletive.
Execution for cussing, that's a new one.
Some people actually defended the police saying Jamaicans needed to learn how to follow instructions from authorities. That's not a new one, but it is a good one. Cops all over the world will tell you that.
Jamaica has a population of less then three million people. Police on the island kill hundreds of people every year...well more then 1200 since 2007 alone. That's a lot of people being shot for not following instructions.
A lot of folks blame drugs and gangs. Okay, I can buy that drugs and gangs are a big problem on the island, but let's get real and include the police as just one more of the gangs.
Yet, in gang shootouts all sides usually take losses. Oddly, the police almost never suffer any wounded or dead. Hmmm...are they THAT good at their job...are they that straight of shooters, or could it be the result of something else? I wonder.
A fellow named Fabian Lewis who happens to be an intern columnist writes:
Almost every night on television there is a reported shooting by the police under questionable circumstances. It’s a given that there will be two competing narratives, one given by the police that says it’s a shootout and the other by the residents claiming it to be murder in cold blood. In many cases the narrative you’ll believe is determined by where you are, or your standpoint on such matters. Be that as it may, what is all too overwhelming is evidence available to the public to confirm that the police are lying, and that the residents are indeed telling the truth.
These (the police) are the people who are sworn to protect us, and are paid ironically by the very people who they shoot like sitting birds on an open range. It has now reached the point where the citizenry are more afraid of the police than the gunmen. There is absolutely no way one can live in a civilised society with that amount of fear of those that are sworn to protect you. Where has this culture of shooting then asking question later, and the impunity by which its carried out, come from? I say the government!
Mr. Lewis sums it up this way:
The belief within the police force that they can get away with anything, which is backed up by the low levels of cops charged and the lower number of those convicted doesn't help either. These acts all add up to the current state of affairs. The respect for human rights within the police force is almost nonexistent.
I could not have said it better.
What is even more scary about this story is that you can transfer it to many other Caribbean Island nations.
The following is from Stabroek News.