With thanks to Vincent Gordon for his story. November 2017. Kingston, Jamaica.
A couple nights ago I was stopped on the airport road by a police team, doing routine security checks. I checked out okay.
I loved how they approached me. And it was clear they did not want me to just drive off. Me being me when I am in a good mood, and knowing that I was a few minutes early, we got into talking about crime, the current major flare-up in Bull Bay and even the recent shootings of some well-known armed murderers.
On INDECOM both men said that they see nothing wrong with INDECOM. They are doing their job. They just want them to be fair. I agreed. It was refreshing to hear, since some would suggest that all policemen are against INDECOM or fear them.
Then one of them said something that perhaps was my takeaway from the discussion:
- “We all know the ones doing the shootings and we know the dons. Citizens tell us. But when we take them in, we cannot hold them because no witness will come forward for fear…and we do not have any evidence except the eye-witness. What can we do? It is frustrating that we do the work to bring them in and they just laugh at us and walk right back out”.
Sad. Seems to me that we need to find a way to “hold them” when we catch them… current methods won’t work. It is too witness-dependent.
Young, intelligent officers. Wanting to laugh, to share with those they serve…a need to unload perhaps for understanding, perhaps just to show that all of them are not cranky.
And in that moment, I loved them! Loved how angry they are at how little help they receive. How brave they are to go hunting even when the shots from automatic weapons ring out – searching for them. They are afraid. But they go in. That is what courage is!
One of them has a young daughter. Every day he pledges to himself to go back home to her. Every single day.
Unbidden, I gave them a “change” to buy a couple Red Bulls…so that they stay awake as they search for the enemy. And I told them that when a criminal confronts you with a weapon, shoot first. Live! For your family.