Justice Nicole Simmonds decision to quash the application of the Inspector of Investigations for INDECOM, to compel a police constable to answer questions, is a step in the right direction for the courts.
In righting a monumental and unconstitutional wrong done by the two political parties, the decision should set the stage for the police to file a constitutional challenge to the INDECOM law as we have urged in this medium since 2011.
Unfortunately, rank and file should not hold their breath for the Federation to take action on their behalf. Having conferences and making speeches at north coast hotels are far more important to-dos on the Federations agenda..
The Bruce Golding administration gave unfettered power to INDECOM to harras the police. At the same time, the PNP was more than happy to sign onto the measure.
Every person has the right to remain silent and to refrain from self-incrimination, constitutionally.
So too does police officers!
The decision came after the attorney for Constable Delmond Grant, Chuck Cameron, filed an application for judicial review against INDECOM.
The policeman’s attorney however erred in my estimation, when he told the media that he thought it is possible that an officer of the Commission has the power to compel a Policeman to answer questions, just not the Inspector of Investigations.
A cow giving a pail of milk then kicking it over maybe? Just a thought!
If the attorney is speaking to what exists presently in the unconstitutionally designed INDECOM law, that I understand.
On the other hand, if he is making a constitutional argument, then, he too is out in left field.
The constitution is the preeminent law of the land, each and every piece of legislation must pass constitutional muster.
The constitution gives each and every Jamaican the right to remain silent. Police officers do not have fewer constitutional guarantees than other citizens. As such, neither can they be forced to answer questions if they chose not to.
Sure, officers must give a detailed written account of their actions, but under no circumstances should they be expected to answer questions of a hostile agency hell-bent on persecuting them.
Mike Beckles is a former Jamaican police Detective corporal, a business owner, avid researcher, and blogger.
He is a black achiever honoree, and publisher of the blog chatt-a-box.com.
He’s also a contributor to several websites.
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