Officers In Vanessa Kirkland’s Case Should Never Have Been Charged With Any Crimes…


Now that (a) the noise sur­round­ing the death of 16-year-old Immaculate Conception High stu­dent Vanessa Kirkland has died down (b) the three Police offi­cers have been sen­tenced and © the anti-police blood lust has been sat­is­fied, it is time to take an intro­spec­tive look at the alle­ga­tions around the case.
Before hand­ing the case to the jurors, the pre­sid­ing judge, Carol Lawrence-Beswick told them that they had the option of con­sid­er­ing the less­er charge of manslaugh­ter.
Whether or not this is prop­er judi­cial address to the jury, one can­not help but feel that the fix was in for the offi­cers. It gives rise to the idea that the tri­al judge under­stood that with no (mens re.a) guilty state of mind, the over-charge, *mur­der*, had no foot­ing on which to stand.
The offi­cers were found guilty, [lit­er­al­ly as direct­ed by the court] on manslaugh­ter.
Even though the stan­dard for mur­der was not met, the sen­tence of 14 12 years was imposed by Lawrence-Beswick, on the less­er charge of manslaugh­ter.
This sen­tence giv­en to these brave pub­lic ser­vants was vast­ly in excess of the sen­tences of sev­en years and ten years the very same courts gen­er­al­ly hand out to the mur­der­ous crim­i­nals con­vict­ed for mur­der, the more seri­ous charge. This in and of itself demon­strates a bla­tant anti-police bias, even in the courts which are sup­posed to be lev­el head­ed arbiters of facts, not emo­tion­al eas­i­ly swayed tools of anti-police rage.
These offi­cers had zero chance of get­ting a fair tri­al any­where in Jamaica.
This case should not have seen the inside of a court­room.
The offi­cers were afford­ed not one scin­til­la of qual­i­fied immu­ni­ty in the exe­cu­tion of their sworn duty to serve and pro­tect.
Inherent in all of that, is the tragedy that these young offi­cers took action as they were sworn to do, and were scape­goat­ed, dem­a­gogued, and crim­i­nal­ly con­vict­ed for doing exact­ly what they were trained to do.
Uninformed out­cry and unabashed anti-police bias in the crim­i­nal­ly com­plic­it Jamaican soci­ety was suf­fi­cient to gin up the *per­se­cut­ing* mob, excul­pa­to­ry evi­dence and com­mon sense would not mat­ter.

On the night in ques­tion, the police report­ed the con­fronta­tion took place after sev­er­al per­sons were robbed in Portmore, St. Catherine after which the rob­bers made their escape to Kingston in a motor car. 
Following the shoot­ing inci­dent, it was dis­cov­ered that there were sev­en pas­sen­gers (four females and three males) trav­el­ing in the motor car. Four oth­er per­sons (three females and a male) were also shot and injured.
The oth­er two men escaped. Five of the per­sons involved in the inci­dent are from address­es in Greenwich Farm, while the oth­er two are from Norman Lane address­es.
A Taurus .38 revolver with three live rounds and sev­er­al spent shells were seized.

The fore­gone is the cen­tral tenet of what tran­spired. I have not seen an alter­na­tive nar­ra­tive that con­tra­dicts this report­ing from the police.
In light of that *fact* there are a few ques­tions which must be answered sur­round­ing how the police are sup­posed to respond to inci­dents in which lethal vio­lence is direct­ed at them.
It is impor­tant to also con­sid­er that this case was inves­ti­gat­ed by a demon­stra­bly biased neo­phyte INDECOM, then just estab­lished less than two years, and with a com­mis­sion­er, Terrence Williams, a mega­lo­ma­ni­ac with his own agen­da.
For the moment I will set aside Terrence Williams, and INDECOM and deal with the core of what report­ed­ly occurred on that fate­ful night result­ing in the crim­i­nal con­vic­tion of three police offi­cers, con­sta­bles Anna-Kay Bailey, Andrewain Smith, and Durvin Hayles.

No one has stepped for­ward to sug­gest that the offi­cers were act­ing out­side of their giv­en man­date to serve and pro­tect. The evi­dence that they were in fact, part of a response to events com­ing over the police radio of rob­beries in Portmore Saint Catherine and a car with armed occu­pants.
No one has chal­lenged the fact that there were sev­er­al occu­pants in the car or that the offi­cers returned fire after being shot at.
No one has chal­lenged the fact that the dri­ver refused to stop when ordered to do so by the offi­cers.
No one has chal­lenged the fact that one weapon with live round s and spent shells was recov­ered. No one has chal­lenged the fact that two or so poten­tial­ly armed occu­pants fled after the car was brought to a stop.
No one chal­lenged the evi­dence that the dece­dent Vanessa Kirkland was in a vehi­cle that was involved in the com­mis­sion of sev­er­al felonies.
No one chal­lenged that the occu­pants of the car did com­mit sev­er­al rob­beries in Portmore before end­ing up in Kingston.
What was tes­ti­fied to by INDECOM’s foren­sic experts is that most of the shoot­ing came from out­side the vehi­cle in which Kirkland and oth­ers were trav­el­ing, as if the police have to ensure that they do not fire more rounds than those fired at them?
No one has denied that the stolen items were recov­ered from the car. So where is the crime that those brave offi­cers com­mit­ted?
As long as the order was giv­en by the police to stop and the dri­ver refused to stop, and as long as gun­fire came from that vehi­cle the police had every right to return fire at the vehi­cle.

There are so many incon­sis­ten­cies in this case which should nev­er have been brought in the first place, includ­ing a pros­e­cu­tion wit­ness who refused to tes­ti­fy to the lies they were put up to by INDECOM.
The pros­e­cu­tion asked the judge to declare her a hos­tile wit­ness.
Nowhere else in the world would police offi­cers doing their jobs be crim­i­nal­ized because of the fan­tas­tic notion that an angel­ic school­girl in the wrong place, doing the wrong thing, can­not become a col­lat­er­al casu­al­ty as a con­se­quence of her actions.
We have heard all of the vil­lage lawyers and the bleed­ing heart anti-police pro­pa­gan­dists, and now it is our turn to speak out about what is hap­pen­ing in our coun­try. Jamaica has been turned into a ver­i­ta­ble killing field.
The police are *persecuted*whenever they dare go after the mur­der­ers and oth­er anar­chists, the gov­ern­ment makes sure that the killing remains even as it refus­es to repeal the Trojan horse called INDECOM.
The maraud­ing crim­i­nals kill with­out con­se­quence. On the rare occa­sion, they are cap­tured and con­vict­ed their penal­ties for heinous mur­ders are con­sid­er­ably less than that giv­en police offi­cer con­vict­ed for less­er charges.
The polit­i­cal oppo­si­tion is equal­ly as com­plic­it as the gov­ern­ment in this degra­da­tion of our coun­try.
It is in this envi­ron­ment of anti rule of law that police offi­cers are asked to oper­ate. Clean out the garbage and smut from the chi­na clos­et but do not break any­thing.
It is for this rea­son why the police have become ten­ta­tive, unsure, reluc­tant, and inef­fec­tu­al. The crim­i­nal under­world has won. The nation can­not fool itself any longer that the cur­rent strate­gies are going to do any­thing to change the mur­der rate in our coun­try.
The foun­da­tion on which the nation’s crim­i­nal jus­tice is built is inher­ent­ly sup­port­ive of crim­i­nals, not to the rule of law.
Those who run our coun­try are not igno­rant of these truths, they designed it this way to ben­e­fit them­selves.
And now the three offi­cers have been grant­ed bail pend­ing the out­come of their appeals.
The appel­late court has nev­er seen a case it does­n’t reverse no mat­ter the heinous nature of the crimes com­mit­ted by the defen­dant.
We will be watch­ing to see if the appel­late court will do what is right for once and toss this case out.
In the end, I hope these offi­cers will be reim­bursed tens of mil­lions in com­pen­sa­tion for lost wages and puni­tive dam­ages as well.
No amount of mon­ey will ever right the mon­u­men­tal wrong which has been done to them by this coun­try.

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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