Winston Donald is a Fine Art Gallery Operator, Cultural Practitioner and Newspaper Columnist.
For years the police force is tainted with corruption. There are some who wants to pretend that the force is not near 90% corrupt. I would want one Jamaican to point out where you have a majority of clean and untainted police. Do your research, get to know them and you will realize and know that most are corrupt.
It is in this regard why SSP James Forbes now faces the judgment of the law. For years since Britain gave us independence public confidence in our policemen has fallen. My uncle who was trained in Scotland Yard told me that the only problem the force had in the late 1950’s was influenced by colonialism. The colonial master’s ensured colourism was maintained. All the top members of the force were white or extremely light skinned blacks (in fact mulattos). Apart from that corruption was a foreign word, except if we interpret the power and authority in the hands of whites or near whites as a corrupted tool by the British colonialists and imperialists.
By 1972 when we had the first true black Jamaican Commissioner, the seeds were set. Policemen took it upon themselves to bleed the gullible for money and bribes. Growing up in St. Ann I learned of the entire police force at Cave Valley Police Station being transferred to Kingston Central, St. Ann’s Bay and elsewhere as with the genesis of the marijuana export trade, cops were buying mansions in pristine areas of Discovery Bay , having assisted the ganja farmers of Aboukir Woods, Murray Mountains, McKenzie and the Dry Harbour Mountains to export their ganja crops by facilitating and landing of Cessna planes which illegally entered our airspace and national territory.
By the 1980’s policemen were partners with politicians especially those bringing in the coke to fight the 1980 election. Jamaica knows the rest; police became bed partners with the political parties laying the success of election victory as a result of wholesale police votes and support. The 80s also saw the mushrooming of drugs by those who graduated from marijuana to transnational trafficking of cocaine from Columbia to the USA and England. Again members of the force protected drug dons and assorted criminals, some going as far as being executioners for the despicable drug pushers, many of who knew not a day of honest employment.
Jamaicans can write a history book of police corruption. It has been with us since the late 60’s and will be with us for sometime.
Alas, there are many young youth who are not g ing to be part and parcel of corruption. You will not be able to bribe all black people. Many have their pride, their dignity and the good values taught by parents. People like Forbes have now learnt that not every cop can be bought. It is a learning experience which has cost him a public career but he in particular, at such a high rank should have known not to collaborate with those who seek favor, especially when they are in high position, because it is those with money and power who seeks to corrupt. The moneyless or poor has not the wherewithal to buy people. For too long police have interfere with the justice system and get away; for too long they have been successful in getting away because they are in the pockets of the corrupt. The “squaddie” mentality and the thinking they are the law and are above the law will not prevail in this global world or in a society which civic society is pressuring for transparency and non corruption. This time we have a clean and un-influenced judge who is doing her duty and who is not a dunce in the laws.
I am certain other policemen now will think twice before breaking the law. I hope we will see a new attitude toward respecting the law rather than policemen selling their soul to the devil
If all corrupt persons, not just the security forces members knew the doctrine of Calvinism, they would think thrice before getting involved in clandestine and illicit arrangements and activities. It simple states that although many may hear the news of salvation, only some are predestined to enter god’s kingdom. It is a nice doctrine, because drawing an anology cops will know that for all those who become engaged in corrupt activities, some will get caught- Not all will go absolutely uncaught.
Lastly, the wise saying of my great great quarter Irish grandmother has never been truer,”If you follow Juanica, you sleep a ashes.”