Who Will Guard The Guards?

Here is what Kammie Holder is writing elsewhereCredit to Nation Newspaper 06/08/2010

Kammie Holder

It cannot happen here, has never happened here and will never happen here! Police brutality is alien to Barbados, as well as forced confessions. No rogue cops exist here and our detectives are too smart to resort to duress for confessions.

Last December 8, in Jamaica, Ricardo Hill aka Kentucky Kid was fatally shot by a squad of policemen. What’s makes this interesting is that Mr Hill and his wife had complained about police harassment and brutality. He was encouraged by his lawyer to install a camera at his residence. In a matter of days Hill was visited by a squad of policemen, including the inspector with whom he had been involved in a vehicular accident earlier.

The video, played for the area police, showed Mr Hill being physically abused. No action was taken by the police high command and the threats continued. Kentucky Kid made a YouTube video showing the incursion of his residence by this squad of officers with a simple message: “If you are viewing message I was killed by the police.” Who guards the guard? Is not the citizenry part of the policing partnership?

Last Thursday, I received a video clip via Twitter entitled Wanted Man Murdered By Jamaican Police. This video reminded me of gunfights in the wild west, when the gunslinger still standing would casually walk over with bravado and fire shots into his foe.

Based on these two actual cases, I am appealing to our Commissioner of Police not to allow Barbadians to lose respect for the Royal Barbados Police Force. Therefore I want to know what happens when accusations of officers taking the law into their own hands are made?  Is the Office of Professional Responsibility fully aware of its mandate with regards to the preservation of officers rights and the public’s complaints?

All Barbadians must become guardians of our fate and must hold each and every member of the Royal Barbados Police Force up to the highest standards. Let’s help our officers to be mindful of their motto by using our camera phones and social media to upload them in the execution of their duties.

Police officers should therefore not fear websites like http://www.ustream.tv  which allow the average Barbadian to provide live video to the world. The practice of officers manhandling citizen journalist and erasing camera memory is wrong. To my many friends in the force always do the right thing and live true to your motto.

You are part of the best police force in the world!

Kammie M. Holder, the boy from the village, ignoring a friend’s caution that he may share the same fate as Steve Biko!

30 comments

  • The police are upholding the law just like politicians do not tell lies or get draw backs from secret deals.

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  • “Police brutality is alien to Barbados, as well as forced confessions. No rogue cops exist here and our detectives are too smart to resort to duress for confessions.”

    Maybe writer of prose writing in sleep..no?
    Maybe writer of prose is police in disguise..no?
    Maybe writer of prose plan to rob bank and hope to make friend before plan start..no?
    Maybe writer of prose have brother on remand and looking for favour in return ..no?
    Maybe writer of prose looking for job on Bench ..no?
    Maybe writer of prose running for politics in next election ..no?
    Maybe writer of prose looking to become citizen ..no?
    Maybe writer of prose throw horn in Police Chief and now have no place to hide..no?
    Maybe writer of prose looking for place on BCA board..no?

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  • Yawn! Same old pedantic, loosely strung together ‘thoughts’.

    And what’s this? “… he may share the same fate as Steve Biko!” Stupse. Idiot trying to compare heself to Steve Biko now? Delusions, delusions, delusions. Oh Lord, if it wasnt so comical it would be just sad.

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  • Carson C. Cadogan

    The Police have a job to do and they are doing it. It will not always be pleasent.

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  • @CCC

    The police don’t make the law but they have to uphold the law and being rogue cops isnot the way to do it. Alot of them think that because they are given a badge and a gun they can do whatsoever they please to the arrested but that is not true .They have rules and regulations which they must follow. It is not sufficient to say that “it would not always be pleasant” as that in itself can lead to a dangerous path similiar to Jamaica who have lost respect for its police Force.The stories which are told about them are not pleasant. Force by any means necessary does not sit well with the public in the end it only leads to dem against us!

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  • @CCC

    Law and Order goes hand in hand. When the two goes separate ways distrust rear its ugly head as it is we already have enough distrust among ourselves . Then what when we start to distrustthose who are to Serve and Protect Us. Already we have seen glimpses of such distrust headlined in our newspapers .The time to stop it isnow before it is too late

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  • The day when we as citizens begin to condone/look the other way regarding how law is enforced by our police force lets hope we can handle the whirlwind that will result.

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  • Police need to study prevention and not simply upholding the law after the fact. Police need to change its tactics from “force” to investigation and intervention. It needs to understand that it must become a social tool, otherwise we will continue to have this crime and they will continue to try to use force against the “criminals”.

    For example, how do you deal with a repeat offender, even though the community half cripple him, he still continuing to steal from his neighbours, causing serious discomfort and money to his own neighbours?

    The way I see it, this man needs help. Why waste time and money chasing him down, extracting confessions, putting him in jail and then when he comes out returns to the same activity. The way the system works now, this man can terrorise an entire neighbourhood repeatedly and though you know who it is, you can’t get it stopped. Especially, the challenges that acquiring the evidence will throw up. Can we say that the law is doing a good job by simply catching him, prosecuting him, convicting him and then releasing him to do it again?

    This is why the Police brutality enters the picture. A repeat offender is like a cancer and once you understand the frustration that police will go through in trying to deal with a case like this, it will become clearer that tactics must change. What is happening now is no-good at all. The police will remain frustrated and the brutality will continue. Remember that we are dealing with humanity; both police and criminal.

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  • @ROK

    Truer words have not been spoken.

    For those who misunderstand the impact of an ineffective police force have a look at Jamaica.

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  • Carson C. Cadogan

    If the Police are any softer than they are right now, we will have chaos.

    I can’t imagine who would want that.

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  • @CCC

    From your statement I would conclude that you agree with child abuse and violence against women, because these are all old archaic ways of approaching problems. Modern approaches suggest that it is folly to beat women & children into submission.

    What softer what? I said that they don’t have to behave the way they do and that more social investigative and interventionists policies ought to be adopted.

    If you agree that if the police had the full cooperation of the public, we would have less crime, then I do not see what soft approach you talking about. So what is the Crime Stoppers trying to do if not trying to get the cooperation of the public through bribery and they going about it in KGB style. I suppose you like that? I don’t, because that is what caused the death of I’Akobi in the presence of the Police.

    In my police/public cooperation scenario, the parro that steals an expensive item to sell it for $5, would have nobody to sell it to because people would be more weary of being a receiver of stolen property and therefore it would become useless to steal for his purposes.

    I am here dealing with results and you seem to be emotionally wrapped up with violent archaic approaches; talking about soft. Let us use our heads to get results.

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  • @ ROK . Your thinking and approach about crime prevention and law enforcement is overly too simplistic , non-pragmatic and too much wrapped up in a liberal idealist philosphical dogma about the human affairs. Firstly the primary reason a society comes together and form a governent is for security purpose. Because people on a whole left to their own vices soon start to plunder each other and thus anarchy ensue . I believe in strong law enforcement and hard policing. The broken window theory of crime prevention is my guide. People on a whole if you give them a inch they take a mile. If you ignore the small unlawful behaviour then people will internalise that the law is weak or unenforceable and then move on to bigger crime. Jamaica for years ignore to the enforce the minor laws on its book eg ( loud noise from sond system oprators, blatant traffic violators and squatting etc) now jamaica has a murder rate higher than war-torn Afghanistan.

    Donot fool yourself once that Barbados cannot fall in this situation.Soft policing, lax justice system, soft fines and penalities are just the ingredients you need to descend into anarchy. There is a thin line between a criminal minded personal and a law abiding citizen. If there is ample oppurtunity to commit a crime and gain from it without harsh punishment even to the so -called law abiding citizen, crime then becomes an enticing option.It is part of the human frailities.

    Rapist should be castrated and justice for murderers should be swift , rather than burden the taxpayers they should be given the oppurtuniy to dig their own grave
    after which be placed in front of a firing squad. People on a whole respond to fear and I will take tyranny any day over anarchy.

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  • zion1971

    My intelligent agent, very hamsome very hamsome, was physical and abuse by female sex fiend… How should law deal with rapist woman…?

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  • @BAFP . If he was raped by a female, then female circumscision might be a good punishment. if he was sexually abused then the law should be such that he can sue for financial compensation.But the reality in many societies steeped into tradition is that it is almost impossible for a woman to be charged for rape If any man should seriously make a legal claim in Barbados today that he was raped by a woman he would be ridiculed, scorned and laugh at.

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  • @zion 1971
    I be be simplistic in my example, but for sure, violence is not the answer to reducing crime. The more violent the Police get, the more violent the crime gets too…

    but I would be most surprised to get support from those who are still asleep or rendered paranoid by the fear-mongers. You need to wake up. There is very little crime in Barbados when you consider that we build a prison to hold 1000 out of a population of 270,000 and if we had to get rid of the marijuana offenders by legalising it, the population of the prison would probably get cut in half.

    Too many people are for themselves and never seek to extend a helping hand but good at chopping down… but I want you to understand that life could be better with helping hands and not the chopping down.

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  • A policeman job is to apprehend a person who is alleged to have boken the Law.
    The alleged criminal must then seek justice through the courts. It is not the businees of a policeman officer to break the law in apprehending a criminal. It is not the duty of a policeofficer to become judge jury or executioner. His only duty is to apprehend an alleged criminal and collect evidence.
    AS far as the justice system it needs to be revamped in a way that jusice is meted out fair and fast .Recently a man was convicted of strangling a teenage girl and setting the house on fire and he was sentenced to sixteen years injail,that person
    should have been sentenced to life period

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  • @ac

    in years gone by the best a lawyer could do for a crime like that was to get life imprisonment for the client, certainly not 16 years for murder.

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  • @zion
    “Ibelieve in hardpolicing” meaning what?The police cannot should not go beyond the guidelines as written by law ! please explain your above comment.What are you suggesting?

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  • @zion1971

    Have to agree ac here, you need to explain your position a little more because you are expecting the police to operate using the same mindset as the law breaker.

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  • The police force should be renamed police service. My concern as a law abiding citizen, is if the police take on the role as judge, jury and executioner the necessary cohesive bond with citizenry will be lost. The RBPF needs to be mindful, that the citizenry is part of their crime solving apparatus. People all it takes is an unruly and over zealous police officer, to make a law abiding citizen cross the thin to becoming a criminal if civil rights are threatened. I am all for a tough police, but what happens when the people fear the police and see them as criminals. Unfortunately, a few bad apples will spoil the whole bunch, sad but true. Lets, understand all it takes is one policeman to destroy the good name of the RBPF. Neither, do I want to see officers being killed in the line of duty or civilians, civil rights been abused.

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  • We in Barbados can knock on wood that we have not descending into the runaway crime rate experiencing by Jamaica and Trinidad.But let us not kid ourself for one minute that we have somewhat been genetically endowed with peace-loving genes than the jamaicans or the Trinis.Our low crime rate has much to do with our socio-cultural values than anything else. I might add that it even trumps the economic factor.A society that does not respect its law, have low regards for the sactitity of life of its citizen and thwart or delay the course of justice is bound to be caught up in a vortex of spiralling violence. All the above is well documented in the jamaica scenario. The economic fator and crime is way over- touted and over-rated. Trinidad experiences the highest crime rate in a period of unprecedented economic growth and low unemployment. Jamaica crime rate is five times Hiati, which , we are told , is the poorest country in the westrn Hemisphere. People who belabour the point that poverty caused crime are simple- minded and intellectually dishonest.

    The police job is to enforce the law . While community policing is noble and well intention please be advised that the law enforcers are not in the business of parenting, pastoring or for that matter a social worker. That is the job for parents, the church and the professionals. If we the parents take charge of our responsibility and our kids then the police job would only be half as hard . We seem to have done well so far in this aspect in Barbados notwithstanding the challenges.

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  • @zion1971
    “While community policing is noble and well intention please be advised that the law enforcers are not in the business of parenting, pastoring or for that matter a social worker.”

    You see, this is where the police could really make a difference… but what you said there makes a mockery of the police motto, “To Protect & Serve”. When does the protection come? After the fact?

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  • @ac and David.

    When I say hard policing I mean :

    1. police should be proactive and less reactive , however, if criminal elements want to engage the police in shootouts then the full force of the state should brougt upon them.

    2. Constant round the clock patrolling.

    3.Minor laws like traffic violation should be enforce vigorously. Can bring wonders to the government coffers.

    4. Rapidly responding to acts of crime.

    5. Meticulously and vigorously prepare timely case submission to the DPP for prosecution.Too many criminals get away on technicalities of improper investigation.

    6. If ones life is threatened not afraid to use deadly force even if it means a few collateral danmage.

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  • @zion1971

    Your looking at a Singaporean model where there is zero tolerance to crime no matter the size.

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  • @ROK. “To protect and serve” is a feel good statement that should not be taken literally. The protection is not separate from the service both goes hand in hand. The police job is to provide a service of law enforcement to the society provided by government paid for by the taxpayer.However, the reality of the matter is that no government can adequately provide security for all its citizen. The secuirty of a society becomes is ensures when each citizen operate in the confines of the law and those who don’t are punished.

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  • @ David. The Singaporean or the Chinese model is more suited for Jamaica than Barbados. Barbados crime rate is at acceptable level so I wouldnot advocate such a drastic measure. However, in the area of fines for littering and pissing I support that 100%. In Singapore they literally ban chewing gum and if you use public toilet without flushing it is 200US fine.

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  • @ZION
    You have tempered your comments somewhat prior to your above ones.However “Constant police patrol ” although it is a good idea would be a burden the citizens would have to pay for. CitizensCrime Watch Programs would help in this area as it also bring meaningful dialogue between citizens and police and builds a sense of trust among each other.
    You must also realise that the courts execution of justice also plays the most important role in the final analysis .No matter how hard the police “police”the Final judgement is given by the courts and it is important that is fair so that the citizens can show respect for our judicial system. “Protect and Serve” i also add “MUST”

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  • POLICE BRUTALITY IS RIFE IN BARBADOS THE POLICE ARE LIARS AND CORRUPT FROM TOP TO BOTTOM
    BRUTES AND ROGUES

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