Recently a video showing JCF members manhandling a dead body has made its rounds online. It was for the most part greeted with disgust at the act of tossing the body like a leg of goat and disdain for the police for again showing zero regard for people’s rights to decency even in death.
Now however we have been greeted by the persons who say that no tears must be shed for the individual as they were accused of engaging in a shootout with the police, I humbly and respectfully say that they miss the point.
The disgust at this incident and the reason why human rights organizations rail up whenever a person is wantonly killed by the police is because it sets a precedent.
People are creatures of habit, and if we tell the police that for whatever reason it is ok to do extrajudicial killings in certain circumstances and then back them to the hilt while the force hierarchy stalls investigations while making excuses it is only a matter of time before that becomes the standard operating procedure.
This can be seen plainly in Jamaica where extrajudicial killings were first used in a major way when violence flared up in the 70’s, and now we have a force that shoots first and rarely if ever asks questions. What more proof do we need than the two officers accused of shooting wantonly at a car wounding a female passenger? That is the product of decades of extrajudicial killings, a shoot first ask questions later mentality and a group who feels too big for its britches.
Human Rights are just that, human and the groups speak on behalf of the worst of society because how you treat them is a barometer of how you treat the rest of society. While the groups haven’t helped themselves optics wise by mainly being vocal on cases involving alleged criminals there work is important and should continue along with that of INDECOM, for while all officers aren’t bad there is a culture of aloofness and basic disregard for civilians that needs to be changed. Hopefully this latest incident will be the catalyst for change and not another nine day wonder.