Nov 05, 2012 Letters
I too, as with a few others prior, would like to express my profound chagrin with some of the things I observed about this much vaunted Commission of Inquiry currently in vogue. It became compulsive when I read of the fact that Attorney at Law Mr. Hughes had quit.
This was bound to happen sooner or later, although I am of the humble opinion that it seems more related to the defence failure to seriously implicate the ‘’BIG’’ fish, Mr. Rohee, particularly since the phone records did not reveal his participation/ involvement in the police operations before 18:00 hours on July 18.
‘THEREFORE THE WIND HAD BEEN TAKEN OUT OF THEIR SAILS’, rather than their having to adjust their lines of questioning since this is an inquiry and the cross examination is required to be inquisitorial and not adversarial.
Even for seasoned lawyers in the criminal jurisdiction this can be an onerous undertaking. Therefore frustration can abound. This frustration can be and is oft’ times exacerbated by those on the Commission, as I observed with, in particular, the Chairman Mr. Wolfe and Mr. K D Knights.
Why would a Senior Superintendent, who has given, in the opinion of these Commissioners, ‘’satisfactory and /or plausible evidence’’ be commended publicly while another of similar standing, whose evidence was so poor and atrocious and borders on the contemplation of the criminal charge of perjury, not stringently admonished?
This is mind-boggling and leaves the layman to deduce that impartiality is selectively applied. Maybe we should all purchase a copy of Leonard Levitt’s book “N.Y.P.D ‘Confidential’” and read of the many similar C.O.Is, which were held in the 70’s and 80’s in the United States and inform ourselves about police and civilian witnesses, who, having taken the oath to speak the truth, were found to have ‘’TESTILYED’’ instead of TESTIFYING and of the dire consequences they faced including jail time, resignation and suspension.
But the issue which troubled me the most was when Mr. Desmond Trotman was admonished by Mr. Wolfe, seemingly for being a Parliamentarian who was indifferent to persons breaking the law.
Mr. Wolfe ought to know by now that there is growing public discontent in many countries of the world and the nature, form and intensity of such public discontent and its concomitant civil disobedience are manifestly evident .
Therefore he should refrain from overtly expressing his opinions during the inquiry. But permit me to retrospectively go back in time, to a period in the 1960’s called Black Friday [February 16, 1962], when during protest demonstrations, the loss of lives and property resulted, prompting the authorities to establish the now known Wynn Parry Commission of Inquiry.
Regarding the role of the police, this is what the Commission wrote: ‘’With regards to the steps taken by the police, it must be borne in mind that the work of the police, upon occasions of this nature, is ‘extremely difficult’.
They have, when faced with a hostile and menacing crowd, to avoid alike the scylla of vicious retaliation and the charybdyis of seeming timidity, a too hasty step may arouse and exacerbate the latent wrath of a sullen crowd and provoke its members to commit acts of open violence, and yet a period of prolonged inaction may be mistaken for a display of cowardice and encourage wanton breaches of the law.’’
Further it states: ‘’… the crowds, although they were technically breaking the law, by making an entry into the proclaimed area, remained peaceful.
It is very unwise in these circumstances to attempt arrests, very unwise because inevitably it brings about clashes, when you have got thousands of people and a handful of police, such action[arrest] would not be advisable.’’
Mr. Editor, as a nation, as a Police Force, as people with more learning, 50 years later, it seems quite clear that we have not learnt much.
AUBREY NORTON FRIGHTEN RENEGOTIATION AND RING-FENCING
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