Damion Crawford’s lack of critical thinking, yet he is a legislature. I am terrified.

It has been found that one of the biggest problem facing Jamaica today is the lack of critical thinking that currently exist at all levels of the society.

The teachers  don’t understand it, the students don’t understand it, many in the work place do not understand it and politicians like Damion Crawford clearly does not understand it.

Firstly let’s understand what gave birth to Indecom and why it exist.

Without getting into the history , I will focus on two areas

  1. The public distrust for the police investigating itself, for obvious reasons
  2. To have an independent body to investigate suspect actions of the police and to determine if killings as reported are justified or not.

From its website this is the mandate

The Independent Commission of Investigations is to undertake investigations concerning actions by members of the Security Forces and other agents of the State that result in death or injury to persons or the abuse of the rights of persons; and for connected matters.

No where does it state the main purpose is to convict anyone, that only becomes an exit point where it has been found that the police was in fact wrong and the case settled in court.

But what really led to the formation of Indecom. Well it was the alarming rate of police killings that was taking place in Jamaica. ( You would notice that I did not say extrajudicial killings and that was for obvious reasons)

The alarming rate of killings of Jamaicans by the police and the failure of the police to investigate and report back to the public, led to public distrust and this led to an independent body, Indecom.

When you put a system in place you expect results, so what has been the results of Indecom. If one listens to Damion Crawfords reasoning, he says the fact that Indecom has failed to get many convictions in the court, means Indecom is not serving its purpose, but that is a totally flawed reasoning and exposes his lack of critical thinking.

Let’s examine this notion.

Recall Indecom was setup to INVESTIGATE police shootings to determines.

a. Were they justified and lawful

b. Were they unjustified and/or unlawful

  1. If you don’t have many convictions after investigation does it mean the unit is a failure ?
  2. If you made a ruling and the DPP overrules these due to procedural breaches does it make the unit a failure?
  3. If you go to court and fail to get a conviction, does it make the unit a failure?

Scenario #1

You investigate a police killing and find that the killing was totally lawful and justified. The cop is in the clear and have no fear about any sort of prosecution, because an independent body has done its work and found the killing to be justified. This is a good outcome for the cop and Indecom would have done its job. Indecom would then tell the public that this case they found nothing wrong and so this increase the public trust for the police.

Scenario #2

Indecom made a ruling that the police has a case to answer, sends the file to the DPP and the DPP, say the case cannot be taken to court due to (a) procedural issues that could not stand up in court  (b) not enough evidence to make a good case or quality of evidence is not convincing enough.

Now we know the DPP has had issues with every investigative body, so at this stage I will not say this is a faliure on the part of Indecom. What I will say they need to work closer with the DPP’s office so case are bullet proof

Scenario #3

Indecom has not yet had any case taken before the court thrown out in its five years, but has only secured one conviction thus far. Now the fact that they have not had a single case thrown out is very good. The fact that they have secured only  a single conviction is really not the sole fault of Indecom but a indictment on the slow pace of justice in Jamaica.

Are we seeing any results since the Inception of Indecom 

  1. Have we seen a huge decline in police killings?
  2. Does the cop feels like they are now being held accountable?
  3. Are cops now acting more responsible and using less deadly force?
  4. Are less Jamaicans being killed by the police?
  5. Does the public have a greater level of trust in the investigative works that take place in relation to police killings.

The answer to ALL the above is a RESOUNDING and UNCOMPROMISING yes

Now let’s go back to why was Indecom created, what is it’s purpose and what were we trying to achieve. Then ask yourself are items 1-5 was what we all would have liked to see and is that what we are seeing.

Now let’s ask the question that Mr Crawford has used as his main reason for the abolishment of Indecom, ” How many convictions have they secured ?”.

Then ask, in the context of achieving what was the real intent of having an oversight body, does the number of convictions really a good measurement point?

Let’s further dismiss this asinine statement from the Minister and further expose his lack of critical thinking.

We have traffic laws on the books and let’s look at two of these

  1. If caught exceeding the speed limit by 20 kph, each citizen will be  subjected to a fine of $5,000 instead of $2,000
  2. If you park in a no parking zone , your vehicle will be impounded and you pay a fee of lets say $10,000 instead of $5,000

Before the introduction of the introduction the new fees, the follwing existed.

  1. Goverment was collecting let’s say $100m per annum in fees for breaches and now expect to collect $175m from these new fees.
  2. 10,000 tickets were issued per yr during this time
  3. 3,000 people ended up before the courts for traffic violations and paid a fine totalling $1.5m

Since the introduction of the new syste, the results were as follows

  1. At the end of the year the Government only collected $50m in revenue
  2. Only 4,000 traffic tickets were issued
  3. Only 1000 people ended up at court and paid just $ 500,000 in fines

Does it mean the new fines are not working, given the shortfall in revenue and should the government reduce the fees to previous levels.

According to Damion’s flawed logic and lack of critical thinking  the government should reduce the fees to to the levels they were before because

  • Less tickets are being written
  • Less revenue is being collected at the tax collectorate
  • Less conviction is taking place at the traffic court and less revenue from fines.

If the reason for increasing the fines was to collect more, then the new system would have been a huge failure.

If on the other hand the intention of the system was to reduce traffic violations,, then the system would have been a huge success.

Indecom has brought about less police killings and that is a huge success .

Damion Crawford – Poor and Black life matters in Jamaica.

Indecom is working and is  here to stay, you and the other hand is doing a great disservice to your educational achievements (on paper) on this one.

Critical thinking continues elude us as has done so for a long time, which explains so very strange decisions that we have made as a country.

Bless

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