The New Today

Commentary

We get what we accept

First let me start by saying unequivocally that I am not condoning vigilante justice, but as long as we continue to accept police officers investigating police officers we will never have justice.

After the shooting of Jamol Charles the need for a Police Oversight Body to investigate police misconduct and hold police officers accountable could not be denied. For years we have complained about abuse of power in our police force but we continue to accept it.

I remember growing up and hearing everyone saying if you can’t find a job join the police force. Given some of the police officers I have seen lately I am left to conclude that this is still the case. No wonder we have ended up with a trigger happy police force.

Why do you think the BLM movement in the US has been able to force states to review use of force policies? Some states have even reduced funding to the police force in response to large scale protests. It is the strength of numbers in BLM and they have shown time and time again that when they say “no justice! no peace!” they mean it. They riot for days and force those in power to act.

Why do you think the police officers approached the Gouyave rioting with some caution? The entire community united and they were powerless. Those wanting to play jab jab united and again the police were powerless. If we unite as a country they will no longer be able to oppress and disrespect us.

Let’s talk some more about disrespect and disregard. From what I have seen the mood in the country appears to be against the Chinese airport loan. But as usual what we want is irrelevant. Our PM insists on continuing despite it being unpopular with the electorate. Why do you think that is so? Because after years of being allowed to operate with no accountability he feels invincible.

Since the incident occurred yesterday afternoon not one high ranking police officer has seen the need to address the nation. That’s how little they respect and regard us. Then we get on social media and we complain that our justice system is broken. Of course it’s broken!

The system wasn’t broken overnight. For years we have all sat back and accepted little by little every erosion of our justice system and every infringement on our rights. We have sat back and watched our system descend into a system with no accountability and no transparency.

We must accept that we have been complicit in the inequality and injustices that plagues our system because every time we are given a choice we chose the status quo, telling them again and again that it’s okay and making them feel even more powerful.

We give away our democratic right to choose the country we want to live in, in return for what?? A stove? A refrigerator? A window? Or a $50 in a t-shirt?

We need to ask the hard questions and demand better answers. What are the protocols in Grenada before police officers are allowed to carry guns?? Does anyone know or is that a secret too? In some countries only specially trained police officers carry weapons. This is the second police involved shooting in Grenada this year and they have yet to announce their use of force protocols and additional use of force and de-escalation training for police officers.

After the shooting of Jamol Charles the police, as expected, concluded it was a justified shooting but have refused to release the report and we accept that. Did we really expect the report to say anything to the contrary?

Commissioner Martin for all intents and purposes appears to be a political stooge and we accept that.

The wife of a senior Cabinet Minister is a passport selling agent and we accept that. The Head of our Integrity Commission is a passport selling agent and we accept that. The wife of our Attorney General is a passport selling agent and we accept that.

We continue to accept a system with no checks and balances and no accountability and then we complain when it doesn’t work for us. Well it will never work for us as long as we continue to accept disrespect and lack of accountability.

We go on and on about politics and how this country has become polarised by the politics. “Politics leads and the law follows”. All our systems and policies stem from political positions. It affects our everyday life and if we want change that is where we must start.

Penny Ryan

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