THE CARIBBEAN Federation of Police Welfare Associations has issued a release stating its dismay over an alleged incident in Jamaica involving a judge and a police constable.
The Federation did not state the date of the incident, but said it had learnt “of an incident that took place in Jamaica, one of our Member States, where a Judge instructed a Court Sergeant to handcuff a Police Constable and place him in the prisoners’ dock while dressed in his service issued uniform.
Through dialogue with Chairman Rohan James of the Jamaica Police Federation (JPF) we were informed that Constable A. Davis was in another Court attending to a case in a similar jurisdiction when an order was issued by Judge Alwyn Smith for Officer Davis to be placed in handcuffs and brought before him in uniform,” the release dated November 9, 2021 stated.
“ This is against the background that the Clerk of the Court was informed that Constable Davis was appearing in another matter in another Court. The Court Sergeant who refused to bring the Constable before Judge Smith, was cited for contempt. Subsequently, another Sergeant of Police carried out the instructions of the Judge.,” it added.
“The Executive Committee of the CFPWA is dismayed by the high-handed actions of Judge Smith who clearly failed to act judiciously when he ordered the Constable to abandon the case in the other Court of similar jurisdiction and appear immediately in his court. We would like to clarify that there was no threat made by Officer Davis, who appeared to be responding to the matter before the Judge,” the release from the Federation further stated.
“Throughout our sixteen (16) Member States the ratio of Police to civilians is high, as in most cases, there is 1 police officer for every 200 citizens. Consequently, due to high crime rates, it is very likely that a Police Officer will have several cases before different Courts at any given time. It is critical that we, as a society, condemn these types of injustices against our men and women who serve with pride, patrolling our streets day and night to ensure that society remains safe and free from the scourge of crime.
Justice cannot be for everyone except those who play an integral role in the Justice system”. The release issued from the Federation’s St Vincent Secretariat noted that: “The foundation of the justice system depends on the hard work of us Police Officers. When someone who should apply justice impartially does so in a condescending manner, it must be condemned and Judge Smith must be rebuked. We believe Judge Smith not only disrespected Constable Davis but showed utter disregard for the JCF and the men and women in uniform in the Caribbean. As such, we stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Jamaica in calling for the removal of Judge Smith from that Court and the bench,” the Association said, adding that: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly,” the statement ended.