Where we stand‎ > ‎News & Comment‎ > ‎

LAME DUCK GG by Rae Samuel

posted 2 May 2019, 04:50 by Gerry Kangalee   [ updated 2 May 2019, 05:35 ]
Has a strong resemblance to Batman's nemesis The Joker
A President of the United States, serving a second term is referred to as a "lame duck’. He, (sorry Hilary, can't say he/she) cannot be re-elected, is more concerned with going out 'looking good' and looks on as his party nominates a successor, who, hopefully will retain the White House. What is this all about? I am wondering if for the first time in our law enforcement history, we are looking at a 'lame duck' Commissioner of police.

His halo, illuminated by 'body counts/one shot one kill', multi-coloured alerts: red, orange, amber, all except white and a dazzling array of outfits has begun to fade very fast. The gentleman has begun to collect an array of opponents/enemies, some of whom initially welcomed him and his rapid fire, motor mouth PR and pledges to kill cockroaches, en route to not respecting due process.

Have we noticed that there are never ever any 'white alerts’? White as in Westmoorings and such places where there are big raids but no arrests? Colour has largely reflected and conditioned class in the Caribbean so these white i.e. ruling class areas are not to be ‘alerted'

No matter how many wagons one wants to circle, in this 'war on drugs', one does not alienate the law association, the media, civic society groups, university guilds, en route to protecting 'law abiding citizens', even as the body count rises with significant contributions from the police officers themselves; as hapless David West of the Police Complaints Authority looks on in frustration and impotence.

Whatever one thinks of the 1% owned media, however one perceives one's 'popularity rating', one does not go up against a front liner like Dominic Kallipersad armed with sarcasm and impatience. He carries a certain amount of 'gravitas' in the profession and he skilfully dismantles the unwary. It happened with Anand Ramlogan under the People's Partnership administration.

What next in the wake of the Buju Banton side show? And apologies followed by explanations re raid/search/enquiry at the Hilton? Or

The roll of dishonour of those convicted of “white collar” crimes is replete with names of some of those who frequently made the society pages of the newspapers...Charles Warner, attorney general for the thirty formative years of the post-emancipation society...was forced to resign as a result of his inability to deliver and account for inheritances entrusted to his care as the trustee and guardian of a minor...

...the names of other legal luminaries was added to the list – magistrates, justices of the peace, clerks of court, other lawyers. The list included the ex-chief of police, L. M. Fraser, who embezzled court funds while acting as a magistrate, and C. W. Baker, the inspector-commandant of police, who misused funds from the police canteen....

Many never came to trial – those who held senior positions either were transferred or promoted to other positions outside the colony, or they simply absconded, very often with the connivance of the authorities and  the assistance of their friends in high places. Many who came to trial were never convicted.

(Excerpt from the book CRIME IN TRINIDAD CONFLICT AND CONTROL IN A PLANTATION SOCIETY, 1838-1900 by David Vincent Trotman)

the 'intervention' at Radio Jagriti pursuant to a sedition enquiry? Sedition? Really? I suspect we shall see an increased number of operations in the coming weeks, some of which may just prove deadly. This will be to demonstrate that the business of policing is once again taking priority, regardless of what the media say or what results it produces.

This situation will continue to spiral downward. Successful policing is about building confidence in the population, putting them at ease rather than startling them with all these paramilitary posturings. What is this about advising communities to check with their M.P's before blocking roads and burning tyres? It is because they have been checking with their M.P's that they understand the need to take that type of action.

This Commissioner is a divisive personality and will become a figure that will foster political wrangling. He is clearly very close to the Minister of National Security who seems only too willing to follow his every lead.

At the end of the day, like others before him, he will be forced to see that crime is a response to social circumstance; that we cannot lock away or shoot a social problem, regardless of how many are killed in those shoot outs, where no police officer is wounded and just two handguns are found; that the frustration within the service/force will build much like it does for those soldiers involved in wars of intervention on behalf of the USA.

Within a few weeks we will 'graduate' some 10 000 from the secondary school system in a wilfully contracted economy (read the closure of Petrotrin, Steel mill, retrenchment at TSTT etc). .Just a month ago this writer did an interview for NALIS with a former director of a Youth Camp about the decision to close them.

It was very instructional to learn of how visionary that was and the kind of contributions the graduates made to our country's development. But that is another door closed, slammed shut by the incoming administration in 1995. So, many of the classes of 2019, competing with ex-Petrotrin workers may find themselves in Gary's law and order arms or shot by some 'off duty' police officer..

Even as one hears Valentino's dogs bark