A video that made the rounds this week, sparked concern in different circles. The video, obviously a short part of an event with police and a civilian, showed a man, subdued by hand cuffs and rope, being beaten by a police officer who was out of uniform. An intriguing part of the video is an adult woman calmly standing by while the man, dressed in boxer shorts only, was being manhandled. This begs the question, according to our culture -why was the woman, as one of the witnesses, so calm as she looked on? Her action alone is a telling sign that there is much more to the story than what meets the eye in that short video.
The Royal Grenada Police Force by way of a press release, has promised to investigate the incident which is not in-keeping with police behaviour on the island. Let’s not only be guided by the posts on social media in coming to a conclusion, but as one person posted …patiently await the outcome of that investigation. It is our hope that the police will question the person who posted the video initially, to understand the motive for posting a part of an incident – Why was that necessary? Too many times, people with hidden agenda take advantage of the innocence of others.
We are observing the low marks given to the police force by the opposition leader and other people on call-in programmes which seem to be laced with politics. Recently the opposition leader even spoke of officers leaving the Force in droves; is this really happening here in Grenada? This was certainly not reported in local news. Another issue he has with the police, is the arrest made for the death of Jonty whose body was found on a beach in the south of the island. In one of his party’s press conferences, the former prime minister also expressed serious concerns about the dismantling of security services, including the exit of former Commissioner of Police Edvin Martin who he said was doing a reasonably good job, and the dismantling of the Financial Intelligence Unit that was recognised as one of the best in the Caribbean region.
In giving his reason for police officers leaving the force in droves, he said that it was as a result of hiring taking place “purely on a political basis.” The opposition leader who was recently the minister of national security, said that this has resulted in an atmosphere at the Royal Grenada Police Force, where “politics prevails” and appointments are based on politics rather than professionalism. He was particularly critical of the pronouncement by the police that an arrest was made in the case of Josiah ‘Jonty’ Robinson and said he would not be satisfied with the investigation into the death of Jonty until a regional or international security force is invited to assist Grenada on the matter. Aren’t those utterances telling signs that people are out there giving the police a bad rap? As a people shouldn’t care be taken to avoid being innocently dragged in to a war that don’t belong to us?
Someone, identified as a social skills professional whose craft involves assessing, analysing and problem solving, posted that knowing the two sides of a story is crucial to a conclusion. However, when blatant disrespectful and inhumane responses are meted out, like in this video, a one-sided conclusion can be easily drawn by the public which can neutralise what may be deemed a necessary response by police. He asked the questions -Was the man in the video so uncooperative and threatening that he had to be hauled out in public without being dignifiedly dressed? Was he so dangerous to the public and so wanted by the lawmen that they couldn’t waste time having him clothed in public? Was that really the case? Or was that the emotional impulsive reaction by the police to perceived guilt? These questions may be in many other people’s minds when drawing conclusions only from the short video.
This week we are going all out to help people to understand that they should avoid being brainwashed just so that they can give a fair analysis of any situation. Too many people post things on social media in true political style only to attract a strong following. One of the old African proverbs is ‘Friends will lead you to go, but they do not bring you back.’ How many of us understand the meaning of that? Those African proverbs have been used a lot for guidance in the old days. Unfortunately they are hardly part of today’s language!
It is quite disingenuous to go public against the police without first getting the facts – someone else posted as they asked the question – What was the crime that warranted that treatment by the police?
In today’s world where mind altering substances are readily available, some people’s behaviour can be deemed horrendous at times. Imagine a young boy at Birch Grove raping his grandmother; in two instances the heads of two people were cut off once in Red Gate and again in Balthazar; then a young boy choking his mother to death with his shoe lace in Saint David; these are some of the examples that the police force must deal with. Those of us who were not there to witness the actual incident from the start to the end, await the result of the investigation.
We may even call for him to get more blows!