By Rawlston Pompey
In the early hours of Friday, October 5, 2018, death visited the home of sister Ineta Liburd 53, a resident of the Donavan’s community. She was away from home and thus, fortuitously escaped the wrath of her brother Calvin ‘Burger’ James 52. Burger had found other targets. Thus, ‘malice’ he apparently harbored against his sister was opportunistically transferred to three people with tragic and painful consequences. With the element of surprise, he struck mercilessly and with deadly and mind-shattering. Unexpectedly, residents of the community were reportedly greeted by the frightening ‘…Sound of Gunfire.’ Those then in close proximity ran for cover. Those indoors, though frightened, yet curious to see what was happening, found no reasons to look or venture outside. They knew that such sound, though not frequent in the community, often meant grief, sorrow and mourning.
Burger’s action had caused somberness to be visited upon the Donovan community, thus sending shock wave across the nation. Driven to ‘…Exacting Vengeance’ on those that had caused him frustration and agony, developing an apparent killing instinct, Burger appeared to have been turned into a cold-blooded killer. Two people were killed; one instantly and the other subsequently in medical hands. A third was left to nurse a serious facial gunshot injury. An unresolved land dispute had triggered the incident. It was not revealed what he may have been saying to or about his uncle, but clearly intended to silence his nephew Laurence James, Burger succeeded only in inflicting a ‘…gunshot injury to his mouth’ [October 5, 2018]. Aware that justice shall be served, the accused killer reportedly took immediate flight from the scene.
One of the nation’s most deadly killers, Calvin ‘Burger’ James that had moved his family to grieve and the public to anger, his capture has also prompted them to express their gratitude. While officials dished out commendations to the police for their collective efforts and for public assistance, ‘…gray areas or unexplained circumstances’ surrounding his arrest, not seemed not to have occupied the pages of social media, but also the mind of the nation. This commentary looks at the unfolding tragic events of (a) …the double-murder; and (b) …an administrative policy in offering Reward for public assistance.’ This may not be complete without looking at two particularly troubling areas, (i) ‘…Who actually captured of Burger; (ii) …Who is entitlement to disbursement of the reward of EC$25, 000.’ These have provoked calls for law enforcement to provide clarity of understanding. History, therefore, shall never be repeated to reflect ill-advised disbursement of public funds to those who are charged with the prevention and detection of crime and the apprehension of criminals, dangerous or otherwise.
PEACE OR WAR
There comes a time in life when someone wants to give someone everything. This might be better understood from the song ‘…Tommy and Laura.’ The song informs that both were lovers and ‘…he wanted to give her everything; …flowers; …presents and most of all a wedding ring.’ In endeavoring to do so, tragedy struck. Participating in a ‘…stock car race’ to earn the prize to shower her with those things, ‘…the car burst into flames, and he died [1960: Tell Laura: You Tube]. Ineta Liburd 53, and Burger’ James 52, are brother and sister. Before tragedy struck he wanted to co-exist peaceably with his sister on family- inherited land in the Donavan’s community. Likened to Tommy, ‘Burger’ wanted to have and live in peace. She apparently wanted that which opposes peace. They both know that anything that precipitate misunderstanding is friction. They also knew that anything that seeks to hinder or disturb peace is war.
There may have been thoughts of reconciliation, mutual understanding and respect and a desire to live peacefully, but only to the extent that the matter was amicably resolved. Even so the lingering residual effects of war are usually open hostility and psychological warfare. It has been the human experience that after ‘…War come Peace.’ Burger appeared to have been preparing for either ‘…Peace or War.’ In the family feud with his sister Ineta Liburd, there was no apparent resolution in sight. A constant reminder had been the two erected wall pillars. Though he was considered to have been endowed with reason and conscience, his tolerance for his sister appeared to have ebbed dangerously low. He may have been ‘…Overwhelmed’ by impatience. The mind often works in mysterious ways and invariably, people reacting to something being said or done, would say mindboggling things.
After exacting teeth-gnashing vengeance upon his family and hunting for his sister Ineta, to end either her life or a long-running feud over occupation of family land, ‘Burger’ kept running and hiding. Many residents became mortally afraid and allowed prevailing good sense to guide their curiosity and stayed away from ‘…Burger’s Fire.’ He had been on the run much longer that the ‘40 Days and 40 Nights’ Jesus Christ took in fasting [Matthew 4: 2], but much shorter than that of ‘…robbery-accused and fugitive from justice, Anthony ‘Tug’ Life Govia’ [30th June, 2018]. The ‘…Deadly Burger’ successfully evaded police for ‘…90 Days and 90 Nights,’ before his apprehension [ANR: January 13, 2019]. Frail and weak, ‘Burger was not only said to have been in poor physical condition that suggested that he had been starved of nourishing foods, but also in dire need of that which people had often described as being ‘…Next to Godliness.’ He had been in a mixed-up mood and had displayed a clearly deadly attitude, snuffing out the lives of two females and seriously wounded a male.
That which shall be understood, except lacking the spirit of discernment or misinterpretation, what was seen or heard is usually what was intended. The law is quite clear in presuming that a person not only intends the ‘…Natural Consequences’ of his action, but shall also ‘…foresee the consequences of his action.’He may have been inching closer to taking matters in his own hands. He possibly had been saying quietly, ‘…If my sister wants peace, she should give it a chance, and if she wants war that is exactly what Burger would declare.’ These are not only everyday human expressions, but also everyday occurrences. When these were expressed, those that had provoked anger shall expect the wrath of man. A family feud developed that had changed the relationship and eventually, living peacefully as siblings. They became hostile toward each other. This was reportedly due to the construction of two wall pillars,’ that had reportedly denied him easy access with his convertible motor car. He may have this as a ‘…covetous encroachment.’
The Lord had warned against this [NIV: Exodus 20: Ten Commandments]. In His book, this was the tenth gravest sin. In ‘Burger’s mind the penalty for any act viewed as covetousness was death. They had reportedly quarreled bitterly. Equally as much, he had persistently pleaded for their removal. Likened to his apparent refusal to take his earthly problems to the Lord in prayer, or to have the Judiciary visited upon his sister Ineta, ‘…confidential conversations’suggested that Burger may have ignored ‘…Friendly and Legal Advice.’ While motive is not an element of a criminal act, it is still useful to know what motivated a man to behave the way he allegedly did. In serious crimes, the benefit of training in ‘...Criminal Psychology’ often lends investigative approaches to investigators. Invariably, the trained investigator seeks a theoretical understanding of what may have possibly operated in the mind of a criminal. However, the main element that constitutes most criminal acts is ‘…intent.’ Many criminal acts are called ‘…Strict Liability’ offences. No ‘intent’ is required.
MYSTERY AND SECRECY
The apprehension of one the nation’s most vengeful and evasive killers and the apparent surreptitious involvement’ of three active police personnel, ranks ‘…Assistant Superintendent; …Senior Sergeant; …a female Corporal,’ together with a…retired Superintendent of Police’to the citizenry, appeared to have been shrouded in ‘…Mystery and Secrecy.’ The circumstances of their involvement of the three non-assigned active personnel not only seemed to have defied operational logic,but also would have been a personal rendezvous that may also have suggested more of a ‘…pre-arranged surrender’ under pretext of an informed operational plan. Given that which had been revealed, Acting Commissioner of Police Atlee Rodney and Justice, Public Safety and Police Minister Steadroy ‘Cutie’ Benjamin may have been fed with information likened to an infant in arms, fed with a formula prepared by its mother.
CAPTURE OR SURRENDER
There appears to have been twists and turns in stories surrounding ‘Burger’s capture. Theorists have it that luck may have run out on the evasive ‘Burger.’ Still others harbored the view that he may have surrendered in a way and circumstances that demand close scrutiny. Revelations regarding his ‘…Capture or Surrender,’ have not only been seen as full of intrigues and suspicion, but have also provoked widespread national and social media discussions. While some police personnel may have been eying a portion of the police-offered reward,’ many out of ‘…innocent ignorance’ [Martin Luther King Jr, seemed not to know that police officers do not give information to themselves. As a consequence, this has made police officers ineligible for consideration. Personnel might be eligible for consideration of a ‘…Meritorious Award’ for service to law enforcement, but certainly not financial reward offered by them to the public.
WRATH OF SATAN
A deadly fugitive was then at-large. So dangerous was he, that law enforcement quickly issued a warning to members of the public. They knew the fugitive was armed with a firearm and could become deadly. More frightening, they knew he was hunting for his sister Ineta Liburd 53, to exact upon her, the ‘…Wrath of Satan.’ He had done so to his niece; a female friend and his nephew. They knew that public assistance was needed for his immediate apprehension. Consequent upon such need, they have not only made appeals for public assistance, but also offered an incentivized reward.Except ‘…sincere ignorance or conscientious stupidity’ [Martin Luther Jr], organizational or administrative collusion in skullduggery, police officers know that they are not to open their palms to receive that which has been given fiduciary approval and intended for public informants.
Not infrequently, appeals to the public for assistance have been helpful. If it were not so appeals for public for assistance in ‘…crime prevention; …detection and apprehension of persons accused of criminal acts,’ when at-large, it would not have been necessary in gathering (a) …Information on a fugitive’s whereabouts; and (b) …Information on sightings.’If it were so, then it begs the ‘…Operational Question’ Why would a single officer hide himself in the dense Hermitage Mangrove to capture who the police had described as armed and extremely dangerous?’ That which unfortunately, appeared not to have been supported by operational facts or consistent with reason had prompted this response to the media that ‘…The police had been able to capture James in a plan executed professionally and successfully’ [Caribbean News Service: January 14, 2019].
The significant interest to the police was ‘Burger’s arrest, while that of the public was receiving the irrestible offered ‘…Incentivize Reward of EC$25, 000.’ On the run from police for three serious crimes, there had to be no visibility. There were frequent reports of sightings in numerous places, including city banks and night clubs-’ almost everywhere. Burger was not so idiotic to position himself where someone could have benefitted from the reward before achieving his ‘…Fatal Objective.’ Even as the feared ace crime fighter, Assistant Superintendent Ray John has been suspended from active duty, for several reasons, ‘Burger’ had to be on the run from the law. Thus, he had to stay out of (i) … harm’s way; (ii) …avoid immediate arrest; and (iii) ‘…eliminating Sister Ineta from occupied land at Donavan’s.’ Police had two objectives (i) …protecting the life of his sibling; and (ii) …capturing Burger’ before he exacted further vengeance upon her.
ARMED AND DANGEROUS
The ‘Burger’ then being sought by police was a double-murder accused, ‘…a highly visible character; …facially clean shaven; …dapper; …loud and aggressive talking and very street smart.’ Neither of these was of interest to the police. They had made ‘…public appeals for information on sightings or whereabouts,’ leading to his arrest for the fatal shooting of two females. He was not only a fugitive, but also officially considered ‘…Armed and Extremely Dangerous.’ Undoubtedly, he was armed, but may have been more dangerous to his prime target sister Ineta Liburd and her family, than he was to his Donavan’s community and society as a whole. Thus, to those that had not offended him, he was harmless. Even so, a man with a deadly weapon was equally as dangerous as the treacherous Atlantic Ocean successfully crossed by the ‘…extraordinary display of courage and determination of four females called ‘…Island Girls or IG’s,’ accomplishing two mariner’s feats rowing back to terra firma and into the annals of history.
MYSTERY AND SUSPICION
In the jungle certain carnivorous animals roam in packs or singly in quest of a meal. Dependent upon the size of prey, they instinctively know that numbers matters. Police personnel knew that ‘Burger’ was armed with a stolen firearm. They also knew that he could become dangerous and deadly, if confronted. Though he may have been so armed, he was certainly not ‘…dangerous’ to at least a single police officer, ‘…Senior Sergeant Barry Stowe.’ How the fugitive was captured, not only appeared shrouded in ‘…Mystery,’ but also aroused ‘…Suspicion.’ That which remains an indisputable fact is that he was captured and his hunted Sister Ineta Liburd, may have thanked the Lord for this particular blessing. While no official release had identified them, only these two people can appease minds and help public understanding of the unfolding events leading to Burger’s capture.
Now the capture is over and prosecutions are near, all that have been reported or not reported, it was obvious that the dust has not been finally settled. Likened to members of the public, certain personnel seemingly starved of honesty, appeared to have one objective in mind- ‘…receiving part of the incentivized reward.’ This would have been in breach of administrative policy and best practice. While commentators on the ‘…Sketchy News Story’ had not used certain terminologies, there were two comments of noteworthy interest. Writing under pseudonyms ‘…Strange Story and Rastaman,’ the former wrote ‘…Whilst I am glad that the accused-killer is now in police custody, the story of how he was caught sounds bizarre and hard to believe; …This look like a set-up.’ The latter wrote, ‘…Certainly, an investigation must be had on how he was captured…’ [ANR: January 13, 2019]. Operationally, there might be merit in these two comments.
Though none may harbor or impute ulterior motive, ‘Burger’s capture’ has provoked circumspection by the reported non-involvement of a specially selected team of personnel then tasked with his apprehension. Law enforcement administrators know of the importance of making public appeals for assistance in apprehending dangerous criminals. Combining ‘…Privileged Information’ and confidential discussions with professional knowledge and practical operational experience in law enforcement operations, if retired Superintendent Colbert ‘Gaddafi’ Francis played no part in the capture of the wanted fugitive, then it might be easy to believe that ‘…A pig danced a jig for a fig’ [Mighty Sparrow: Dan is the Man in the Van: You Tube]. Not only has the role of the Police includes the prevention and detection of crime, but also to conduct investigation with the view of apprehending person reasonably suspected or reported to have committed criminal acts that they shall be made amenable to law.’
FLIRTING WITH DANGER
What might be scrutinized in this perspective is that although ‘Burger’ was believed to have been armed with a stolen, but legitimately licensed firearm from its registered owner, a single officer was prepared to hunt for him. In short, he may have been ‘…Flirting with Danger.’ Instructively, those searching for him just did not know his whereabouts. However, with sheer irony and strangeness, a member of a particular Unit who was reportedly ditched, surreptitiously, if not suspiciously surfaced. Though he claimed ‘…non-cooperation,’ was cited for his removal, sources close to the Unit cited ‘…non-productivity.’ His claimed involvement in the capture of the double-murder accused,’ appeared to have confused an understanding of the circumstances surrounding the capture of the nation’s most dangerous criminals, revealing serious inconsistencies with ‘…Standard Operation Procedures (SOP’s).’ Burger may have been too weak to fight or too frightened to offer resistance.
Though ‘…Man’s Motive’ remains the same as ‘…Judas Iscariot,’ in order to defraud the innocent and unsuspecting, man continues to devise schemes to deceptively obtain money. Relate these activities to law enforcement personnel; a very small minority has caused members of society to see them as corrupt cops;turning agencies into schools for cultivating depravity in usually good officers. While a few personnel undeniably became crooked, though speculations were rife, crookedness may not necessarily be said in the instant case. In most Police Service when dangerous criminals were reported to be at-large; there have always been contingency plans for their apprehension. Such contingencies necessarily include the selection of a team of specially trained personnel; …properly briefed inter alia, on tactical approach with emphasis on safety of the citizens and of equal importance, that of personnel.
DISPUTED OR REFUTED
From time immemorial and known administrative policy and professional knowledge, the dictates of best practice precludes active members of the Police Service to be beneficiaries of a public-offered reward. There is to be no exception, neither to such policy, nor practice. For the avoidance of doubt, that which shall be informed at this juncture is simply this, ‘…Police officers are not informants and informants are not police officers.’ Though unofficially associated with ‘Burger’s apprehension, retired Superintendent of Police Colbert ‘Gaddafi’ Francis’ name had been prominently featured in his capture. For reasons best known to administrators, law enforcement has not disputed or refuted suggestions of his involvement. For reasons of transparency and accountability, the reported‘…Delano Forbes Reward Shenanigan,’ shall not only guide administrative accountability, but also transparency and fiduciary responsibility in meritoriously disbursing public-offered funds to those members of the public that had rendered meaningful assistance to law enforcement personnel.
While the incomparable social commentator Slinger Francisco, ‘Mighty Sparrow’ socially speaks to his envy of an African Head Hunter called the ‘…Congo Man’ for other reasons, for another reason double-murder accused Calvin ‘Burger’ James 53, had turned himself into a ‘…Human Hunter.’ Burger who had missed the prime target, was then on the hunt for his sister Ineta. Accordingly, law enforcement had warned the public to keep away from a ‘Burger’ that may use a deadly weapon against anyone confronting or challenging him. This saw a massive manhunt being launched for his capture. With an offered reward, the sum was more than enough to treat the entire membership of the police force, their families and friends with palatable hamburgers available at ‘…Burger King.’
CATCHING A BURGER
When an officer informs a superior that in seeking to apprehend a double-murder accused frighteningly described as ‘…Armed and Dangerous,’ and that unaccompanied he positioned and concealed himself in bushes in the Hermitage Resort area, he might be able to convince other serving members to prepare themselves for the ‘…Second Coming of the Second Lord.’ Except there exists another person whose identity shall not be revealed to the public, the circumstances whatever they may be, even with uncertainties,’ should never complicate disbursement of the reward to the retired Superintendent. That which might complicate matters could be a claim by an active Senior Sergeant had ‘…single-handedly nabbed the fugitive.’ In holding a ‘hamburger,’ the appetite must so demands. Catching ‘Burger’ is really not the same as going into a fast food restaurant to purchase hamburgers. There, patrons regularly placed orders then sat and wait for service.
Invariably, the public is called upon for assistance. The ‘cooperative success’ of such appeals is often contingent upon an enabling environment in which information flows freely and explanations are manifestly truthful. They are presented with forthrightness and allow for full public trust and full cooperation.’ Invariably, they have helped to shape ‘…Public Perceptions’ of the reputation of the pa police service and the integrity of its members. As has been the universal fast foods trend, if their taste buds had so urged, it may have been easy for ‘…Assistant Superintendent James ‘Jimmy’ Tonge; …Senior Sergeant Barry Stowe, and female Corporal Amy David’ to pick up a couple ‘hamburgers’ from burger vendors at the ‘…One Nation Concert’ [ANR: January 14, 2019]. If it was considered too dangerous to be caught up in the ‘…vicious brawl,’ then it may have been much safer to visit the ‘…Gourmet Basket’ to purchase a pack or two. This would have been helpful in replenishing expended energies for the long trail and extensive search for a fugitive named Calvin ‘Burger’ James.
There were five ‘…Achievable Objectives,’ (i) …protecting the main target, sister Ineta Liburd; (ii) …ensuring the safety of the public; (iii) …enlisting public support; (iv) …apprehending the double-murder accused; (v) …bringing him to justice.’ It appears more reasonable that ‘Burger’s captor was ‘…retired Superintendent of Police, Colbert ‘Gaddafi’ Francis. Since it was the active officer and the retired Superintendent who were reportedly the only two people who were involved, if it is to be accepted that the latter was the one that caused a photograph of the fugitive to be circulated on social media, there may be no denial that at some point in time, he was present. What role he may have played is left to speculation or until he provides a version of the events. The murder-accused was slapped with two ‘…Murder Charges’ for the apparent cold-blooded murder of ‘…niece Tahisha Thomas 27 and Sanchezca Charles, and Attempted Murder’ of his nephew.
PRESUMPTION OF INNOCENCE
In the instant case, it was a family feud and a targeted killing. With a brain energized by an uncontrolled desire for vengeance ‘…an intent’ would have been formed. While citizens had concerns, there was no dreaded fear that the double-murder accused would have trained his gun on, or attack them. None may harbor illusions about the unpredictable nature and behavior of man. In every sphere of human endeavor, there are ‘…the good; …the bad; …the ugly and the indifferent.’ In the case of ‘Burger’s wrath on his family, it was obvious that his heart may have been saturated with malice. Thus, as the feud continued, it could be easily inferred that it had fuelled a desire to kill. Even as prima facie evidence may suggest, the murder-accused enjoys the constitutional presumption of Innocence’ [CO: 1P81: Section15].
90 DAYS OF HORROR
Appeals for him to surrender were either ignored or not heard. Keeping out of harm’s way and the reach of the police, it could reasonably have been said that for ‘Burger,’ there were ‘…90 Days of Freedom.’ For his sister Ineta, she had experienced ‘…90 Days of Horror.’ Taking ‘…40 Days and 40 Nights’ Jesus to fast,’ the scripture says that ‘…He was hungry’ [NIV: Matthew 4: 2]. Even with a will to survive, Burger had not the freedoms law abiding citizens enjoy. Thus, he had to be satisfied with what he could pilfer and muster. Captured, he was reportedly ‘…hungry; …weak and frail; …unkempt and in an unavoidable state, described as ‘…offensively unhygienic.’ That was not the Burger, widely known for his smartly-attired public appearance, high visibility and showmanship.
MYSTERY AND SECRECY
Except ‘…voluntary stupidity,’ police search team commanders were not known to have placed their subordinates at risk. Such risk must be taken individually and secretly by anyone harboring feelings of heroism. Professionally speaking, in a search team, it has never been law enforcement practice to focus attention of apprehension on one personnel. One person is not a team, and a team is not one person. What often results from feelings of heroism; …adventurism or onemanism,’ was that many have died young. Either logic had been defied, or history has been created. Only truthfulness could unravel what seems to be shrouded in ‘…Mystery and Secrecy.’ Before Burger’s capture, operating under sever constraints, using mainly the Canine Corp, the assigned team had pressed on diligently and painstakingly, yet in futility. In spite of the ‘…non-involvement of the assigned 8-man team in Burger’s capture, their efforts may still be described as ‘…commendably devoted.’
In criminal investigations, when public assistance was needed, Law enforcement administrative policy allows for the offering and disbursement of an incentivize reward. Such policy has a dual purpose. Firstly, it allows for seeking to provide public assistance in crime detection. Secondly, it helps in building police and public/community partnerships. More importantly, it helps in achieving investigative objective in relative quick time, while the same time strengthensfunctional cooperation between the police and the citizens. Thus, rewards offered to the public, simply says provide the agency with specific pertinent information, and the Police will in turn reward you for the assistance. Before news of the capture of double-murder accused Calvin ‘Burger’ James had been published on social media, persons with ‘…privileged information’ had revealed with unhesitating forthrightness the name Colbert ‘Gaddafi’ Francis, a retired Superintendent of Police.’Where confidentiality was not an issue, and personal safety would not be jeopardized, principle dictates that ‘…credit shall be given to whom it is justly, fully and meritoriously due.’