By Rawlston Pompey
None shall underestimate human behavior. It has always been vexatious to the human spirit when a person, in describing human behavior or action, used the word ‘Stupid.’ Though it is no better using the coined words ‘Wholly Idiotic,’ it shall be considered the exception rather than the norm. That which a small minority of law enforcers and ‘Joint Task Force (JTF)’ members appeared not to have known, was that ‘Execution of Duty,’ never meant ‘Executing the Citizens.’
CONVERSANT AND COMPLIANT
That which shall be understood by all a sundry, is that the fact that a citizen has been shot and injured or fatally wounded by law enforcement, has neither been justification, nor lawfulness for the use of a deadly weapon or force against the unarmed citizen, and one posing no danger to law enforcers. Should it be gently pointed out, as far as rendering ‘assistance to the ‘Civil Community, ‘His Excellency’ has a ‘Functional Obligation’ to be ‘Conversant and Compliant’ with provisions contained in the ‘Defence Act’ [No. 10 of 2006].
Speaking to ‘Crime and Punishment,’ both applicable to the lawless members of the wider society, equally as much as to the reckless few on the ‘Joint Task Force (JTF),’ whether or not sooner disbanded. This commentary provides a brief, but professional perspective of ‘Military Aid to Civil Power.’ It specifically looks at the ‘Deadly Shooting of Mannie James 45’ by; (a) ‘The apparent overzealous: (b); partially trained; (c) Improperly briefed; (d) Unsupervised; and (e) Uncontrolled junior Police/Military personnel.’ It also looks at; (i) Constitutional provisions respecting; (i) non-deprivation of life; (ii) non-deprivation of liberty: and (iii) The use of force that appeared starved for; (iv) Justification; and (v) Lawful authority; (vi) the Defence Act.’
Privilege information suggested that ‘Suspicion’ may have been aroused when ‘Police/Military Shot and Killed’ motorist ‘Mannie James,’ who reportedly turned around his vehicle before getting anywhere close to the temporary ‘Security Force’s Checkpoint’ on the ‘Lauchland Benjamin Drive’ [July 31, 2023]. Though highly commendable of their behavior during the festive season, the citizenry may still find it ironical to hear ‘Law Enforcement,’ lauding; (i) ‘Patrons; (ii) Revelers: and (iii) General public,’ for the exhibition of behaviors that would have marked and exemplified by; (a) ‘National and personal pride; (b) Sober respect for human dignity, worth and ‘Sanctity of Life; and (c) Evidenced by a good sense of responsibility.’
ACTING SUSPICIOUSLY: MALADY OF MIND
When law enforcers speak to ‘Acting Suspiciously,’ they are either speaking to behaviors that have spurred inquisitiveness or perceptions in the mind. This is universally known as ‘Figment of Imagination.’ This has been a ‘Malady of the Mind’ by those that; (a) ‘Profiles; or (b) Those with ‘Pre-conceived Ideas.’ These may have played out in the several ‘senseless and cold-blooded killings, including ‘Mannie James.’ These, as have been the practice of some law enforcers in some jurisdiction, have been the cause of many funerals and rare criminal prosecutions and non-completion of ‘Coroner’s Inquisitions.’
Not infrequently, law enforcers have found themselves subjected to rigorous ‘Cross Examination.’ This was often evident, when beads of perspiration gradually popped out of pores and ran like a stream on to their wearing apparel. Though not necessarily a demeanor, ‘Defence Attorneys, Adjudicators and Court Prosecutors’ are usually the first to make such observations. Frequently, it was when the apparent overly ‘Abused Narrative’ by the overzealous law enforcers, often seeing male persons ‘Acting Suspiciously.’ Today, these two coined words necessarily mean: (a) ‘Arrest: (b) Detention: or (c) Death (ADD).’
From professional prosecutorial experience, many ‘Police Witnesses’ were often placed under intense and sustained ‘Cross Examination’ by ‘Criminal Defence Attorneys’ who knows what the term ‘Acting Suspiciously’ is all about. The term now begs for disabuse from the mind of ‘Police Press Liaison Officers.’ As a consequence, it shall do no harm in conducting ‘Refresher Courses’ to guide proper understanding of the term and better perceptions of human behaviors, tolerance and restraint. These do not necessarily detract from the practice of using and developing a keener sense and greater ‘Powers of Observation.’ These often guide informed operational decisions and ‘Non-Fatal Consequences.’
Though not necessarily for the overwhelming majority of law enforcers, the time for ‘Carnival fun and frolic,’ has now passed. This aspect of police work, called ‘Policing Major Event (PME),’ is now behind law enforcers. That which lies ahead, are the fundamentals of; (a) ‘The Rule of Law; (b) Public safety and security; and (c) Crime and punishment.’ The time has come for ‘Retrospection- (i) ‘Re-assessing; (ii) Streamlining; (iii) Re-focusing; (iv) Re-assigning; and (v) Re-assuring the citizenry of; (a) ‘Safety and security; (b) Protection and Service; (c) Respect for human dignity and worth; and (d) Respect for the Sanctity of life.’
STUPID AND INDUSTRIOUS
That which shall also be understood, is that a person if there existed any actual or perceived danger, the citizen ‘Running Away’ from law enforcers no longer posed a danger, even when in hot pursuit. The behavioral pattern of those ‘State Agents,’ intent on ‘Running Down and Gunning Down’ unarmed and defenceless citizens and categorized as the ‘Stupid and Industrious,’ they shall be removed with immediacy [Management Strategy: German General: Kurt Von Hammerstein Equod: 1878 – 1943].
The two recent tragedies in which the most junior ranks have been criminally implicated, speaks to the need for; (i) ‘A ‘Memorandum of Understanding (MOU); (ii) The need also for ‘Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s).’ These often guides ‘Functional Cooperation’ of the supporting or supplemental role militarily-trained personnel shall play when giving ‘Military Aid to Civil Power.’ Most troubling, however, has been the religiously hurried removal of ‘Motionless Bodies’ from possible ‘Crime Scenes’ when ‘Joint Operations’ have resulted in fatalities. This speaks to the apparent woeful lack of professional training on the part of law enforcers and lack of knowledge on the part of the ‘Military’ personnel.
MILITARY AID TO CIVIL POWER
It appears obvious that more time might be studiously spent familiarizing oneself with the ‘Constitution Order.’ This appears more useful to junior personnel, than time spent fiddling with the deadliest of weapons in hands with ‘trigger-happiness.’ The most recent ‘Run Down and Gun Down’ ‘shooting and killing of ‘Mannie James’ [July 31, 2023], speaks to a dire need for education and understanding of the concept: ‘Military Aid to Civil Power.’ Such ‘Aid’ clearly does not include complete take over the ‘Civil’ role of Law Enforcement. Likened to the ‘Police,’ the role of the ‘Military’ has been clearly defined in the ‘Defence Act.’
DEPRIVATION: LIFE AND LIBERTY
Commanders will have seen the results of ‘Joint Task Force Operations (JTFO)’ in which; (a) ‘4-Military Personnel-(Lance Corporal and 3 Privates): and 2-Police Constables’ have been implicated in the serious ‘Capital Offence of Murder’ [April 9, 2020: and July 31, 2023]. That which the ‘JTF Commanders’ may seek to address, is to impress upon the minds of members of their respective commands to devote some time in familiarizing themselves with the constitutional provisions that speak to two ‘Fundamental Rights of the Individual.’ These fundamentals are: (i) ‘Deprivation of Life: and (ii) Deprivation of Liberty’ [CO: 1981: Chapter II: Sections 4 and 5].
SENSELESS KILLINGS: NO IMMUNITY
It shall be reminded that there is ‘No Immunity’ from criminal prosecution for the ‘Senseless Killings’ of member of civil society. That which appeared evident among ‘Joint Task Force (JTF)’ personnel, has been the woeful want of knowledge of the ‘Fundamental Rights and Freedoms of the Individual,’ as guaranteed by the ‘Constitution Order’ [1981: No. 1106]. Lack of such knowledge poses as much danger to society, as adjudicators that have deprived Juries of the opportunity in developing their comprehension and reasoning skills, to determine a verdict of; (a) ‘Guilt: or (b) Innocence.’
VICTIMS OF POLICE GUN WRATH
Among the victims of ‘Police Gun Wrath,’ have been: (i) ‘Avie Howell-Mullaney killer’ [The Guardian: June 21, 2014]: (ii) Ronald Bloodman 28; (iii) Kendal Joseph 34; and Chad Bloodman 36-Killed in a ‘Cooks Hill’ dwelling house-APUA Credit Union/Toy Box Store robbers [Freedom FM: 106.5: January 27, 2015]. (iv) Kurt ‘Shabba’ James-Dominican Fugitive from Justice’ [DNO: January 3, 2016]: (v) Jamele Marlo’ Hurst; (vi) Travis ‘Ten Pound’ Martin-’ Alleged ‘East Light Foote Police’ foiled robbery attempt [ANR: October 5, 2017]; (vii) Shanell ‘Mabz’ Thomas 34- Prison Farm Escapee’ [Loop: January 10, 2022]; and now (viii) ‘Mannie James 45-No known or reported crime’ [ABS TV: August 31, 2023].
DISSIMILAR ROLES: RPFAB/ABDF
That which ‘Joint Task Force (JTF) Commanders; Public Safety and Police Minister; National Security Minister; and Governor General, His Excellency, Sir Rodney Errey Williams KGN, GCMG, MBBS’ shall be forever mindful of, is the distinguished and dissimilar roles. Thus, they shall encourage themselves to know the defined statutory responsibilities that are charged to these agencies. For instance; (i) ‘The Police not only enforces ‘Criminal Law,’ but also have responsibility for the ‘Prevention and Detection of Crime’ [Sections 6: 22 and 23: Police Act: Chapter 330].
OTHER DUTIES: LEGITIMACY
Conversely; (ii) The duties of the ‘Antigua and Barbuda Defence Force (ABDF)’ states: ‘The Antigua and Barbuda Defence Force is responsible for the defence of Antigua and Barbuda, and such other duties as the ‘Defence Board’ determines’ [Section 6 (1): Defence Act: No.10 of 2006]. Providing legitimacy to ‘Other Duties,’ the Statute Law’ states; ‘In the event of ‘Public Emergency,’ the Governor General may, on the advice of the ‘Prime Minister, by proclamation direct that the ‘Antigua and Barbuda Defence Force,’ or part thereof be employed in aid of ‘Civil Community’ [Section 6 (2): Defence Act: No.10 of 2006].
STATE OF NORMALCY
Instructively, the ‘ABDF’ is comprised of three parts; (i) ‘The Regular Force: (ii) A Reserve Force, called ‘Antigua and Barbuda Defence Force Reserve Force; and (iii) Such other Units as the Governor General may, ‘from time to time’ considers necessary to be formed’ [Section 4: Defence Act: No.10 of 2006]. Consequent upon these ‘Statutory Provisions,’ it was not clear what continues to guide the ‘Governor General and his ‘Deputy and Alternate Deputy: (i) Sir Clare K. Roberts; and (ii) Dr. Errol Cort’s decision in continuing with the ‘Joint Military/Police Operations,’ while the national life has returned to a ‘State of Normalcy’ [ABS TV].
For the benefit of ‘Public Knowledge,’ the ‘Defence Act’ unambiguously states; ‘Where it appears to the ‘Governor General’ that it is necessary in the public interest that a Unit should be deemed to be on ‘Active Service,’ he may by proclamation declare a period not exceeding three (3) months commencing with the date of the coming into force of the proclamation, that Unit shall be deemed to be on ‘Active Service’ [Section 3 (1): Defence Act: No. 10 of 2006]. Though not necessarily related to any of the planned events of Carnival, the festive season was marred only by the apparent senseless and extra-judicial killing of the motorist.
JOINT MILITARY/POLICE OPERATIONS
Given recent ‘Joint Military/Police Operations,’ and allegations of ‘Choking and Shooting,’ it could never be said that; (i) ‘Bruce Greenaway; and (ii) Mannie James,’ were about to; (a) ‘Commit; or (b) Had committed a known ‘Capital offence.’ The true professional law enforcers have invariably, guided themselves in making informed decisions. Now, when four ‘Joint Task Force (JTF)’ personnel, for no clear and justifiable reasons allegedly; (a) ‘Choked and Murdered Bruce Greenaway 43 [April 9, 2020]; and (b) Shot and Killed’ the ‘Innocent and Unarmed’ citizen ‘Mannie James’ [July 31, 2023].
They have been deprived of life, while families were left to grieve. These tragedies have not only triggered ‘Community Outrage,’ but also national concern, over the apparent wanton and reckless ‘Shootings’ by members of the ‘Security Forces. The society’s call for swift ‘Criminal Justice,’ reflected such concern. In criminal investigations, nothing shall be left to chance or speculation. That which is required is in depth, thorough, meticulous and painstaking investigations.’ That which shall now be said is that none is above the Law.
LUCKLESS: CONSTABLE NELSON
There is no immunity to any ‘Law enforcer or ‘JTF’ members, nor is it a defence in criminal prosecutions for ‘Gunnin Down’ unarmed citizens.’ Had it been so, then former ‘Police Constable Kevil Nelson’ may not have been prosecuted for ‘Shooting and Killing’ of ‘Liberta resident ‘Denfield ‘Tody’ Thomas’ [October 24, 2006]. The clearly ‘Luckless Constable,’ having been tried for the ‘Capital Offence of Murder,’ and duly convicted by a ‘Jury of his Peers,’ he may never have been sanctioned with a ‘22-year term of imprisonment’ [October 30, 2009]. The Jury found no ‘Reasonability or Justification’ for the force used against the ‘unarmed victim.’
The misguided law enforcer, often appeared not to have been mindful of the critical element called; ‘Reasonability.’ That which some only knew was the use of ‘Deadly Force.’ The several apparent trigger-happy ‘State Agents,’ that have left families grief-stricken and the citizenry enraged, very often have not been made accountable for ‘Shootings and Killings’ that more frequently seen as starved of justification. Whatever ‘Happiness’ that may have been derived from ‘Gun Trigger,’ it has brought, and continues to bring grief and sorrow to families, while in rare instances, prosecutorial consequences to ‘Joint Military/Police Task Force (JMPTF)’ members.
The ‘Operational Practice’ of the apparent ‘trigger-happy law enforcers,’ has raised serious concerns among the citizenry. Either the reported removal or the dragging away suspected ‘Fatally Wounded’ persons on the road way from possible ‘Crime Scenes,’ has been observed in recent years. None was more evident than that viewed in an amateur viral on social media. It recorded the ‘Motionless Body of Mannie James’ being dragged along the roadway to a marked Police vehicle [July 31, 2023]. That which most trained criminal investigators know, is that the cold-blooded killers, with disguised intention to ‘Derail Criminal Investigations,’ often attempt to rush the ‘Dead to Hospital.’
MEDICAL ATTENTION FOR THE DEAD
That said, it could never be said that there was not something fundamentally idiotic, rushing the ‘Fatally Wounded’ the ‘Sir Lester Bird Medical Center (SLBMC),’ under the guise of securing urgent ‘Medical Attention for the Dead.’ If it was not professionally pointed out, it may continue to the detriment of ‘Criminal Justice.’ Emergency medical personnel know that only the ‘Injured’ is rushed to Hospital. From professional criminal investigation training, ‘Motionless Bodies,’ or those that appear lifeless, shall remain in the original positions.’
PROBING PROCEDURES: AFTER DEATH
The only surgical ‘Probing Procedures’ these victims will have seen, was after when the ‘Pathologists’ dissected their bodies (Post Mortem) to officially ascertain the ‘Causes of Death,’ and certainly not that which will seek to restore life. That which the untrained law enforcer appeared not to know or appreciate, is that ‘Forensic Experts’ shall at all material times, be positioned to properly process all possible ‘Crime Scene’ to recover scientific and other physical evidence.
PERVERTING COURSE OF JUSTICE
From professional knowledge, no life of anyone has ever been restored or preserved having been ‘Shot Dead’ at a scene. Thus, summoning an ambulance or seeking to rush a dead person to the ‘Sir Lester Bird Medical Center,’ constituted; (unlawful removal of body’ from the ‘Scene of the Crime.’ The deceased, as seen in the video being ‘dragged’ away from the possible ‘Crime Scene,’ could never have been said to have been alive, nor intended to preserve life [Observer Media: August 4, 2023]. From professional criminal investigative training and knowledge of the ‘Classification of Crime,’ such constitutes the serious ‘Common Law’ criminal offence, ‘Perverting the Course of Justice.’
From a purely professional perspective, and by those that understand the nature, sophistication and complexity with which some acts of criminality were perpetrated against victims, have often posed ‘Investigative Difficulties.’ Many people may not have been readily observant that a ‘Motionless Body,’ does not necessarily mean a ‘Comatose Condition.’ Invariably, it means a ‘Post Mortem.’ Clearly, the experiences of ‘Mannie James’ have given rise for the seemingly ‘Operational Practice’ to be ceased with immediacy.
The disadvantages to ‘Crime Scene Investigators and Forensic Experts,’ include; (i) ‘Serious impediments to effective criminal investigations; and (ii) ‘Inability to properly cordon off; (a) Have effective control; (b) Management; and (c) Marking the ‘Scenes’ (later in criminal trials- Locus Inquo). More fundamental to these would be the inability of members of the ‘Forensic Evidence Recovery Unit,’ headed by ‘Inspector Gregory Williams,’ to effectively function at ‘trampled or disturbed ‘Crime Scene.’ The ‘Forensic Experts’ know that there were often ‘Extended or Secondary Scenes of Crime.’ Likened to the original ‘Crime Scenes,’ they shall also process such scenes for possible ‘Recovery of Scientific Evidence.’
WRATH OF POLICE GUNS
Neither from the isolated ‘English Harbor Military Outpost,’ nor from the Police motor vehicles, none that has suffered the ‘Wrath of Police Guns,’ has ever been taken into the ‘Intensive Care Unit (ICU)’ for emergency surgical procedures. That which professional training reminds and knowledge of law guides, is that for reasons of expediency, and clear motive that invariably suggested the criminal offence; ‘Perverting the Course of Justice,’ has been the ploy among the professionally crooked and corrupt law enforcers, seeking to consequences associated with unlawful killings. Evidence of the practice of removing the ‘partially dead or actually dead’ from where they were ‘Shot and injured or Killed,’ may have been observed in several cases. The tendency to attempt to cover up, has been a universal phenomenon.
REMOVAL OF MOTIONLESS BODIES
Except ‘Ronald Bloodman,’ [721 News: March 20, 2021], no other, including; (i) ‘Choke and murdered Falmouth resident Bruce Greenaway-Curfew Detainee,’ had ever been medically-treated. He was suspectedly killed elsewhere, but body disposed of at the isolated ‘Indian Creek Bay’ [April 9, 2020]. As it relates to ‘Removal of Motionless Bodies,’ two persons with that may lend ‘Personal Attestations of Truth’ of the body from the place he was reportedly ‘Gunned Down,’ have been the brutally frank ‘Bishop Charlesworth Browne’ and a distraught and grieving mother, ‘Winifred Thomas’ [April 9, 2022].
OBSERVATIONS AND EXPERIENCES
The ‘Bishop,’ appeared well-positioned to speak to his personal ‘Observations.’ In a recent conversation, she spoke to the demise of ‘Mannie James,’ as reminding her of the ‘cold-blooded Police killing’ of her son, ‘Shanell Thomas’ by the Police. Seemingly ‘ambushed’ and peppered by one of the ‘Ambushers,’ he reportedly succumbed instantly to gunshot injuries to his body. Yet hurriedly, the bullet-riddled body of ‘Shanell Mabz’ Thomas’ was reportedly removed from the deserted bushy scene to the ‘Sir Lester Bird Medical Center (SLBMC).’ There was no need for application of anesthesia, and certainly not for any ‘Surgical Procedures.’
SYMPATHETIC AND OBLIGING
The rushing appeared to have been a ‘Disguised Formality,’ that allowed only for the pronouncement of death by the ‘On-Duty Casualty Medical officer.’ Stricken with grief and anxiety and outraged for reasons of ‘Police Insensitivity,’ the traumatized, frantic, wailing, weeping mother, ‘Winnifred Thomas’ reportedly pleaded in vain to see her son’s ‘bullet-ridden body. Subsequently, an understanding officer, ‘Sympathetic and Obliging,’ brought relief to her anxieties. She was allowed brief viewing of the ‘’Motionless Bullet-Pierced Body’ of her son. Subsequently, it was reportedly shuttled off to the ‘Irwin Barnes Funeral Home’ [January 9, 2020].
SURRENDERING TO PRISON AUTHORITIES
Instructively, when tragedy struck, both were said to have been in a telephone conversation. Fearing his demise, he was said to have been making arrangements to surrender himself to ‘Prison authorities.’ This was intended to be done through his mother and safe hands of ‘Bishop Charlesworth Browne.’ The ‘Bishop’ was not only known to both ‘Mother and Son’ as associated with Her Majesty’s Prison, but also in the capacity as ‘Chairperson’ of the ‘Prison Visiting Committee.’ The deceased mother had reposed confidence in the ‘Bishop’ in seeing her son’s safe return to his then institutionalized residence.
MEN ON FEET
Among two of the fastest ‘Men on Feet,’ are Jamaican and Olympic sprinter ‘Usain Bolt and legendary social commentator, ‘Sir MacLean Emmanuel KCN, ‘King Short.’ The former continues to live to explain his feats and accomplishments, due to his athleticism. However, long before the ‘Olympic Sprinter’ was the artiste and performer, who in an early social commentary, explained that he had to ‘Run for his life.’ Making light humor of his experience, he sings; ‘A motor car without load, couldn’t catch ‘Shorty’ on the road.’ Seemingly, other than medals or ‘Calypso Crown, ‘King Short Shirt’ may have been searching for ‘things’ that may have kept him running to save his life.
RUNNING FOR HIS LIFE
This appeared not to have been the case for ‘Bendals resident Mannie James.’ He was neither seeking to accomplish ‘Gold Medals,’ nor that which may have caused ‘Sir MacLean’ to run. Even so, with two ‘State Gunmen’ in hot pursuit in the ‘Grays/Green Community,’ he was clearly ‘Runing for his Life.’ While many patrons and revelers may have been seen having fun and frolic, in a video, and likened to ‘King Short Shirt and Usain Bolt, the deceased could have been seen ‘Running for his Life’ [ABS TV: August 1, 2023]. Unfortunately, having seemingly out-ran a ‘Police Constable and a Military Private,’ he was brought down by their presumably, issued ‘Service Weapons.’
IMMINENCE OF DEATH
Whatever may have been the reasons for not advancing to a ‘JTF Check Point,’ given his ultimate demise, it could safely be said that ‘Mannie James’ may have been a ‘Fatalist.’ Inferentially, he may have sensed the ‘Imminence of Death.’ Reported to have been under the supervision of an apparent ‘Laissez-faire Corporal of Police,’ for no known acts of criminality, two youthful and seemingly overzealous or overly exuberant members of the ‘Joint/Police Military Task Force (JPMTF)’ left to their own devices, hotly pursued a motor vehicle. Such was to have been travelling on the ‘Lauchland Benjamin Drive,’ and had reportedly turned and travelled in an opposite direction
EXTREMELY POOR SUPERVISION
Then the driver of a ‘White Suzuki’ motor vehicle, he reportedly abandoned the same and sprinted away from the pursuers. Undoubtedly, ‘Extremely Poor Supervision,’ has contributed to the tragedy. The fatal demise came upon him, suddenly and shockingly. This was said to have been in full view of residents and by-standers in the ‘Grays/Green’ community. The shooting and killing came at the hands of the two most junior unsupervised; non-commanded and uncontrolled ‘Security Forces’ members; (i) ‘A Police Constable (RPFAB)’ and (ii) A lowly-ranked ‘Private’ (ABDF).’ [ABS TV: August 1, 2023].
Prior to the ‘Vehicular and Foot Pursuit,’ that which may not be easily established was the identity of the occupant/s of the white ‘Suzuki Vitara’ and the ‘crime, if any, they may have committed or about to be committed. That which the professionally trained law enforcer shall know is that to ‘Prevent Escape,’ a person must first, either be; (a) ‘Arrested; or (b) Detained’ [CO: 1981: Section 4 (5) (b)]. The questions that those in authority might be impelled to ask are; (i) Was it lawful for a Police Constable and Military Private to ‘Run Down and Gunned Down Mannie James,’ as reportedly witnessed by members of the Grays/Green community? (ii) Was it justifiable to shoot at the back and killed him?’ These are also questions better left to a Jury.
CABINET PRESS BRIEFINGS
Such killing appeared not to have the comport of justification.’ With the constitutional provisions, for the benefit of knowledge of; (i) ‘Law-abiding citizens; (ii) The Military in defence of the nation: (iii) Police, including every ‘Assistant Commissioner and Superintendent of Police, attending ‘Cabinet Press Briefings,’ and charged with ‘Prevention and Detection’ of crime; and (v) Officialdom’ with respect and having concern for the ‘Sanctity of Life.’ The ‘Constitutional Provisions’ unambiguously states; ‘No person shall be deprived of his life intentionally, save in the execution of the ‘Sentence of a Court’ in respect of; (i) A crime of Treason: or (ii) T of which he has been convicted’ [CO: 1981: Section 4 (1)].
TENACITY AND FORTITUDE
That which some members of the ‘Association of Caribbean Commissioners of Police (ACCP)’, particularly those within the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS),’ appear to have little or no appreciation for are; (i) ‘Independence; and (ii) Integrity.’ It seems little wonder that some have subjected themselves to; (a) ‘Subserviency; (b) Environmental abuse; and (c) Exploitation.’ These, some may say are factors that speak to ‘Security of Tenure.’ Few appear to have the independence of mind and ‘Tenacity and Fortitude’ of even the notorious ‘Randolph Burroughs’ [Trinidad: 1978 – 1987]: Sir Wright Fitzhenly George KCN, MVO, QPM, CPM’ [1974 – 199I: Antigua and Barbuda]; Darwin Dottin’s [2003 – 2013: Barbados]; and Francis Forbes’ [1997-2005: Jamaica]. Most have given the impression of being exploitable and wimpy.
DECLINE OR RESIST
Whether at ‘Cabinet’s request of insistence, having a law enforcer at the ‘Cabinet Press Briefing,’ may have been seen as sending mixed signals to the citizenry. Instructively, rather than holding an independent ‘Press Briefing,’ at ‘Police Headquarters’ he may have been awkwardly positioned to ‘Decline’ the invitation or ‘Resist’ any insistence. Cabinet may have quietly said to ‘Commissioner of Police Atlee Rodney QPM;’ (a) ‘You have deployed members of the ‘Joint Task Force (JTF): (b) You will have briefed team members on that which shall be done.’ Though not necessarily what, or how it shall be done, a male citizen was allegedly killed by ‘JTF’ team; and (c) Cabinet knows that you are seized of pertinent facts.’
ADVICE AND STARTLED REVELATIONS
There must have been good reasons for the ‘Geneva-based International Security Advisor Team (ISSAT) to have issued this ‘Advice to Governments’ of the world community. To all intents and purposes, it states; ‘Government shall ensure the Police Force is both; (i) ‘Transparent; and (ii) Accountable’ [ISSAT: February 1, 2015]. As regards to ‘Police Shootings and Killings,’ a critical piece of information was captured from the ‘St. Lucia Death Squad Report.’ Investigators engaged by the ‘St. Lucian Government’ had ‘Startled Revelations’ for those that ‘Needed to Know.’ Investigators had determined that; ‘Faked encounters were staged’ by the St. Lucian Police to; ‘To legitimize their actions’ [The Guardian: March 9, 2015].
ISSAT ADVICE: CHECKS AND BALANCES
Given the advice of ‘ISSAT,’ and as ‘Police Shootings and Killings,’ has come under public scrutiny in recent times, this should now put the ‘Shooting Behavior’ of law enforcers under; (a) Transparency; and (b) Accountability.’ That which the ‘Government’ may not know that appears non-functional, has been the machinery that shall provide ‘Checks and Balances.’ Such machinery is the ‘Coroner’s Court.’ Though not so specified in the law, it guards against the ‘Propensity for Violence’ by some members of some trigger-happy ‘Agents of the State.’
From a professional perspective, there are some ‘Police Shootings and Killings’ where the circumstances are well-known to criminal investigators. Parliament so anticipated, and thus, enacted the ‘Coroner’s Act’ [Chapter 105]. Foremost in the minds of legislators were that ‘Coroner’s Inquisitions’ were necessary to ascertain inter alia: (i) ‘The circumstances under which a person came to his/her death: (ii) Whether or not there is ‘Liability’ on the part of a person/persons, including ‘Agents of the State’ [Section 32]. Then if criminally charged; (iv) Whether or not the killing was justifiable or lawful.’
Among the reasons contained in the ‘Constitution Order’ are: (i) ‘In defence of oneself, family or property against violence; or (ii) ‘In defence of other persons subjected to violence’ [CO: 1981: Section 4]. These speak to the circumstances necessary to use force in reasonable proportion to that used or faced at the given time. It now begs the question; ‘Was the killing of ‘Mannie James’ resulted from; (a) ‘The defence of a person subjected to violence? and (b) Was his death in defence of property as provided for in the Constitution Order? [CO: 1981: Section 4 (2) (b)].
FALLING TO DEADLY FORCE
From the perspectives of; (a) ‘Self-protection; and (b) Crime Prevention,’ these are well documented. Given the apparent gross lack of knowledge, this could see many more ‘Mannie James’ ‘Falling to Deadly Force’ by ‘Jointly-Operating State Agencies’ [July 31, 2023]. These certainly have consequences of ‘Criminal Sanctions’ to the apparent ‘Reckless Shooters and Killers.’ After all, ‘Government Ministers’ do not publicly, and cannot as ‘Legislators,’ utter any such advocacy of ‘Extra-judicial Killings,’ as have been in recent years.
FUGITIVE FROM JUSTICE
The properly trained law enforcers have always given acute considerations to these before placing the index finger on the trigger. That which shall be said, is that ‘Killing’ not justified in law, or ordered by the Court, is fraught with as much danger to the society, as it is to ‘Criminal Justice.’ Consequent upon the recent demise of a constitutionally-presumed innocent citizen, it could never be officially said that; (i) ‘Mannie James was a ‘Fugitive from Justice;’ (ii) He was on the run from law enforcers; (iii) Reported to be ‘Armed and Dangerous;’ (iv) Combative to law enforcers; and (iv) Terrorizing members of the community.’
The provision contained in the ‘Constitution Order’ clearly states for the knowledge of the citizenry, including ‘Police Constables and Military Privates’ is that; ‘A person shall not be regarded as having been deprived of his/her life, if he/she dies as a result of the use, to such extent and such circumstances as are permitted by law, of such force as is reasonably justifiable in order; (a) ‘To effect a lawful arrest; or (b) ‘Prevent the Escape’ of a person lawfully detained’ [CO: 1981: Section 4 (2)].
PASSING THE BUCK
Yet it shall be seen as a ‘Communications Strategic Move.’ There may have been no need for the ‘Cabinet’ to say; (d) ‘We are ‘Ministers of Government; (e) You are the ‘Commissioner of Police; and (f) Since the citizens needed answers, you shall address and take reporters’ questions at ‘Cabinet’s Weekly Press Briefing.’ Though there was a ‘STRATCOM Press Liaison Officer,’ a commissioner boasting a degree in ‘Mass Communication,’ runs the risk in being seen as ‘Passing the Buck’ to his subordinates. Some things often worked for the good of humanity and some against those accused of serious and heinous acts of criminality.
MASS COMMUNICATION: DEGREED EXPERTISE
Speaking to acts of criminality, he had vindications for ‘Mannie James.’ His ‘Run Down and Gunned Down Death’ showed he possessed no firearms or other forms of offensive weapons. This was made sufficiently clear by non-appointed ‘Head of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID), Superintendent Lisborn Michael,’ of all event, and to whatever intent and purposes, at the ‘Cabinet Press Briefing’ [ABS TV: August 1, 2023]. Maybe, the time has come upon the ‘Police Service’ to engage the services of professionals to assist members in communicating properly martialed facts to an ever anxious; suspicious and inquisitive citizenry.
DANGEROUS ‘STRATCOM’ RELEASE
There has often been danger when the untrained, ill-informed and incompetent ‘Press Liaison Officer,’ sought to do injustice to a ‘Reputation for Truthfulness.’ In view of ‘Strategic Communications (STRATCOM) Press Release,’ it begs the question, ‘What may have been said to the obvious ‘Motionless’ driver when the ‘Release’ states; ‘When he (Mannie James) was apprehended, he had two bullet injuries to his body’ [Observer Media: August 1, 2023]. The ‘Non-Head of the CID,’ Superintendent Lisborn Michael’ appeared to have avoided such pitfall. He may have cleared public doubts, and that of officialdom that at the time of ‘Mannie James’ tragic death, he possessed no firearm and/or ammunition ‘[ABS TV: August 2, 2023].
That which may have been among the ‘Most Damning’ to the apparent misguided ‘Police Constable and Military Private,’ may have been the suggestion that under the ‘Cover of Darkness,’ and without the aid of infrared night vision devices, ‘STRATCOM’ informed that the ‘Joint Task Force’ that the two-man ‘Hot Pursuit Team’ was able to ‘See three occupants in the vehicle acting suspiciously’ [Observer Media: August 1, 2023]. There are many have competent ‘Mass Communication’ professionals outside the ‘Police Service.’ Among whom with similar degreed expertise, as that of ‘Commissioner of Police, Atlee Rodney QPM,’ was former ‘Cabinet Minister, Dr Jacqui Quinn.’ Either could better serve the interest of the ‘Police Service,’ than that currently obtained.
FIGMENT OF IMAGINATION
Though ‘Dead man does not and cannot tell tale,’ There were always some ‘Damning Circumstances.’ Seemingly by ‘Figment of Imagination,’ STRATCOM released information that; ‘During the chase shots were fired at the Police vehicle, and the Police returned fire’ [Observer Media: August 1, 2023]. Yet no member of the public or the ‘Grays/Green community’ lend corroboration. The ‘Head of the ‘CID,’ attempted to inform the citizenry through a ‘Media Briefing’ as to what may have transpired on the ‘Lauchland Benjamin Drive.’ Except being repetitious of that contained in the ‘Dangerous STRATCOM Press Release,’ those communicating with the media may either not have been properly briefed or officially seized of pertinent facts.
The gunned-downed ‘Mannie James’ was no longer alive to give his ‘Version of Events.’ Professional training in ‘Managing the Press,’ guides against ‘Embellishing Truth’ with falsity. While the deceased will be laid to rest, that which may still pose evidentiary challenging, might very well be these; (i) ‘How do two ‘possible gunmen jumped out of a fast-moving vehicle to escape on foot with their firearms and no chase was given to apprehend one or both? (ii) How were there no penetrating bullet holes to the driver’s seat of the Suzuki Vehicle? (iii) How were there no penetrating bullets-piercing holes in the front fender of the Police-driven vehicle from the front?’
FIRST STATION DIARY ENTRY
That which were revealed through; (i) ‘STRATCOM Press Release; and (ii) An investigative ‘Consolidated Entry’ may have been ‘Corruptible Inconsistencies.’ Though not necessarily relied upon as ‘Facts,’ from professional knowledge, whether or not pregnant with truth, has always been the very ‘First Station Diary Entry.’ This was often accepted as among the most genuine entries. To all intents and purposes, ‘STRATCOM’ revealed that; ‘While on the scene, a vehicle was spotted with three occupants inside acting suspiciously?’ [ANR: July 31, 2023]. This appeared not to have been consistent with the ‘Holy Scripture – Jesus Wept’ [John:11: 35]. Those of ‘STRATCOM’ would quicker see ‘Prime Minster Gaston and Maria Browne’ joining revelers [WIC News: July 31, 2023], and ‘Africans dancing on the streets of ‘St. John’s’ than see ‘Jesus Weeping’ [ANR Video: August 9, 2023].
ATTESTATIONS OF TRUTH
When ‘Superintendent Lisborn Michael’ disclosed that; (a) ‘No arms or ammunition were found on the deceased body; and (b) None was found in the vehicle he was said to have been driving, he shall be credited with ‘Attestations to Truth.’ Though he provided no details, and for what reasons, he disclosed through State-media that the deceased was under the ‘Police Radar’ for some time’ [ABS TV: August 2, 2023]. Even so ‘Confusion and Inconsistencies’ appeared to have reigned over: (a) ‘The ‘First Entry’ logged in the official Station Diary. Such ‘Entry’ often concerns the contemporaneous ‘Version of Events.’
None shall deny the existence of a ‘Statute Law’ that provides for the duality of functions of Magistrates.’ That which the overwhelming majority of the citizenry appears not to know, is apart from their: (i) ‘Summary: (i) Civil; and (iii) Criminal jurisdictions,’ they are also ‘District Coroners.’ Acting in the unique position of ‘Coroner,’ they are statutorily required to hold inquisitions into; (a) ‘Tragic; or (b) Sudden Deaths; or (c) Where the body of a human was discovered.’ If only for the benefit of knowledge or academic interest ‘Coroner’s Inquisitions’ are intended primarily to ascertain the ‘Circumstances’ under which a person dies.
These ‘Inquisitions’ also seek to ascertain ‘Prosecutorial Liability’ for (i) ‘Murder; (ii) Manslaughter; or (iii) Infanticide.’ They also provide for ‘pertinent data for the public registers of ‘Births and Deaths.’ There shall be no deceptive intent, nor derailing talks on procedures concerning ‘Coroner’s Inquest.’ This judicial process does not negate liability for the death of ‘Mannie James’ to face judicial sanctions for an apparent ‘Extra-judicial criminal act’ [July 31, 2023]. It will have been seen that there were no ‘Coroner’s Inquisitions’ into the deaths of: (i) ‘Liberta resident Denfield ‘Tody’ Thamas [October 24, 2006]; and (ii) Falmouth resident Bruce Greenaway’ [April 9 – 13, 2020].
Given the interest of the public, none shall live with a ‘Soul’ free of torment. Thus, for reasons of; (a) Transparency; and (b) Accountability, none shall escape being called upon to show inter alia; (i) ‘Lawfulness of force used; (ii) Justification for the senseless and apparent unprovoked killing; (iii) Face prosecutorial consequences for ‘Murder.’ Though it is still early days with investigating the ‘Circumstances’ under which the ‘Bendals resident’ came to his tragic death, the sorrow-filled hearts of members of his family; his outraged community; friends; and members of the wider society, not only continue to ache with agony, but all are hoping for early closure. Whatever else serves the public interest, with due regard to criminal consequences, they shall comport with the judicial concepts of; (a) Prevention; (b) Deterrence; (c) Retribution; and (d) Rehabilitation.’ Most importantly, those enforcing ‘Criminal Law,’ except where circumstances so dictate, they shall also show due respect for the ‘Sanctity of Life.’
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