Night Noise Comedy Central: Jamaica is a place that will make you laugh, cry, holla, shake your head until it is close to falling off; and take you through a whole range of emotions. Cross, angry and miserable comes into sharp focus for the more discerning and less gullible to direct appropriately at governments supremely skilled in the art of abdicating their responsibilities and roles, and even passing on their jobs – for which they are well paid and handsomely rewarded with payments and benefits – stretching from here to Timbuktu, to its hapless constituents.
The landscape is strewn with the failures of governments of both Stripes, and this is fraught with dire consequences for the people and the nation. Engage anyone in a conversation about this, and myriad excuses are trotted out by even the victims of these failures.
This leads me to a laughable, yet serious case in point, reported in the Sunday Gleaner of may 14, 2017, Mother’s Day no less. The headline read;”More Heat For Lawyer”, with sub-heading, “Attorney Who Hit An officer Could Face Further Sanctions….”
Reading the story had me convulsing in laughter that could well go on for weeks (It has), because each time that I recall the incident, I have to laugh with still a part of me exclaiming: Darn ridiculous!
The case in point involves an incident where Attorney-at-law, Lennox Gayle
, ‘boxed’ (slapped in the face for the uninitiated) a police Superintendent, whose name was concealed from public knowledge, no doubt owing to the ludicrousness and the embarrassment that it may cause the senior police officer.
According to the report, the Superintendent was ‘boxed’ when he attempted to arrest the Attorney for breaches of the Noise Abatement Act
during an entertainment event. The the report stated that the Superintendent was operating on a wrong conclusion that a permit was not secured for the staging. However, subsequent information revealed that a permit was indeed granted for the event, but by that time, things had apparently gone too far down the road. With wounded pride, smarting face and all, the Attorney who landed the box was charged and convicted of the offense. The matter was then taken to the Supreme Court where it was upheld and gained prominence to bring it to the attention of myself and others.
The Supreme Court Judge, Batts
, upheld the conviction on the grounds that the “Superintendent had an honest belief that an offense was being committed, and was acting in the lawful pursuit of his duty”. The judge went on further in his judgment expressing concerns that “No one is above the law, and that law enforcement should be respected in the execution of their duties as long as they are doing so lawfully”. Concluding, in his judgment, “lest we descend into anarchy”.
We have to, on the surface, agree with the judge. However, we note that the Noise Abatement Act has done much to erode respect for the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), that has found yet another way to tarnish its once glorious image with a mechanism for further corruption. The Act, if it was any good, and clearly thought out from the beginning – has strayed from that and has shown more its uselessness than its usefulness by concentrating the powers of granting Permits in the hands of the JCF without any oversight or encouraging recourse for Promoters and others who stage events.
There are better ways to deal with the problems of Noise Pollution, and they should be found immediately for fear that we may descend beyond anarchy as the JCF has been given basket to carry water as this places yet another wedge between the citizenry and Law Enforcement. Plus the added avenue for corruption that this inevitably leads to. The sooner this simple problem that leads to greater problems is fixed, the better off we all will be….
Until next time, keeps doing what is noble and just. Go ahead and have a discussion right here.
I am Warren Johnson
Email: [email protected]
Editor at Large, Mckoy’s News: the views expressed on this post are that of the writer and not that of Mckoy’s News.