Resisting Arrest Can Be Lethal…

Watching Jamaican cops exe­cute arrests is like root canal , rather painful to live through.
As a pub­lic ser­vice I have tried to use this medi­um to not only cri­tique the crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem but to inform , edu­cate, and opine on how we can make it better.

The Jamaican Legislature in this regard is like an old train track , it sim­ply lays there regard­less of what hap­pens, it gets over­grown with weeds, debris stays exact­ly where it is left on it, regard­less of the dan­ger to com­ing trains.
So since we can­not rely on the leg­is­la­ture to do any­thing about this epi­dem­ic of resist­ing arrest in our coun­try, it behoove the police to acquire and use best prac­tices , even if they have to sources those prac­tices from YouTube videos.

The longer it takes for offi­cers to exe­cute an arrest the more dan­ger­ous the sit­u­a­tion becomes.
It shows a lack of abil­i­ty on the part of the officer/​s , it embold­ens the offend­er and it encour­ages bystanders to get involved.

♦So the first order of busi­ness in exe­cut­ing an arrest is speed.
Once an offend­er is told in sharp , clear and con­cise lan­guage that he/​she is under arrest , the next com­mand must be , turn around and place your hands behind your back.
The rea­son for order­ing the offend­er to turn away from you the offi­cer, and place his/​her arms behind the back, is to mit­i­gate poten­tial harm to you the officer.
It also gives a clear indi­ca­tion right away to you the offi­cer whether this offend­er intends to resist arrest or not.

♦ The next step is to move swift­ly and decid­ed­ly to the offend­er and place him in hand­cuffs , always with hands cuffed behind the back.
If the offend­er is bel­liger­ent , argu­men­ta­tive , and non-com­pli­ant, officer/​s must bring the offend­er to the ground and exe­cute the arrest as swift­ly as possible .
♦In exe­cut­ing an arrest there should be no cir­cum­stances in which an offi­cer or two strug­gles with effect­ing an arrest while anoth­er offi­cer is stand­ing around like a casu­al observer.
In the event that hap­pens the depart­ment should forth­with send that offi­cer back for retrain­ing ‚or he or she should be dis­missed from the service.

♦ Officers must all move in to exe­cute the arrest swift­ly and safe­ly for all involved includ­ing the offender.
They should also ensure that no one inter­venes to inter­fere in the arrest.
As such, if there are sev­er­al offi­cers on scene one offi­cer must ensure that no one gets close to offi­cers engaged in effect­ing that arrest.
A bystander wish­ing to inter­vene can eas­i­ly grab an offi­cer’s gun and cre­ate untold harm to officers.

As such any bystanders who refus­es to move to a safe dis­tance from offi­cers, incites the per­son being arrest­ed to resist arrest or oth­er­wise inter­feres, must also be arrest­ed immediately.

The issue of exe­cut­ing arrests safe­ly is crit­i­cal to both offi­cer safe­ty and that of the offender .
Just last week two peo­ple lost their lives in a sit­u­a­tion from all indi­ca­tions which sug­gest that prop­er arrest pro­to­cols were not observed .
Constable Leighton Hanson of the Constant Spring Police was killed alleged­ly by an offend­er he tried to take into cus­tody, but clear­ly did not fol­low the estab­lished protocols.

He lost his life after the offend­er report­ed­ly grabbed his weapon and shot him. He was killed by mem­bers of the JDF who were pass­ing and wit­nessed the incident.
Every per­son who is told that he is under arrest is capa­ble of mur­der­ing a police officer.
No one wants to go to jail .
They snap and do things they nev­er thought they would do.
Subsequently each and every offi­cer must ensure that they are pre­pared to deal with any sit­u­a­tion the moment they decide to arrest an offender.

For the safe­ty of all, the arrest must be done swift­ly , deci­sive­ly, and with authority.
That does not mean abusively.
Every per­son who is told that he is under arrest has a duty under the law to sub­mit to being arrest­ed , regard­less of whether he/​she thinks the arrest is jus­ti­fied or not.
You do not have a right to fight with a police officer .
The police is giv­en the pow­er to use appro­pri­ate force to ensure that you sub­mit to the arrest .

It is impor­tant that every per­son under­stand this oblig­a­tion under the law.
If you resist and try to cause harm to the arrest­ing offi­cer , the offi­cer have a right to use the nec­es­sary force to bring you under compliance.
Here’s what is crit­i­cal to under­stand, the arrest­ing offi­cer has the lat­i­tude based on his/​her assess­ment of the dan­ger to him or her­self to use even lethal force to sub­due you as a result of the threat he/​she per­ceives to him/​herself.
Why would you engage in a fight with some­one who is autho­rized to use any lev­el of force, includ­ing lethal force to sub­due you?

What do you think is going to hap­pen when you resist arrest?
Do you think that a prop­er­ly trained offi­cer who knows he is doing his duty by the book is going to walk away because you decide to resist arrest?
Guess again .
You will have your day in court .You will also have a right to an attor­ney who will advise you of your rights includ­ing your right to civ­il action if you believe you were wronged .

We can­not have a soci­ety in which every arrest has to be accom­pa­nied by violence.
Constable Leighton Hanson is dead , I hear no state­ment which would indi­cate that a sin­gle leg­is­la­tor under­stand the need, much less have the inten­tion to pro­pose changes which would make resist­ing arrest a felony.
That law could be named the Hanson act in hon­or of that slain officer.
This prob­a­bly won’t hap­pen where there is no vision out­side the bang­ing on desks and the insults which per­me­ate what hap­pens in Gordon House when the 63 mis­cre­ants get in there.

Every time I ask, I am told that there is prop­er train­ing on how best to exe­cute arrests .
I have not seen that pro­fes­sion­al exe­cu­tion in arrest videos that make their way onto social media platforms.
Newly installed Commissioner of police George Quallo would be well advised to ensure that what­ev­er his depart­ment has on arrest train­ing, is revamped and re-redesigned .
Clearly what exist is not work­ing .Additionally his depart­ment issues the week­ly force orders to the pub­lic, a move I said was a bad one when Owen Ellington for­mer com­mis­sion­er embarked on it.
Nevertheless it can be a medi­um used to edu­cate the pub­lic about the dan­gers of resist­ing arrest until hope­ful­ly some­thing seri­ous is done about this practice.