Yes, each person has a right to freedom of speech, and sure, people have a right to voice their displeasure at authority figures.
My question is this; where exactly are the lines between sane and rational displeasure, and outright abusive and disrespectful behavior that has no place in a democratic society?
Without having the facts of what occurred in this situation before the cameras started rolling, my question is, how can this kind of conduct be allowed to continue?
Let us not be delusional about this, Andrew Holness has degraded the police, bad-mouthed them, and interfered in their work, and this is the result.
The police have done more than enough to degrade their own authority, and they are not being trained in tactical maneuvers.
One of the cockamamie stories I heard from their high command is that this offender will be arrested eventually. I must also disagree with some of my former colleagues who seem to have bought into this new-age paper police tactics that you go back to arrest later.
They had several officers there, and there should have been an unspoken understanding that all of the officers present converge on this punk in two seconds, throw him to the ground, and cuff him.
The next agitator who opens his mouth gets the same treatment.
The idea that officers must always be mindful of escalation sends the wrong message that a single cop or two cannot effect an arrest.
At issue here seem to be three standout issues.
(1) Government incompetence and corruption in allowing public lands, including public beach properties, to be occupied by criminals allowing for the construction of shanty structures. And as we can see in these videos, permanent structures generally without property ownership, permits, and or any approval.
Jamaica’s number one foreign exchange earner is tourism, yet prime seaside properties are hangouts for thugs and badmen, whom the police seemed mighty afraid of.
(2) Lawless elements who believe they are above the laws, and that they can do as they please without consequence. This is not only horrendous for the present, but it is a ticking time-bomb with a younger generation emerging, that will have zero respect for the rule of law.
(3) An incompetent and poorly trained police force that does not know what laws they are enforcing, and is therefore unsure of themselves, resulting in situations like the some in the video.
I talk about the demonstrably poor training of the Police Department members, and I am continually being told that they are being given the appropriate training levels.
If what we are witnessing here is appropriate training, not just to quickly and effectively arrest a disrespectful loud-mouth piece of garbage, but knowing what laws or ordinances he violated that would necessitate his arrest, then obviously they are being trained to fail.
Mike Beckles is a former Police Detective, businessman, freelance writer, black achiever honoree, and creator of the blog mikebeckles.com.