Gordon Robinson | Rev Al: Bishop or pawn?
This is the final in a series of columns on the Rev Al Miller's audition to play the lead role in Morgan Freeman's biopic.
It's time to pull all that we know together and use our lateral thinking skills to work out what really happened. I realise many out there believe I'm kicking Rev Al when he's down. However, since Al hasn't admitted that he's down, maybe his eyes also need opening like a 10-day-old puppy's. Before reading on, best practice would be to first review my previous three columns 'Forward in reverse' (September 18); 'Al and Herro's Excellent Adventure' (September 20); and '... If you believe Al Miller' (Sunday, September 25).
As your eyes start to function, you'll see that nobody's beating up on Rev Al. Al was a mere pawn in a chess game when he thought he was a bishop. What we're trying to do is shine the light of truth on the most despicable series of events in Jamaican history which didn't begin (but ended) with Al's driving of Miss Daisy.
The following chronology is put together using Al's statements only:
As tensions in West Kingston grew in May 2010, Rev Al offered to use his influence as a pastor to try to 'talk down' Dudus into surrender rather than resistance. His offer was accepted by the police commissioner and the prime minister.
Several Tivoli visits
Al made several visits to Tivoli, met with Dudus, but was unsuccessful in his mission.
A bloodbath ensued. In the early aftermath, Al was instrumental, with the cooperation of the police, in surrendering members of Dudus' family ('persons of interest'), including Leighton 'Livity' Coke; and Sandra Coke. On each occasion, Al made contact with the police and cemented arrangements BEFORE bringing them in.
It seems that sometime after the bloodbath, Rev Al obtained police permission to issue a public appeal to Dudus for Al to assist him if he wished to surrender.
Al says he was contacted by a stranger who purported to speak for Dudus.
Al tried to contact the police commissioner without success. He says he contacted the US Embassy but NO DECISION was made regarding Dudus' surrender.
At the stranger's (and other strangers') request, Al surrendered his car keys (a 2007 Toyota; untinted windows) and cell phone and was driven by these strangers to a St Ann location, where he waited for Dudus.
When Dudus appeared, he asked to be transported to the US Embassy. This was the first time Al had been asked by Dudus or anyone on his behalf to go to the Embassy. Al immediately agreed to transport Dudus in a strange car with tinted windows. Dudus was disguised in female wig and dark glasses but Al says he didn't notice.
The police say they tried to stop Al (using sirens and flashing lights) from the vicinity of Windsor Avenue but he wasn't forced to stop until somewhere on Mandela Highway. Al denies this but admits he was intercepted by the police. Dudus was taken into custody. Nobody knows why Al wasn't arrested on the spot. Maybe he told the police he had the commissioner's permission to take Dudus to the embassy. Later that same day, the police sent for Al and arrested him. He has since been tried, found to be "less than candid" by the judge, convicted of attempting to pervert the course of justice, and fined $1 million.
Now you tell me, if you found yourself in that situation, would you give up your cell phone and car keys and jump in a strange car driven by strangers? Would you then drive Dudus wherever he had asked without any prearrangement with the police? Are you a complete moron? No? Well, neither is Al. So here's the thing. I believe somebody he trusted told him to expect the call and asked him to do as he was told. There's no other rational explanation. Al's reticence at his 'tell-all' press conference, probably after receiving a deluge of calls asking him NOT to go ahead with it, can only mean he's protecting that trusted somebody.
Al, it's time to repent and be candid with Jamaica. WHO really made these arrangements with you?
WHO got you to surrender all control over your circumstances and do as you were told by Dudus and crew, no matter the risk? Only the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth can set you free from suspicion and disrespect. Tell ALL, Al. NOW!
Peace and love.
- Gordon Robinson is an attorney-at-law. Email feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.