Ex-cop demands justice - Claims he was kicked out of the JCF because he issued a ticket to the daughter of a senior superintendent
Everton Watson is adamant that for all of his 24 years in the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), he carried out his duties without favour or affection, malice or ill will.
But his time in the force came to an abrupt end last August, leaving him bitter and disappointed.
Watson is convinced that he was kicked out of the force because of his decision to take action against the daughter of a senior superintendent of police for traffic offences in March 2012.
"From the time I issued that ticket, problems started, and I have been treated as an outcast ever since," said Watson, who had been promoted to the rank of corporal over the years.
He said he was served notices accusing him of being late for work and for taking more sick days than he was due, before he was finally kicked out of the force.
Now frustrated and without a job, Watson said he decided to go public with his fight to get re-enlisted, and is urging the recently appointed Commissioner of Police Major General Antony Anderson to intervene.
"I want my job back because I did nothing wrong. This is just malicious victimisation," Watson told The Sunday Gleaner.
"I have my children to send to school. if the leadership of the force cannot take my stance against corruption, they need to compensate me and I can move on," added Watson.
He said his complaint is already at the Office of the Police Commissioner, as attempts were made for him to see former Commissioner George Quallo before he resigned.
"Now that we have a new commissioner, I want to encourage him to use my case as an opportunity to rid the force of corruption. Use me as an example," declared Watson.
He admitted that he had issues with some fellow cops before the traffic incident, but argued that this was mainly because of his constant rebuking of some who were engaged in corruption.
"It has never mattered who you are, or who you are connected to, I was employed to do a job and I was going to do it," said Watson, who joined the police force in August 1994 as a member of the now defunct Island Special Constabulary Force.
According to Watson, his real problems started when he and three other cops were on patrol duties along Beckford Street in Savanna-la Mar. He said during the patrol it was brought to his attention that a motorist had ignored a stop sign.
Watson said he signalled the motorist to stop and informed her of the offence she had committed when she started to protest.
"I noticed that she was not wearing a seat belt, so I pointed out that offence to her as well, and requested the documents for the vehicle and her driver's licence."
INVALID FITNESS CERTIFICATE
He said on inspecting the documents, he found that the motorist did not have a valid certificate of fitness for the vehicle, so he issued her a ticket for that while ignoring the other breaches.
Watson alleged that while he was writing the ticket, an off-duty cop told the patrol team that the motorist was the daughter of a senior member of the force, but that did not stop him from issuing the ticket.
"When I handed her the ticket book for her to sign, she did so, then threw the ticket book through her car window and drove off."
According to Watson, about 10 minutes after she drove off, the team was ordered back to the station and instructed to report to a senior officer.
"After hearing our account of the incident, he told us that he would have to call the senior superintendent (whose daughter was involved). He also instructed us to prepare written reports on the matter."
Watson alleged that despite pressure from some senior cops, he still attempted to submit the ticket but was told to give it to a supervisor to handle. He said when he checked the records office days later the ticket could not be found,
"I keep a record of all the matters that I have been a part of as a cop, so I have a copy of the ticket that I wrote, even now, but the original was never submitted," said Watson.
He further alleged that five days later he was summoned to the office of a senior officer who started taking action against him.
"He accused me of being mentally unstable and disarmed me of my licensed firearm, even though I have had no medical problem or complaint."
Watson said he then sought audience with a force chaplain, but left feeling as if he was the offender.
"I have done my own checks, and with documentary support can show that I should not be delisted, because my re-enlistment is not until August 2, 2019, yet I am out in the cold," charged Watson, who has a bachelor's degree in accounting.
"I have not breached the JCF code of conduct or been corrupt; I am sidelined because I did my job.
"I am known among my colleagues as someone who is very vocal against corruption over the years, and when you do that, you can't expect to have many friends because corruption is an accepted norm in the Westmoreland Police Division," declared Watson.
"I have nothing else to lose, that is why I am coming public, and if I get my job back, I will take it," he said. "Someone has to take a stand, and my job is not yet done."