Illegal and unconstitutional practices
THE EDITOR, Sir:
There has been a successful challenge by an attorney, Hadrian Christie, who was driving on Harbour Street, downtown Kingston, last April when he was stopped by the police who demanded a random search of his vehicle. He refused on the grounds that it was unconstitutional but was threatened with arrest and charge but forcibly searched. Christie went to court and got a $500,000 consent judgment. What about us lay people to whom these things happen daily? We need to educate ourselves as it must be noted that lawyers in this case have only offered to help other officers of the law "to educate policemen about the implications of their stop-and-search practices".
The police and acting Commissioner Glenmore Hinds must note that he and his men cannot solve crime by illegal or unconstitutional practices, and he must make the Jamaican people and the world become aware that he is about to start on a good, lawful and constitutional footing. Mario Deane lost his life in the Barnett Street lock-up after being arrested for a ganja spliff under Mr Hinds' watch.
Attorney Hadrian Christie could consider himself lucky that he was not beaten, locked up or even shot, as some of these things have happened to ordinary-looking motorists on occasion. It would be good if we could find an appropriate channel to open our eyes as to our rights and how to secure compensation when these rights are being flouted. I also note that lawyers have successfully challenged the KSAC and towing companies for towing away and damaging their vehicles on the way to the pound. All Jamaicans need and want justice: we must keep working, working, working to facilitate that for the poor and the rich alike.