Letters to the Editor

We need more trust between police and people

Friday, September 07, 2012    

Print this page Email A Friend!


Dear Editor,

I refer to your editorial of September 6, 2012 , "Behind the killing of a pregnant woman". I was born in Jamaica, left as a youth and went to live in England. I was abused by racists, but I was never abused by the police. Once there was an incident, and a cop said to me: "Sir, I want you to accompany me to the police station." I replied, "I ain't going nowhere." He insisted that I should accompany him, so I did. No violence or anything like that was used.

Mind you, I know that things have changed a great deal in the UK, and cops are no longer Boy Scout leaders. But the reason for this story is this: British cops have a different style of training from our police, who seem to think that they are an occupying force, and that they have to keep the natives at bay. This is similar to what I observed when I lived in Los Angeles, California. Some cops there treated people of colour, especially black males, as criminals and enemies.

In Jamaica, the cops often address a fully grown man or woman as "Bwoy" or "Gal". So this type of hostile mindset, actually instilled in them by the ex-colonial power, still seems to me a part of the mentality of the Jamaica Constabulary Force.

Yes, we Jamaicans tend to be disorderly and undisciplined, which is partly due to slavery and our colonial history of rebellion, but the mutual distrust, suspicion and hostility that have developed between regular citizens and the police are a historical problem. However, Jamaica is an independent country now for 50 years, and it is past time that more trust be engendered between the police and the populace.

Sam Woods

Florida, USA

1772gifford@gmail.com

ADVERTISEMENT

POST A COMMENT

HOUSE RULES

 

1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper – email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy



comments powered by Disqus
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Poll

Do you think an increase in JUTC bus fares is justified at this time?
Yes
No


View Results »


ADVERTISEMENT

Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon
ADVERTISEMENT