Yesterday, I saw Junior Minister in the Ministry of Tourism & Entertainment, Damion Crawford, #shelling #down twitter in his response to a #tweep (the name given to a twitter follower) who might have challenged him on his views of INDECOM (the independent commission established by parliament to investigate cases where extra-judicial killings involving members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force are either alleged or suspected). With the upsurge of questionable shootouts and civilian casualties, more than 35 in October alone, and public mistrust of the force and the rule of law, the need for accountability is more prudent than ever. But not according to Crawford. I decided to engage Crawford regarding his response to a “constituent”, as a public official and as a member of parliament (called to serve the people) and we ended up discussing his views on INDECOM. Here is how it all went down:(READ EACH SCREENSHOT FROM THE BOTTOM UP)
Though the minister raised some great concerns, he does so on the basis of a glaring fallacy: The INDECOM exists for the sole purpose of terrorizing the police. It is a fallacy that the police has constructed and is now being perpetuated by the minister. In fact, In a 2012 report presented by INDECOM to parliament, 20 officers were cleared by INDECOM of all allegations brought against them. I told the minister that much:
Though the minister’s opposition to INDECOM sounds like he has an axe to grind – his emotive language betrays any sense of objectivity or balance – I believe that his concerns ought to be considered even as we, the citizenry, hold INDECOM accountable. Moreover, the minister’s passionate dissent and insistence that INDECOM is irrelevant and is a failure is really an indictment on his seat (and those of his colleagues) in parliament; sitting there and doing nothing with the recommendations made by INDECOM, OCG(office of contractor general) et al, which will better enable them to carry out their functions. If INDECOM has failed, the government has failed. And as Sonja Stanley Niaah said, “When the citizens have no trust, the State has failed.” and, the citizens have ABSOLUTELY NO TRUST in the JCF (to investoigate itself in cases of alleged extra-judicial killings). You may follow Sonjah on twitter at @CultureDoctor
That said, I must say that I admired the cordial way in which the minister engaged me and I believe others will receive similar feedback if they seek to engage him rather than attack him because of his views. I have shared our divergent views, exchanged without being hostile towards each other, you decide what it is should happen.