Police Commissioner Gary Griffith yesterday opined that “people are reaching a conclusion without knowing what has transpired” concerning the deaths of two suspects while in police custody.
It was a statement meant to temper and bring down the tempo of allegations that are reaching a crescendo of music truck proportions which, if not tempered, could lead to something worse in a country where citizens are already riled up.
Mahatma Gandhi noted many years ago that “an unjust law is itself a species of violence”. It is what we must avoid – the perception that there is unjust law in this country, that poses its dangers to the country.
The country needs to know the facts surrounding the deaths of Andrew Morris and Joel Balcon, given that the autopsies showed that both men died from multiple blunt force trauma.
There are currently two investigations underway, a probe by the Professional Standards Bureau of the Police Service and another by the Police Complaints Authority. We hope they will yield answers to the questions which are rightly being asked and put to rest the allegations of wrongdoing in the deaths of the two men while in police custody,
The Law Association has gone so far as to call for outside, regional assistance to avoid any perceptions of a cover-up in the case.
This suggestion has been rejected by National Security Minister Stuart Young who at a news conference yesterday detailed conversations which he had with Commissioner Griffith and three acting deputies as well as the Director of the PCA, David West. National Security Minister Stuart Young said he is satisfied that the deaths are being thoroughly investigated.
However, at this time, with Carnival cancelled because of COVID-19, people are looking for all sorts of avenues to vent their frustration. That is why, in the interest of peace and justice, it is important that the investigations into the deaths of these suspects be done quickly, transparently and fairly.
It does not help that allegations continue to be made in the public domain. We can only hope that the full truth of what transpired with the two suspects will become clearer when investigations are completed.
We hope that there will be no cover-up. There must be justice for all in this country because, as Martin Luther King said: “An unjust law is no law at all.”
The public has been rallying for justice for Andrea, Ashanti, and other young women who were kidnapped and murdered, but true justice can only be achieved when that very justice serves everyone.
There are many missing pieces to this puzzle that must be filled. Without these missing pieces, none of us can ever feel confident that these deaths were without suspicion.
The country needs the truth and the only way to get it is to investigate. We hope that these investigations will not take years but will be completed swiftly in the interest of justice. Anyone found culpable must feel the consequences.
There must be no cover-ups.
The result of the investigation cannot be inconclusive or undetermined. There must be a firm conclusion.
Citizens must be told exactly why and how these two suspects sustained multiple blunt force trauma wounds and died. It is the only way that true justice can be served.