Legal Wranglings: Duties and powers of the police
A group of vendors had to part two men last week, who had pulled knives on each other while engaged in a heated argument about police brutality.
"Look how long we have been telling the two of them to done the argument, and now they want to commit murder," one higgler remarked.
"I don't know how them get so involved in police and protesters business in America, when they don't even have visas," a woman said.
One of the men took time out to explain to passers-by what had happened. He said he was busy selling his vegetables when the other man left his goods and came over to where he was to ask what he thought about the killing of the five policemen in America.
"I told him that, from what I had read, and seen on television, black people were just fed up with the way some white policemen were treating black people," he said.
"When I told him two wrongs don't make a right, and the shooter had no right to kill those five innocent policemen, he got into a rage.
"He said I was a police informer and, because my brother was a policeman, the police were always right for me.
"I told him he was wrong about what he was saying because if I did not see my brother was brutalising anyone or dealing unfairly with people.
"I was going to tell him to stop it. He started cursing me, saying that my brother was a wicked policeman because he saw my brother using his gun to beat an innocent youth.
"I asked him what he knew about my brother and he began shouting that my brother was a wicked policeman, who soon got kicked out of the force. He was even shout, "Thank God for INDECOM" which is there to deal with wicked policemen, like my brother, he said.
"He was even shouting and saying that it was policemen, like my brother, who had caused the Government to be spending millions of dollars of taxpayers money for the Commission of Enquiry into the killings in Tivoli."
He admitted that he really felt upset when he heard the man saying those horrible things about his brother. He said his brother was not even stationed in Kingston during the Tivoli incursion.
"People hearing him talk those things about my brother will believe him and can try to kill me. I told him to stop because he was putting my life in danger. He just refused to stop. I had to put and end to his false accusations so I picked up my knife and grabbed him.
"He grabbed a knife as well. but if I really wanted to hurt him, he would not have had time to grab a knife. I decided the argument was not worth me going to prison.
"All needs to be done is for citizens to respect the role of the police and they, in turn, respect the rights of citizens, treat them fairly. I tell my brother the same all the time. I tell him he must abide by the law," he added.
Section 13 to 25 of the Constabulary Force Act states, the duties and powers of the police include keeping watch, by day and night, preserving the peace, detecting crimes and effecting arrests.