Front line police personnel, especially those on special squads, have told The STAR that organised criminal gangs have been targeting feared lawmen by intentionally accusing them of instances of police brutality and questionable shootings.
The lawmen claim to have noticed an islandwide trend in which ‘brand name’ policemen, even though nowhere near the scene of a shooting, were being named by citizens as having carried out such acts.
These citizens, the police claim, are under the control of community enforcers who use the ruse as a ploy to have highly recognised crime fighters reassigned pending investigations.
The Star was told of a case in the St Catherine South Police Division, in which a woman reported that a popular cop had “taken away” her babyfather and had murdered him. Upon investigating, it was discovered that the policeman in question was halfway around the world in China.
Renowned crime fighters
Though Deputy Superintendent Clive Blair of St Catherine South could not confirm the incident, one of Jamaica’s most renowned crime fighters, Superintendent Cornwall ‘Bigga’ Ford, head of the Flying Squad, confirmed the gangs’ modus operandi in trying to rid the streets of tough crime fighters.
“We hear it and the police high command is aware of it,” said Ford, a 36-year veteran whose street experience has spanned decades of infamous gangsters such as Anthony ‘General Starkey’ Tingle, Wayne ‘Sandokhan’ Smith, Nathaniel ‘Natty’ Morgan, and Christopher ‘Natty Chris’ Henry. “We know it is a ploy they have been using. Not that alone, other things to get people off the street, people who are very active and will pursue them at any costs.”
Affected cops believe the gangsters are using the bark of Jamaicans For Justice and the bite of the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) to gain an advantage on the streets.
A police source from the St Andrew North Division, which has volatile areas such as lanes off Red Hills Road and Cassava Piece on its radar, said the gangsters are no fools.
“There is a concerted effort by organised criminal gangs to use organisations such as INDECOM, Jamaicans For Justice and other well-thinking organisations as weapons against well known police figures,” he said.
“This has the effect of dissuading the officer from engaging these complainants, as any interaction would then seem to be malicious on the part of the officer,” he explained, naming some of his colleagues whose aliases at times impossibly place them all over Jamaica.
“I have heard all types of stories with the more popular names being ‘Half A Dog’ from Spanish Town, ‘Bad Man Adams’ from Clarendon and ‘Jason’ from Portmore,” he pointed out. “As soon as a policeman, or even woman, becomes renowned for no-nonsense measures, all of a sudden they become targets for malicious complaints against them, no matter where in the world they are.”