CHAIRMAN of the Police Officers’ Association (POA) Senior Superintendent (SSP) Wayne Cameron is angry about recent comments made by attorney-at-law Isat Buchanan in which he labelled police officers as “uneducated with five CXC subjects”.
The comments were made on a recent broadcast of Radio Jamaica‘s evening current affairs show Beyond the Headlines, which explored the issue of the Government’s ability to indefinitely detain people during the state of emergency pursuant to Section 33 of the Emergency Powers Act.
The discussion was in relation to a case before the Supreme Court relating to five men detained under the state of emergency detention orders signed by the minister of national security.
During the radio interview, Buchanan, who forms part of the legal team representing the men, asserted that the Emergency Powers Act is in breach of the constitution and the minister of national security was “acting on the whim of uneducated police officers with their five CXC subjects”.
“The unconstitutional aspect, to put it in lay man’s terms, is that the minister is not allowed to twiddle his thumbs or drink his coffee and decide who will I detain today and who will I say can never go home until I say so. The constitution, as you know, is the don of all dons…what was certainly put before the court today and the decision of the court is that you cannot arbitrarily take away the liberty of the citizens of this country because you are acting on the whim of uneducated police officers with their five CXC subjects — unacceptable, and I am very unapologetic about saying that, because all the information that the minister flicks with his pen comes from the foot soldiers who sometimes have personal vendettas against these young men, and we cannot turn ordinary men and women into criminals. That is not what the drafters of our constitution, the Charter of Rights, which is recent, would have envisioned,” said Buchanan in the July 22 edition of Beyond the Headlines.
The POA chairman, however, shot back at Buchanan on Saturday at the funeral for Constable Decardo Hylton — one of three cops who died after a firefight with gunmen at a house in Horizon Park, St Catherine, last month.
“No convicted felon has the moral authority to refer to the police as uneducated,” Cameron said in reference to Buchanan’s 1996 drug case in Jamaica, which was expunged, and his subsequent 1999 drug conviction in the US which saw him spending 10 years behind bars.
SSP Cameron added that, despite Buchanan’s comments, any police officer can choose to attend law school. However, Buchanan, he said, cannot enter the police force.
(Read more at:- http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/cops-blast-buchanan-for-uneducated-comment-attorney-apologises-says-he-meant-no-offence_199504)