The Extrajudicial Killing of Ian Lloyd

Shar recently posted the following on her facebook page commenting on how speechless she was

It is a graphic video of a Jamaican police man shooting Ian Lloyd while he was rolling on the ground, defenseless after allegedly being beaten by that police man and his colleagues.  She tagged me in it but I’d seen it before and wasn’t going to comment again.  The footage disheartens, angers, and saddens me; I had forcefully pushed it from my mind.  I’m not and was not going to comment on the shouts that are apparently meant to egg on the policemen in their heinous acts – that’s a whole other story.

What I did focus on was that finally the police were caught in an act that many suspected of  happening – unarmed, defenseless, and maybe even innocent men and women being killed in cold blood by the island’s security forces.  Most Jamaicans know the story: “the men were pursued by the police and a shoot out ensued…after it ended, the men were dead and several guns were found on their person or near the body, including a .357 revolver with 3 spent shells and 2 live rounds.”  The refrain became so familiar that I think we simply became numb to it all and many ignored the consistency and uniformity of the police’s version.  We also, well many of us, ignored the protests of the dead men’s friends, family, and neighbours that an “innocent” has been killed in cold blood by the police.

Now, this man, Mr. Lloyd was accused of brutally killing his common law wife and his death was reported as one done while he was resisting arrest.  Listen, I don’t think this man was a prince if in fact he did as he was accused.  I wish I wasn’t in the position of feeling compelled to defend him but I am.  He should have been punished according to the law – not some under tree kick up “justice”.  Tooooooooooo long Jamaica and Jamaicans have been operating like we have no morals, values, and laws.  It has to stop.  A civilized population of people simply cannot be moseying on along like this at all.  With this kind of lawlessness, absolutely no one is safe from the whims and fancies of a police officer.

Truth be told, Jamaica makes me weary.  I love my country very much but with that love also means that I’m continuously heartbroken by things that happen there, and the effect those actions have on my friends and family.  I recall a week or so before Tivoli was invaded/taken back by the Jamaican security forces (please, just google it if you’re not aware because I don’t have the energy to explain just now) I sat in my apartment at about 1:30/2 in the morning in tears.  I’d just had a DM conversation about Jamaica with @justsherman and I felt so overwhelmed by everything.  By the time of the extradition request being finally signed and the unrest in Tivoli beginning I was so drained that the week when it all happened – May 24 to May 31 – I sat in my apartment totally depressed and sad.  I could not believe that what was happening in my Jamaica was happening.  Sometimes I still can’t fathom what our security forces did and what our government sanctioned – especially since “those people” were created not in small part by the actions of our politicians.  Fellow blogger Mamachel posted Longest Journey Home Part 1, which was as good an articulation as I could have made about how I feel about the Tivoli Situation.  So that’s me and Jamaica, in a nutshell.  Much much love for the country that’s in my blood but with all the triumphs and successes we’ve had, we’ve had equal if not more heartbreak too.

A young man’s comment on Shar’s status really set me off.  So below is our exchange: summaries of his posts with some quotations because I do not have permission to post his comments in their entirety (and I’m not likely to get it either *snort*).  My comments are exact reproductions of my own responses on facebook…I have not edited anything that I’ve said, and I really am not going to add much else because it’s long already.

Young man’s first comment amounted to an argument saying that Mr. Lloyd should have expected to be shot by the police officer after throwing the rock.  He calls the police actions “excessive force” and not murder, since the police were justifiably mad and needed only an excuse to kill Mr. Lloyd.  He has no sympathy for Mr. Lloyd, who should have “meekly taken the beating and not resist in any way.”  Furthermore “[a]ll the officers on scene however are culpable for not handcuffing the guy and taking him to the station. What a disgrace.”

So I read this while on my phone and I’m thinking, do I really have the energy and patience to type a response on this itty bitty keyboard…I found it because something niggled at me not to let this slide

Who cares how mad the police are? What self-defense – because that’s what you’re claiming Roy – can be claimed with rock vs gun? As bad Jamaica is it STILL has a criminal justice system. It appears that this man would have been charged with murder so let the system work. Rules are there for a reason & when we start saying “o don’t apply it this time” or “well this one needs the rule applied to the T” then we’re up shit’s creek. Just be consistent with things. Therefore, I find NO excuse for this or any other extrajudicial killing. The police have committed murder in my opinion and I hope they are duly convicted of such. Because now we have another case of justice taken into the wrong hands = more mistrust of the police force and other authority figures in Jamaica = no faith in allowing the system of laws that we have to work for ALL our benefit = the GOOD police officers can’t do their jobs = Jamaica is fucked again. Pardon the strong language but this is where Jamaica is. Between May 24-31 we had the state entering a community and killing 73 + people but there are reports of many many bodies being burnt before official counts began. Some TG residents can’t find their relatives. And why? Because the authority structure failed in TG (and other places) so a vacuum was created allowing someone like Mr. Coke to reach in & take hold. And what has come of it? Two months of a period public emergency in which the rights of hundreds of thousands Jamaicans had NO rights. A period in which I believe over 10,000 Jamaicans were rounded up without charge; many released without charge, all had fingerprints taken. That kind of path begins with atrocities like what is depicted above; it should never be condoned in any way, shape, or form. Plain wrong and not what a civilized country should tolerate.

His response (after several deletions and edits on his part) was that I should not get “things twisted” since he stated that “The beating by the uniformed officer seemed excessive and punative. All the officers on scene however are culpable for not handcuffing the guy and taking him to the station. What a disgrace.”  Apparently when one throws a rock at a police officer one should expect to get shot and “[h]ad the man been lying on the ground and not responding to then verbal taunts from the officer or moving in a aggressive manner then that would have been a cold blooded execution. This was not an extrajudicial execution.”  He then referred me to this video for an example of an extrajudicial killing saying that “that is extrajudicial killing.  Murder.  What I saw in the Jamaican case was tame by comparison.”

My response, which admittedly is an epistle is as follows

You have also said: “The cops were mad and wanted an excuse to kill him. The guy should have meekly taken the beating and not resist in any way. He chose to lash out – and gave the cops the opening they felt would justify the killing. I would call the shooting excessive force – not murder.”

I take great umbrage with that kind of thought process and analysis, and did not twist anything you said. In fact your thought process is disturbing to me and should be to any other citizen of a civilized country. It brings great clarity to the shouts heard in the video that were meant to egg on police in their murderous acts. The police officers are culpable for more than not arresting the man and bringing him to the police station for further proceedings in accordance with the law; they – and they are not alone as we have heard MANY a story about how suspects were killed in a shoot out or while resisting arrest – are guilty of acting COMPLETELY outside the bounds of the laws that there are supposed to uphold.

Extrajudicial punishment is defined as “by the state or some other official authority without the permission of a court or legal authority.” (seehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extrajudicial_punishment) AND extrajudicial is defined as “(a) not forming a valid part of regular legal proceedings <an extrajudicial investigation>; (b) delivered without legal authority; or
2 : done in contravention of due process of law <an extrajudicial execution>” (see http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/extrajudicial).

What about what is depicted in the video of the Jamaican police officer that is NOT OUTSIDE the bounds of their duty, the law, and any acceptable moral guidelines?

What the Jamaican police did to that man is wrong. It was also an extrajudicial act that must be punished. There is no way around it in my opinion. Actually no, this is not merely an opinion, this is fact.

The man was defenseless on the ground with no hope of any “proper” retaliation for a beating, which he most certainly SHOULD NOT have taken “meekly.” NO citizen of Jamaica should meekly take a police beating because he’s accused of a heinous crime. His punishment lies in what is prescribed in the laws that come out of Gordon House. Likewise, no citizen of the US should take an interrogation room beating because the police want to beat him into submission to get information or to teach him a lesson. When the latter happens here there is great hue and cry; why should it be any different in Jamaica?

The principles are the same – the police are to investigate, protect, serve, and solve crimes – NOT mete out justice as they see fit. It is the people of the country through the laws they urge/demand their representatives to make who decide on the punishment for alleged criminals like the man in the Jamaican video. The assessment of whether throwing the stone justified any retaliation by the police or charges under Jamaican law is to be made in a court of law, with the law being applied to the facts in a systematic and clear way, and not under a tree in front of members of the community. How do we know that these police officers didn’t have some OTHER grudge against the man? Was one a relative of the murdered woman? In fact, in all honestly WE DON’T KNOW exactly what the motivations for the beating and murder are – the exact reason why the police officers should not have taken and should never take the law into their own hands. They should not be acting OUTSIDE THE BOUNDARIES of Jamaican law. They should not be acting extrajudically.

The Nigerian video is just as disheartening but according to that footage and commentary, those killings were committed with the complete sanction of the Nigerian government. So while it is disgusting, sad, and angering to see so many young men laying dead after battling with their own countrymen, the killings are not extrajudicial because they were sanctioned – i.e. done with the legal authority of the government putting down what it terms an insurrection. A war if, you will. While there seems room for discussion and condemnation about the manner in which the quelling of the purported Islamic group was done, this does not fit into the same category as the video of the Jamaican police shooting a man who is rolling on the ground in pain after a beating who has enough strength left to fight back by THROWING A STONE. Please do not confuse the two situations; they are quite different. It would be better if you compare the Nigerian situation to the Jamaican military incursion into Tivoli Gardens; much more similarities with that, I think.

Mr. Lloyd (the man in the Jamaican video) was apparently NO angel if in fact he killed his wife so brutally. And if so, he deserved appropriately harsh punishment. But that in no way excuses the manner in which he was killed. I do not think any Jamaican should stand for that. Our country – I’m assuming you’re Jamaican as well – needs ALL the help it can get operating within the boundaries of the law (from police matters, to investment in the country, to not littering, to traffic laws…EVERYTHING). These three policemen have again done their country a great disservice and should be legally & appropriately punished – just as Mr. Lloyd should have been.

I. Cannot. Handle. Disregard. For. Human. Life. And. Disrepect. For. Law. And. Order.

Is this really how he and others like him expect Jamaica to continue? Yes I am aware things were not and are not all peachy and by the book but good God Almighty!! We. Cannot. Continue. Like. This.

_____________________________________
mood: IRATE
sounds:
Top Chef rerun

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Comments
8 Responses to “The Extrajudicial Killing of Ian Lloyd”
  1. Corve says:

    I was a bit depressed after watching this video because of the circumstances. Clearly what the police did was wrong but if you listen to the clip carefully you’ll notice the citizens are cheering on the police which to me is the bigger story. As Jamaicans we have lowered our standards and have given up our rights-I am not entirely surprised though. This happens all the time with the CCN reporting incorrect stories to the public.

  2. Yes, the cheering on of the police officers is a bigger story for sure. I think that the cheering is indicative of of so much that has gone wrong with Jamaican society. I’ve been thinking about what it really means about us but haven’t distilled all my thoughts yet. Of course it is really quite sad to see fellow Jamaicans egging something like that on…but I am strangely not surprised.

    As for the CCN, I believe @rtrowe rightly commented that its function/role is now totally compromised; it needs to be disbanded. How can we really ever trust statements it issues? Well how did we ever come to trust – or is it accept? – the ones it issued before Mr. Lloyd’s murder?

  3. Ms. Nikks says:

    Can’t bring myself to watch the video, but I agree with both of you that something is wrong with Jamaican society. They’ve grown so hard and cold. Death is so common and nothing shocks them anymore. I remember watching a video of a mentally ill person threatening to jump out of a window and the crowd below egged him on. He landed on a gate with very sharp points and barbed wire I believe. That made me sick. Not even the fact that he jumped, but that people egged him on.

    I’m just sickened by the things they live with everyday and accept as normal!

    • Goodness! I’d not known of that video of the madman, but it reminds me of the incident at Utech where a young man was apparently caught stealing. A crowd of students and the security guard chased him across the campus and eventually he fell into the pit/sewerage system. No one would help him out and see him arrested so he drowned in the shit pit. To my knowledge, no one was ever charged in relation to his death…and while I understand the railing against thieves, that kind of vigilante justice is just wrong. It eventually harms us all because we could be the next one chased, shot, or encouraged to jump…

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  1. […] incidents involving the security forces and civilians.  Sometimes it’s blatant as with Ian Lloyd, an incident that inexplicably isn’t dealt with appropriately by the justice system, other […]

  2. […] Ian Lloyd was killed by a police officer – who was later acquitted of murder — a haunting part of the video that captured his death […]

  3. […] Ian Lloyd was killed by a police officer – who was later acquitted of murder — a haunting part of the video that captured his death was […]

  4. […] gunmen? Is it the human rights reputation that is created by a twisted idea of justice where a mob (or a police officer) attacks those thought to have done wrong (whether rape, murder, or spousal abuse, or being gay) […]



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