Almost 600 people from the Diaspora in the UK, US, and Canada have joined entertainment blogger and record producer Wayne Brown in asking the Supreme Court to remove Major General Antony Anderson as the commissioner of police in the public’s interest.
“The time has come for the Commissioner of Police, Major General Antony Anderson, to truly give an account for his stewardship of the Jamaica Constabulary Force,” asserted Brown.
Brown said the filing is on behalf of Jamaican citizens and members of the Diaspora. He is represented by Donovan Collins.
Brown shared with the Observer, “I was motivated to list myself as one of the applicants to the lawsuit because the Public Service Commission and the Police Services Commission acted improperly and negligently when Major Anderson was selected Commissioner of Police. The lawsuit will cause politicians to stop interfering with the exercise of independent powers granted to such public bodies.”
According to the statement of facts in the lawsuit, Brown’s legal team claims that Jamaicans’ lives “have been negatively affected by the high rates and pervasiveness of crime, murders, and violence in Jamaica” and that “they have lost returns on investment made in business ventures in Jamaica as people are in fear of their lives and are hesitant to do business in Jamaica”.
Further, it argues that “since the appointment of the Commissioner, Jamaica has been experiencing wanton spates of crime and criminality, the homicide rates have increased over the continuing tenure of the Commissioner and are at epidemic levels by United Nations standards”.
Major General Anderson served with distinction for 34 years in the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF), culminating in his six years as Chief of Defence Staff. He has played a crucial role in modernizing the physical infrastructure, obtaining expensive equipment, and training troops to build a more adaptable, capability-driven force since joining the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) in March 2018.
Brown, though, seems unimpressed.
Brown remarked, “We were forced to file the lawsuit because no government officials were willing to hold the Commissioner of Police accountable and the Police Services Commission was not taking the time to review his contract and decides his fate. The Court is now called upon to adjudicate upon a case which is critical to national security.”
He also brought up the fact that, according to Insight Crime’s 2020 Homicide Report, the island had 1,323 murders in 2020, making it, “the most violent country in Latin America and the Caribbean region with the highest homicide rate of 46.5 per 100,000 people”.
The actions of the respondents, the Police Services Commission and the Public Services Commission, to maintain the Commissioner in the office are alleged to be “unfair because it unfairly frustrates the legitimate expectations of the applicants to the protection of life and property”. according to one of the grounds on which the lawsuit has been filed.
Another argument is that it violates the applicant’s right to the life and security of a person, which is protected by section 13 of the Jamaican constitution.
According to Brown, the high crime rates and poor State of Emergency crime-fighting tactics place a significant strain on the Jamaican people.
Brown said, “The Commissioner has the opportunity to now truly reflect on his tenure at the helm of the Constabulary and make a crucial decision.”
The assertion said that, in accordance with their separate regulations, the Police Service Commission and the Public Service Commission each have the authority to propose to the Governor General that the commissioner be forced to resign for the benefit of the public.
“The only acceptable thing for the Commissioner to do is resign forthwith in order to restore the morale of rank and file members and also to save the lives of many Jamaicans who could be killed because there are no proper policing activities in place.”