Member of Parliament for East Rural St. Andrew, the People’s National Party (PNP)’s Damion Crawford has drawn condemnation following his latest broadside against the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM). Addressing a PNP Conference on the weekend, Mr. Crawford charged that INDECOM, which was set up to probe controversial shootings and killings carried out by the security forces, was an enemy of the police which, according to the MP, who is no stranger to controversy, would mean that the investigative body would be an “enemy of the state.”

 In a statement issued a short while ago, the youth arm of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) has condemned what it describes as the reckless, inflammatory and dangerous statements made by MP Crawford. According to Young Jamaica, Crawford’s characterization of INDECOM as an “enemy of the state” is a boorish and alarming attack on a commission of the Parliament of Jamaica. The group says the comments were unworthy of a legislator, and in attacking a Commission of the Parliament, Crawford may have called into disrepute the legislature itself. The organization is demanding that Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller instruct Crawford to immediately withdraw his statements. Failure on the part of Mrs. Simpson Miller to rein in yet another intemperate outburst would send the worrying message that the government, of which Crawford is a State Minister, condones his incredibly juvenile behaviour. Young Jamaica says it is deeply concerned that there appears to be a move afoot in the PNP to undermine the legitimacy and effectiveness of the oversight body. The JLP youth arm is calling on the PNP to make its position clear on INDECOM.

This latest attack on INDECOM comes a week after chairman of the Police Federation Sgt. Raymond Wilson suggested that the agency was responsible for the death of woman constable Crystal Thomas. Sgt. Wilson made the remarks on August 9 as he addressed mourners at the Constable Thomas’ funeral.


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