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Isn't 'Excessive Force' a Relative Term_ Gone Again

Isn't 'Excessive Force' a Relative Term_ Gone Again

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Published by: silkcottonjumbie on Feb 19, 2011
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02/19/2011

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Isn't 'excessiveforce' a relativeterm?
Story Created: Feb 18, 2011 at 12:39 AM ECT
(Story Updated: Feb 18, 2011 at 12:39 AM ECT )
Police Commissioner Dwayne Gibbs has come under heat recently for comments concerning the useof excessive force in resisting criminal attacks.Much of the criticism against him has stemmed from emotive reactions and from the hopelessnessand helplessness which has gripped the nation in the fight against crime.However, Mr Gibbs has done no more than to state the legal position as it applies in Trinidad andTobago.Any criticism against him on this basis therefore is not only unfounded but also unresearched.What his comments have done, however, is to bring the debate concerning this matter back into thepublic domain.Recent events of retribution have the population cheering; perhaps it is time for the authorities torevisit the issue and educate the public on the matter.Surely if one's toe is stepped on in a Carnival fete, an appropriate response would not be to kill theperpetrator and so it is from this perspective that reasonable force and reasonable response must beviewed.If one's life, security and family are under serious threat of personal violence, then that is another matter that justifies reasonable response. As to the running down of a bandit and running him over witha vehicle, this scenario is fraught with difficulties since the driver assumes the role of judge, jury andexecutioner.The need for justice must not give way to false judgment since no one can ask any questions of theperpetrator after the deed is done.If the bandit is guilty, then by all means I have no difficulty with the death penalty, but I fear thatvigilante justice may open up a veritable can of mayhem.Has the time come for the authorities to review the legal position?Surely!Should one be allowed to kill or seriously wound a person who illegally and unlawfully enters one'spremises?Should firearms be more readily available?
Dograco
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Isn't 'excessive force' a relative term? | Trinidad Express...http://www.trinidadexpress.com/letters/Isn_t__excessiv...1 of 419/02/2011 05:14
 
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 1 day ago
WHO DONT HEAR HAVE TO FEEL,those two COCKROACHES gotexactly what they deserved and not one second too late
 1 day ago
I agree with you writer Mr. Gibbs did state the legal side of thisstory. The question is does a man have the right after the crime havebeen committed, to run or drive down the bandit running him over with his car? This cannot be, and Mr. Ali, though i sympathize withhim, yet i cannot condone his actions. The laws needs revisionotherwise what we will have is men and women going - seeking theperpetrators of crimes and delivering their brand of justice, a la trinistyle.
1 reply
 active 19 hours ago 19 hours ago
If the bandit just chopped one of my family members and beatthem then bet your bottom dollar I would not be in a state of mindto be philosophising about whether or not I should let the law takeits course. I would be in such a rage that I would seek out and doserious harm to these vermin who just committed acts of violenceagainst me and my family. Could I live with myself knowing thatthese two vermin had escaped to return again to my family attheir convenience because it was so easy the first time?Order cannot be restored in this country until the police start doingtheir jobs. As long as that does not happen people are going to beforced to do it for them.
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All these issues and more have been brought to the fore and require full public consultation and candiddiscussion.Imran S Khanvia e-mail
Isn't 'excessive force' a relative term? | Trinidad Express...http://www.trinidadexpress.com/letters/Isn_t__excessiv...2 of 419/02/2011 05:14
 
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 23 hours ago
if u dont want to institute the death penalty in the courts, then it willbe instituted on the streets.citizens hav a right to swift and accessible justice, and the currentsystem is not giving them that. all we are seeing is spillover justice.
 21 hours ago
This comment has been deleted by the administrator.
5 replies
 active 11 hours ago 18 hours ago
You missed the "reported fact that" the the police came 2 hourslater. What do you have to say about that?
 16 hours ago
what about the contempt the law has for victims of crime -police coming a day after called or not coming at all, casecoming to court in 5 years time, witnesses afraid to testify,files and evidence disappearing from the police station etc etc
 11 hours ago
Has no bearing on what I wrote.
 11 hours ago
There you go again Jumbie!!Looking at secular Law from somekind of Bibical or Koranic perspective where the claim of DIVINEINSTRUCTION, does NOT allow for debate.You seem to leaveout all the realities under which all our citizens face every day,lackof effective policing,lack of trust in the police,rampant crime,lowapprehension rates,a rusting judicial system,grave fear of being avictim of crime.In short the citizenry feel totally hopeless.While thecitizens should be cautioned about reacting to criminal acts,I get afeeling from your point of view,that law abiding citizens shouldremain passive,even when under massive pressure from the evilelements in our society.I understand where you are comingfrom,BUT we are living in very scary times bro!!!..Oh! By the way,this was NOT an act of vigilantism but a reaction to a heinouscrime that had just been committed.Vigilantism usually involvespre planning which is NOT the case here.
Isn't 'excessive force' a relative term? | Trinidad Express...http://www.trinidadexpress.com/letters/Isn_t__excessiv...3 of 419/02/2011 05:14

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