Jamaican Adventist Leader Speaks Out Against Extrajudicial Police Action
6 December 2018 |
Glen Samuels, president of the West Jamaica Conference of the Adventist Church, recently appealed to the Jamaica Constabulary Force to avoid extrajudicial actions toward suspects that are ultimately freed by courts.
According to the Jamaica Observer, Samuels was speaking last month at the first-ever Annual Security Forces and Youth Mentorship Prayer Breakfast hosted by the West Jamaica Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.
“Can I say a truth that may not be the most comfortable truth to declare? That matter of the guilty walking free can cause something to grow on the inside that if you are not careful you may yield to the temptation of giving a kind of justice that is not according to law. I urge restraint, even in the face of the guilty walking free for there is a God who reserves final justice. There is a God in heaven that, unless the guilty repent, there shall be no escape,” said Samuels.
“I know the frustration when you build a case and you have to watch the guilty walk free because the justice system requires, and rightly so, that every person is innocent until proven guilty,” said the Adventist leader.
To combat errors in administering justice, Samuels proposed strengthening talent recruitment for the investigative arm of law enforcement and improving training for officers dealing with violent crime.
The Annual Security Forces and Youth Mentorship Prayer Breakfast was held to appreciate the efforts of police during a period of enhanced security in Jamaica which has included the declaration of a state of emergency to deal with violent crime in the St. James area of the island this year.
According to the Adventist denomination’s Office of Archives Statistics and Research, there were 304,021 members and 683 churches in Jamaica as of June 30, 2017.