It warms my heart to read the letter titled ‘Community must demand action’ submitted by Mrs. Theresa Lewis Pitcairn.
Theresa knows that she and her husband John and their lovely family have my undying love and respect that constitutes years of friendship and she will completely understand my response to her letter.
First and foremost, under common law, self-defence is not murder. As a professional martial artist and licensed security operative in the more risky careers of close protection and nightclub security, I have been involved in numerous combative situations in both self-defence and duty-bound details, both in the Cayman Islands and the United Kingdom where I now conduct business as well and I can guarantee that any fight between two or more individuals is not the clinical picture presented to the courts or media after the fact.
Thank goodness that most law-abiding citizens will never have to experience that reality for themselves. When reading the newspaper reports of the fight that has led to Theresa’s comments and the court’s decision that she obviously does not agree with, a strong element of self-defence comes out of the situation, as reported. Anyone who was not present as a participant or witness to the conflict cannot for sure say exactly what took place but obviously the court took into consideration the issue of provocation.
If Mr. Rodriguez was first attacked with a bottle to his head, as reported, he had every reasonable right to defend and protect himself as much as possible and that constitutes self-defence. The fact that he used a knife under the circumstances constitutes unreasonable use of force and the fact of Mr. Berry dying as a result makes him responsible for his death. It still does not negate Mr. Rodriguez’s right of self-defence.
To address Theresa’s other concerns with which I wholeheartedly agree, these are my comments.
When the politicians come calling for her vote, come May 2009, she and all other voters should address the following questions to them.
Ask them why the Private Security Law 2007 has so far been devalued by the RCIPS to a tax on the security industry with what seems like no commitment on their part to actually improve the security industry to provide the services that could have prevented that fight from taking place in the first instance.
I and my company provide such expert and professional services to the community and I am more than willing to face whatever charges the RCIPS would bring in the line of security-related combat involving use of force and the unauthorised use of the police baton, which the RCIPS continues to restrict to the security industry, if it means saving the life of one of my patrons and providing necessary security to the public who enjoy a night out of dancing and drinking, under reasonable and controlled circumstances.
Along with her other questions, ask them why the Caymanian population now has to contend with 26-30,000 work permit holders, more than half of the local population, who must be restricting the growth and advancement of a large percentage of the local population. Anyone who does not see this as a major reason for the frustration, anger and violence in the younger generation is merely blinding themselves to the fact, probably for their own selfish and self-serving reasons.
I guarantee you that at any of my locations to which I am contracted, that fight is negated before it even gets started so question the commitment of the RCIPS to its partnership with the community in helping and not restricting the security industry, which with its current administration of the new security law, it continues to do at the present time. I expect this situation to improve in the foreseeable future and I am not implying that the RCIPS does not support private security because they do, but restrictions on manpower mean that the police cannot be everywhere they are needed at the crucial time.
In that respect, that is the sole purpose of the private security industry, to be a front-line buffer in protection of the community.
And finally, my question to Theresa is this.
When will we see her cast her undoubted brilliance and ability into the political realm? She is guaranteed at least one confirmed vote.