IN JAMAICA (Funeral of murdered cop Constable Crystal Thomas): Federation blast INDECOM, rights group, politicians, at slain cops funeral... That is the value of the life of a police officer — Wilson

BY PAUL HENRY Co-ordinator -- Crime/Court Desk henryp@jamaicaobserver.com  Monday, August 10, 2015 
01
The pain of  a lost loved one shown
POLICE Federation Chairman Sergeant Raymond Wilson, yesterday, spared no punches as he slammed rights groups and the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM), the system of garrison politics, and the financiers of criminals, whom he said were all responsible for the death of Woman Constable Crystal Thomas, who was murdered in Kingston while heading home on a bus, last month.
Wilson appeared to slight security minister Peter Bunting during his scathing address at the funeral service for Thomas, which was held at Ebenezer Fellowship Church of God Seventh-day in Spanish Town, St Catherine.
Chairman of the Police Federation
 Sergeant Raymond Wilson being
comforted by Corporal Arleen
 McBean, executive member
 of the federation.
Bunting -- who sat between Commissioner of Police Dr Carl Williams and Opposition spokesman on security Derrick Smith -- appeared uneasy as Wilson delivered the barbs to the encouragement of mourners inside the crammed church.
A hush fell as Wilson recounted a conversation with Bunting prior to Thomas's death about the provision of transportation for Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) members who work late at nights.
The pain of the loss was etched on the
 faces of colleagues of murdered
 cop Constable Crystal Thomas.
Wilson said he asked Bunting, during a negotiation, if he was waiting for a police officer to be murdered while using the public transportation system before a bus is made available to take them home after work.
He said the minister's response was that no money was available to fulfil that request.
"That is what the value of the life of a police officer is," Wilson told mourners in his no-holds-barred address.
The outspoken Wilson said that for too long administrators have been giving police "basket to carry water" and it should now stop as he called for the support of the wider society.
Prior to Wilson's address, Smith called on Bunting to make the provision of transportation for police officers who work late -- especially female cops -- a reality.
However, Bunting, who spoke after Smith, but before Wilson, stayed clear of the transportation issue.
Jamaica Constabulary Force pall-bearers carry
the body of their slain colleague Constable
Crystal Thomas
To wild cheers, Wilson made a spirited call for Thomas to be posthumously awarded the medal of gallantry, saying she died fighting for her life and the lives of the passengers on the bus she was on.
Thomas was gunned down on Spanish Town Road, in Kingston, on July 14, while making her way home.
Twenty-nine-year-old Marlon Cherrington, otherwise called Kemar Anderson, of Kidd Lane, Kingston 11, was held a day after the murder. He, however, died two Fridays ago, days after being assaulted at the Hunts Bay police lock-up, where he was being held. The police commissioner has ordered a probe into Cherrington's death.
Twenty-four-year-old Thomas had been a member of the constabulary for four years.
Yesterday, the large church couldn't contain the huge crowd that turned out to bid farewell to Thomas. A dry eye was difficult to spot among mourners, many of whom had to settle for standing on the outside. more

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