By Zaya Williams
In response to mounting concerns regarding the need for transparency and accountability within the country’s law enforcement, retired Assistant Commissioner of Police, Nuffield Burnette, is ramping up efforts to establish a Police Accountability Board.
Burnette asserts that the creation of such a board is not only crucial but also imperative to rebuild public trust in the police force. He has consistently championed the cause of an independent body empowered to investigate cases involving police officers. Burnette argues that without robust mechanisms for accountability, the public’s faith in law enforcement remains vulnerable.
“I keep asking for what is called an accountability board. I will keep asking for it until thy Kingdon come but in the absence of that it will seem as though we are not going to have any accountability from the police because at present nobody is accountable to nobody,” he said.
His persistent calls for accountability have gained renewed momentum following a tragic incident that unfolded on July 31. Mannie James, a 45-year-old individual, tragically lost his life during an encounter with law enforcement. The fatal incident occurred during a high-speed chase, initiated as part of a routine stop-and-search operation. Astonishingly, despite being unarmed, James suffered fatal gunshot wounds.
This recent incident, coupled with another concerning case involving the police shooting of mentally ill Rashawn Shabazz, has reignited Burnette’s impassioned plea.
In Burnette’s view, the primary role of such a board would be to conduct thorough investigations into allegations of misconduct and improper use of force by police officers.
Burnette’s unwavering objective is to see the law enforcement system transform into one characterized by transparency and accountability, fostering public confidence in the process.