Wednesday, March 7, 2012

21 killed by Jamaica Police in first 6 days of March.

(Jamaica Gleaner) The Independent Jamaica Council for Human Rights (IJCHR) has called for a “survey” to determine the status of the “thousands” of police killings that have been investigated by the Bureau of Special Investigations (BSI).

IJCHR Chairman Arlene Harrison-Henry said the BSI, which was established in 1999 to probe incidents involving members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), has investigated scores of cases and there has to be some accountability.

“What has been the outcome of all of these investigations? Because that we don’t know,” Harrison-Henry told The Gleaner last night.

She added: “I personally fail to accept, based on my own work and where I sit, that each one (of these cases) is as a result of criminal confrontation.”

21 killed by cops

Her comments came as part of a chorus of outrage from local human-rights groups yesterday over the revelation by the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) that 21 people were killed by the police in the first six days of this month.

“That 21 persons should have lost their lives is bad enough. That these deaths occurred at the hands of those sworn to protect, serve and reassure is appalling and completely unacceptable,” Jamaicans For Justice spokesperson Susan Goffe told journalists during a press conference at its St Andrew headquarters yesterday.

Yesterday both National Security Minister Peter Bunting and Opposition Leader Andrew Holness expressed concern about the number of police killings.

Bunting issued a request to Police Commissioner Owen Ellington to review “the planning and conduct of operations to ensure that risk to the public is minimised”.

Holness maintained that while the police must be relentless in their pursuit of criminals, “it cannot be at the expense of the lives innocent people”.

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