Public Defender monitoring cops arrests
Following last night's arrest of five cops in connection with the shooting injury of a 16-year-old student last Thursday, Public Defender Arlene Harrison-Henry, says the Ministry of National Security must rein in lawmen who use excessive force.
The cops, who are all from the Mobile Reserve, were picked up at 7:30 p.m. by detectives from the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM). They will face the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court after an identification parade and interviews are conducted.
Harrison-Henry said her office has received prior reports of taxi operators who had their vehicle shot at with passengers aboard. "Eyewitnesses are adamant that the police opened fire at the taxi and these allegations are contrary to the Jamaica Constabulary Force use of force policy so we are following it closely," the Public Defender said.
She told THE STAR that the incident was unfortunate in light of the recent recommendations by commissioners from Commission of Enquiry into the May 2010 security forces operation in West Kingston. "After just receiving the report from the commissioners that had strong words about the action of officers, you would hope this would deter excessive use of force," she said.
The cops arrests resulted from an incident in which police attempted to stop a 'robot' taxi at the intersection of North Street and Mark Lane in downtown Kingston. The taxi was transporting students of Convent of Mercy Academy (Alpha) and St Georges College. The driver allegedly refused to stop, and the lawmen reportedly opened fire at the vehicle, hitting a female student in the head.
The student is still being treated at hospital and INDECOM is asking anyone who can provide information about the incident to contact them at 1-876-968-1932, 1-876-878-0167 or visit their offices.