Police shooting case verdict divides residents
Opinions were divided yesterday in Yallahs square, St Thomas, as police corporal Dwayne Smart was freed by the courts for the 2012 killing of 27-year-old Kay-Ann Lamont who was eight months pregnant at the time.
Lamont was shot twice during an alleged altercation with Smart after she was accosted for using indecent language.
Smart was also found not guilty of wounding with intent with regards to an injury to Lamont's sister who was also shot on the scene after allegedly intervening as the police carried her sister to the police station.
The incident sparked days of protest by angry residents. One man, claiming to be a relative of Lamont, said he was not expecting that verdict.
"Mi cousin just gone suh? And no justice? She was the innocent one! She and her baby, a dem innocent. Justice couldn't have been served when a pregnant, unarmed woman was shot and killed and her sister shot, all for cussing a bad word! She did just come from town and a tell people seh dem rob her. That's how we Jamaicans express we self," he sighed.
Others said they had lost faith in the justice system.
But others praised the verdict, saying the policeman is no murderer, but rather a 'community person' who has a good relationship with people in the area.
A group of women who claim they witnessed the incident said Lamont's sister swept away the policeman's foot causing him to fall with Lamont. They believe he became fearful and that caused him to pull his firearm.
"I think he got the justice he deserves because it looked like self defence to me. It is sad to know that she died like that but if it wasn't for her aggressiveness she would have been alive today. She was out of order," one of them said.
Others feel the policeman is a victim as his reputation is now sullied and even his wife has divorced him and migrated.