Over a two-year period, several police officers have been indicted for the fatal shootings of Jamaican citizens. On Tuesday, the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) expressed its anger and disbelief that within such a short time, over a hundred people were killed by an entity created to protect and serve the country, the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).
INDECOM also expressed that the Police High Command was not doing enough to curtail fatal shootings by police officers. Hamish Campbell, the deputy commissioner of the Commission stated that based on the analysis of numerous reports, a specific officer topped the group with the most fatal shootings.
Deputy Campbell reiterated that his office has not been indolent in making it known to the JCF that they are seeing the reports and that they need answers as to why this is so, but with that being said, it has been of no avail.
While they are working assiduously, Deputy Campbell stated on Thursday that the findings of the reports should raise a red flag for some officers who believe they are required to perform certain acts in the name of justice. Furthermore, the Commissioner indicated that INDECOM is aware that the country is facing an epidemic of crime that is spreading at an alarming rate, however, law enforcement should carry out their duties within the boundaries of the law when apprehending unscrupulous criminals.
Campbell then expressed sympathy for these officers by stating that if they are well within their rights to commit murder, then it has to be very stressful on them mentally, which would ultimately affect them physically. It would also make them unfit to carry out their duties in a just and legal manner when being repeatedly tasked by the JCF to carry out such demanding duties.
When an officer is engaged in a fatal shooting, it is required by the JCF and INDECOM that the officer receive mandatory counselling within 48 hours, and then a therapist will determine if this officer is to be removed from frontline duties for a period of time. However, based on reports that were given to INDECOM, most, if not all, of these officers resumed frontline duties immediately. It is also vital that, if the case is being investigated by the Commission, the officer be removed from duty until further notice.
Hugh Faulkner, the commissioner for the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM), reported that his office is probing a considerable number of reports of ill-treatment of Jamaican citizens during the past state of public emergencies by the forces tasked with protecting them.