Wed | Jul 26, 2017

Senior cop says persons of interest being sought in policeman's killing

Published:Friday | July 24, 2015 | 7:00 AM

Head of the Criminal Investigation Branch Assistant Commissioner of Police Ealan Powell said yesterday that scientific and other methods employed by the police to date have proven conclusively that Constable Lynden Barrett was not killed by friendly fire.

The senior lawman said the police are pursuing three suspects, whom they deem as persons of interest, but said the names would not be released at this time.

Speaking on Radio Jamaica's 'Beyond the Headlines' yesterday, Powell said some residents of west Kingston, who claimed that Barrett was killed by his colleagues, made the allegations to distract investigators "and put the police in a bad light".

"I can say categorically, at this stage, we know that it was not done by any police officer. The scientific methods that we use, whilst not perfect, can give clear indications of what happened and so we can speak with a very loud voice as to what happened," Powell declared.

"We are relying on science that has been proven over and over again," the senior officer stressed, while refusing to give details on the scientific method used.

Powell said the police are sharing information with the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) as they conduct their probe.

Conflicting accounts

Yesterday, INDECOM said: "The circumstances of the officer's death have been met with very conflicting accounts and it is vital, in the interest of both the wider public and the JCF, that the allegations and concerns being expressed in some sections of the community are dealt with swiftly and independently," INDECOM stated.

INDECOM is appealing to any person who was a witness to Barrett's shooting to contact the commission at 1-876-878-0167 or call the tip line numbers: 1-888-935-5550 or 1-888-991-5555.