Sat | Aug 19, 2017

Killing of cops not politically motivated - Bunting

Published:Thursday | December 24, 2015 | 12:00 AM

That one of the officers killed in St Thomas on Tuesday night was assigned to the security detail of former Prime Minister Edward Seaga is not an indication that the murders are politically motivated.

National Security Minister Peter Bunting was strident in making this point and dispelling any connection between the murders and politics.

"I am not aware of any connection at this time that would suggest anything like that. The protectee also made statements similar to that effect, so I would not go down that road because we have not seen anything to suggest that it is so," he told The Gleaner.

Corporal Kenneth Davis and Constable Craig Palmer were killed in a drive-by shooting Tuesday night. Davis was assigned to the Protective Services Division of the Jamaica Constabulary Force and Palmer was assigned to the Kingston Western Police Division.

Both men are from St Thomas, and according to family members, they were very close friends.

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Bunting said while the police are following several leads, the strongest is related to a 2011 shooting incident.

"One of the avenues that are being explored is that there is a police-involved fatal shooting at that exact scene in 2011, and that this may be a reprisal for that. So I think that is perhaps a stronger course of investigation than any other that I have heard," he said.

Commissioner of Police Dr Carl Williams has said the full weight of the law will be brought to bear against the gunmen involved in the killing of the police officers.

On a visit to the parish to meet with the families of the slain cops, the commissioner said that a reward of $1 million is being offered for information leading to the arrest of the perpetrators.

He also condemned the killings noting that, "For the wider JCF family, this is a very dark day. We just lost two members and this is at a time when we were doing fairly well in terms of our ... anti-murder campaign, where we were seeking to reduce murders, and then we have this - two police officers slain. Words are not enough to express how we feel at this time."

andre.poyser@gleanerjm.com