Sun | Feb 23, 2020

Montague orders probe of social media video

Published:Tuesday | November 22, 2016 | 12:00 AMLivern Barrett
Robert Montague

National Security Minister Robert Montague has directed Police Commissioner Dr Carl Williams to conduct an immediate and thorough investigation into allegations made against senior members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) in a video being circulated on social media.

The seven-minute-and-33-second video features a former member of the JCF, Tyrone Brown, accusing senior members of the force of being involved in extrajudicial killings, having close ties to criminal elements, and facilitating perpetrators and other alleged acts of corruption.

"Jamaica, let me tell you, you can't trust the police. I tell you plain, you cannot trust the police. It's a corrupt criminal entity and any police who speak out in danger," Brown said in the video.

In a statement released on Monday, the Ministry of National Security said Montague has taken "careful note" of the video.


Plan of action


Further, the ministry said Montague has brought it to the attention of the police commissioner and the chairman of the Police Service Commission.

The statement said Montague has also demanded a plan of action "to address the charges if they are found to be valid".

"If we are to defeat crime and violence in the country, Jamaicans must be able to trust their national security institutions enough, especially the police, in order to become fully engaged in the fight against criminality and the forces of lawlessness," Montague said.

Speaking during a news conference earlier yesterday, head of the JCF's Criminal Investigations Branch, Assistant Commissioner Ealan Powell, confirmed that the man in the video was removed from the JCF in 2014, but dismissed as "malicious" the allegations made in the video.

"A full report will follow, but my initial comment is that a lot of what I saw is malicious, mischievous and probably reckless," Powell told journalists.

In a statement last night, the Police High Command reiterated Powell's claim that Brown's comments were false, malicious and libellous.

Before outlining the circumstances under which Brown left the Force, the High Command said all of the police officers named in the social media post had instructed their attorneys to institute civil action against him.