Coroner's Court rules cops be charged 10 years after ganja-smoking man shot dead
Jamaicans for Justice (JFJ) has welcomed the jury's verdict of the Special Coroner’s Court in the inquest into the August 2005 death of Seaview Gardens resident, Neville Lemmon.
On Wednesday, a Coroner’s Jury handed down a verdict of manslaughter by gross negligence against unnamed police officers who were responsible for the shooting death of Lemmon on August 4, 2005.
The matter now proceeds to the Director of Public Prosecutions, who is responsible for initiating a prosecution in the Circuit Court.
Lemmon, a carpenter from Seaview Gardens, was shot dead by police officers while on his roof, allegedly smoking a ganja spliff.
It's reported that a group of more than 20 cops went to Lemmon’s home, purportedly as part of an unrelated operation in the area.
The police reportedly ordered him to freeze.
They claim that at that point, Lemmon attempted to pull a gun when they opened fire, lodging three bullets in his chest.
The gun that Lemmon is alleged to have had was never placed before the court, and the police maintain that they cannot locate it.
Lemmon was reportedly dragged by his feet, off the roof to the ground, and placed in a police car.
His family requested to take him to the nearby Kingston Public Hospital but the police denied their request.
It is reported that when they attempted to follow the cops, the police blocked their path with a vehicle and it took approximately 30 minutes for the police to transport Lemmon to the hospital.
A post-mortem revealed that he received a total of eight gun-shot wounds, five more than he reportedly received at his home.
After his death, the DPP declined to press charges against the officers, and referred the matter to the Coroner’s Court.
The JFJ says it is now time for the DPP to continue the process towards justice.
"JFJ calls for a thorough and timely prosecution of this matter," a JFJ spokesperson said in a release this afternoon.
"Neville Lemmon’s family has already waited ten long years for justice."