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DCP Clifford Blake to appear before West Kingston Enquiry

Published:Tuesday | June 2, 2015 | 9:36 AM

Deputy Commissioner of Police, Clifford Blake, is to take the witness chair when the Tivoli Commission of Enquiry resumes this morning at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston.

DCP Blake had been tasked with coming up with a tactical plan for the 2010 police-military operation to nab drug kingpin Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke, who was wanted by the United States.

The enquiry is set to resume at 10 o’clock.

Meanwhile, the briefing given to a contingent of police personnel in the hours before they were deployed to Tivoli Gardens came under much scrutiny yesterday.

The Enquiry heard evidence from Assistant Commissioner of Police Leon Rose that he and then Police Commissioner Owen Ellington briefed the nearly 150 policemen and women just before they left the Mobile Reserve Division, in St Andrew.

However, Rose faced a grilling from attorney for the Office of the Public Defender (OPD) Lord Anthony Gifford, who sought to underscore that the briefing took place hours after the security forces had been given emergency powers in a limited state of emergency.

He also noted that it came a day after two policemen were ambushed and shot to death by criminals along Mountain View Avenue in St Andrew.

Rose, who headed the Mobile Reserve Division at the time, acknowledged that during the briefing he used the word ‘war’ twice.

But he sought to explain that it was used in the context of what members of the security forces faced in Coke’s stronghold.

Pointing to allegations made by residents of the west Kingston community of atrocities committed by members of the security forces, Gifford also questioned whether police personnel were affected by grief and anger following the death of their colleagues.

However, Rose was careful in his use of the word anger.