Sun | Oct 22, 2017

West Kingston Enquiry: I saw policemen laughing after 'teens' shot dead in Tivoli - Soldier Three

Published:Monday | September 21, 2015 | 11:59 AMLivern Barrett, Gleaner Writer

The West Kingston Commission of Enquiry this morning heard explosive testimony from a Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) soldier who revealed that he watched from about an "arm's length" away as two policemen opened fire with high-powered rifles on two young men sitting in a detention area with their hands bound behind them.

It was one of five killings the soldier, who is testifying before the commission from an undisclosed location, linked to the same group of about three to five policemen.

He recounted that after one of the killings he saw two policemen "laughing with each other".

The witness, who is being referred to as Soldier Three, said the first young man was killed shortly after the policemen entered the west Kingston community on May 24, 2010 and he overheard one of the lawmen saying "you know how long me waah come in ya so".

Soldier Three testified that he saw as one of the policemen "took his rifle and fired several shots into the caged area (detention area) hitting a young man" who was sitting with his hands bound behind him with a tie strap 10 feet away.

He said the man was shot in the head and fell to the ground with blood flowing from his head and other parts of the body.

The soldier said another young man who was in the cell began protesting and "another policeman took his rifle and shot him in the upper body".

"Did you see what happened to this young man?" asked senior legal counsel to the commission Garth McBean, who led him through his evidence.

"He fell on his back," the witness replied.

He said moments later the policeman who killed the first young man beckoned to a third man who was in the detention area.

"The young man went up to him and ask him if he was going to kill him and he said "no", Soldier Three recounted.

However, he said the policeman took the young man to a nearby house "and then I heard several explosions" and saw the cop return alone.

Later that day Soldier Three said he saw the same group of policemen approach a house and ask who were inside.

He said a woman answered and she was there with her two sons.

Soldier Three said the policemen ordered the two boys, who appeared to be in their teens, out of the house.

The soldier said he saw two policemen hold the boys by their collars and lead them to the back of the house. He said he overheard a voice saying "a shoot you ago shoot me".

"Then I heard several explosions coming from the back of the house where the two boys were taken," Soldier Three recounted.

"They [the two policemen] returned to the front of the house laughing with each other", he testified.

He said when he and another colleague went to the back of the house to investigate, they saw the two boys "laying in a pool of blood".