Thu | Jan 17, 2019

IOC to investigate pepper spraying incident involving cops and public

Published:Thursday | February 15, 2018 | 9:43 AM
Screen grab taken from video footage of a brawl between members of the public and the police.

The Inspectorate of Constabulary (IOC) has been asked to investigate a video clip being circulated, depicting members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) in an altercation with members of the public.

The Police High Command, which has ordered the probe says persons who witnessed the incident and those involved should contact the IOC at 906-5325 or 754-8217.

Additionally, the original maker of the video is being urged to get in touch with the IOC to help facilitate the investigations.

The High Command says the JCF is committed to delivering professional services to members of the public.

However, it is also reminding citizens of their rights and responsibilities when they are stopped or are being apprehended by the Police under the Code of Conduct for Police-Citizen Relations in Jamaica.

The Press Association of Jamaica yesterday called on the Police High Command and the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) to launch an immediate investigation into the matter which involved Gleaner photographer, Rudolph Brown.

Brown has reported that while in the Cross Roads area, he witnessed a commotion apparently caused by attempts by the police to arrest a man.

He says he started to use his phone to record the incident and on being told to stop by a police sergeant he clearly identified himself as a member of the media.

Brown says he continued to record the proceedings and heard the police sergeant tell a constable to pepper spray him.

He says the police constable sprayed the substance directly into his eyes, causing him severe pain and distress.

The PAJ has condemned what he says is the blatant abuse of force by the police.