Fri | Dec 4, 2020

McKenzie wants municipal cops in viral video suspended and investigated

Published:Wednesday | June 17, 2020 | 11:16 AM
A screenshot from a video showing St Catherine municipal officers destroying the goods of venders in Linstead.

Minister of Local Government and Community Development Desmond McKenzie is calling for the suspension and investigation of personnel from the St Catherine Municipal Police who were caught on video using sledgehammers to destroy the goods of a number of vendors in Linstead.

The recording has since gone viral.

“It is a disgusting and disrespectful act,” said McKenzie in a statement today.

“I have spoken with Mayor Norman Scott, who is the Chairman of the St Catherine Municipal Corporation, and I am expecting a report on this incident by the end of the day.

“I cannot understand the thinking that informs the kind of action that I saw in that video, where people who are trained to ensure public order were instead using weapons of destruction to intimidate and bring down their fellow citizens. The Municipal Police are there to facilitate and enforce law and order in the Municipality, not to breach the law and undermine their authority in the process,” he continued.

McKenzie offered his personal apologies to the vendors and assured that they will be compensated.

“Let me make it abundantly clear, that action does not, and will never reflect any policy of this Administration towards vending. The powers to address vending do not include the arbitrary destruction of vendors’ property. These kinds of actions make it harder, rather than easier to earn the respect of our citizens.

“I also want to use this opportunity to call for all mayors to ensure that the Municipal Police within their jurisdictions are clearly reminded about the purposes for which they exist, and about the proper use of the powers that they have. They have been trained to promote and maintain law and order in service to the people of their jurisdictions. This incident totally derogates from that ideal, and it must never, ever happen again,” said McKenzie.

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