Sat | Sep 26, 2020

St James cop in hot water over party shooting

Published:Friday | August 7, 2020 | 12:18 AMHopeton Bucknor/Gleaner Writer

A St James constable who has reportedly had multiple reports of misconduct made against him in the past is again under investigation following his alleged involvement in a shooting incident at an illegal party in the Spring Mount policing area earlier this week.

The Gleaner understands that the officer was ordered to report to the Freeport Police Station in Montego Bay following the incident. His licensed firearm was taken from him.

A number of spent casings were reportedly recovered.

Errol Chattoo, director of complaints at the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM), said that a complaint was made to his office, and an investigation has been launched into the incident.

“We would have also learned that the officer in question discharged his weapon on multiple occasions while at the party, and he was asked to report to the Freeport Police Station and turn over his firearm at the CIB Department, which he did. The weapon has now been sent off to the lab in Kingston for ballistics testing,” Chattoo said.

Reports are that the officer, who was recently transferred from the Freeport Police Station to Cambridge, attended a party in Flamstead, St James, on Tuesday at 2 a.m. while he was off-duty. Parties that go beyond 10 p.m. - an hour before the national curfew - would be operating in breach of COVID-19 protocols under the Disaster Risk Management Act.

The cop was allegedly seen consuming liquor, following which an altercation erupted between him and a businessman. The cop reportedly pulled his licensed firearm and discharged several rounds in the air, sending patrons running for cover. The businessman fled in a vehicle.

It is further alleged that the officer chased the businessman and fired more shots.

The businessman managed to escape and drove to the Freeport Police Station, where he made a report.

Meanwhile, a senior police officer told The Gleaner that the authorities are aware of past adverse reports.

“This is not the first instance where I have heard this officer’s name coming up in a case of misconduct, and the very fact that he was actually off-duty while attending a party being held at 2 o’clock in the morning is a clear breach of what the Jamaica Constabulary Force stands for and also a breach against the Disaster Risk Management Act,” the senior officer said.