'We're sorry' Commissioner regrets St Ann police shooting

Published: Saturday | January 10, 2009

Lewin: Orders review of the procedures which led to the St Ann police shooting.

Commissioner of Police Rear Admiral Hardley Lewin has apologised for Wednesday night's unfortunate police shooting in Lodge, St Ann, that left a cop and four civilians, including a 10-month-old baby, injured.

In a release yesterday, the commissioner said a preliminary report from the Bureau of Special Investigations indicates that the shooting was clearly a case of mistaken identity.

At the same time, he has ordered Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of the Firearms and Use of Force Unit, Paul Robinson, to review the procedures which led to the shooting.

Lewin said the review is to determine what went wrong in order to minimise reoccurrences.

It was reported that the four civilians and the cop were shot sometime after an alleged robber was injured in a shooting near Gayle in St Mary.

Similar description

The police later intercepted a grey Nissan station wagon, fitting the description of the car the robber and his accomplices had used, when the unfortunate turn of events unfolded.

The commanding officer for St Ann, Superintendent Patricia Coulbourne-White, said the driver of the Nissan motor car complied with instructions from a police team to stop.

According to Coulbourne-White, after the car stopped, the police team observed suspicious movements in the car and the cops opened fire, injuring one of their colleagues, a 10-month-old boy, his parents and the driver of the car.

This is not the first time Commissioner Lewin is apologising for the actions of the police.

In March last year, the chief constable also expressed regret when 11-month old baby Broderick Wright was killed after a member of the Island Special Constabulary Force fired on a vehicle he was chasing along March Pen Road, Spanish Town.

At that time, Commissioner Lewin said the shooting was a violation of Paragraph 103 of the Human Rights and Police Use of Force and Firearms Policy of the Jamaica Constabulary Force.

The policy states: "Firearms will not be discharged at a vehicle simply because it has failed to stop at a road check or to immobilise the vehicle."