Policeman's killing shocks Mandeville
Published: Friday | December 11, 2009
The normally busy Mandeville town centre was like a ghost town on Wednesday night as news of the killing of Constable Toussaint James, 34, spread throughout the community.
James, who was stationed at the Mandeville Police Station, as a traffic officer, was shot and killed, while still in his uniform by two gunmen who ambushed him as he arrived home on Fisher Road at 8 p.m.
He served the force for 12 years.
Corporal Albert Simpson, a close colleague, said James, who recently celebrated his first wedding anniversary, was a quiet and hard-working policeman whose aspiration was to provide his wife and son with a good home.
With tears flowing, councillor for the Mandeville division, Sally Porteous, condemned the killing and called for the immediate resumption of hanging of persons found guilty of murder and, in particular, gunmen.
Law and order needed
Declaring "no society can exist without law and order," the councillor called on all residents of the parish to give their unwavering assistance to the police to apprehend the culprits.
Mayor of Mandeville, Brenda Ramsay, and other councillors also condemned the killing and observed a minute of silence during the sitting of the Manchester Parish Council's monthly meeting yesterday.
James is the 11th police officer to be killed since the start of the year and the 36th person murdered in the parish.
Member of Parliament for Central Manchester and Opposition Spokesman on National Security, Peter Bunting, has strongly condemned the policeman's murder.
"I am deeply outraged at this dastardly and brazen attack. We understand that Constable James was still in uniform as he was opening his gate. This exposes the utter disrespect that lawbreakers have for the men and women of our security forces," said Bunting.
Senseless, brutal murder
Acting Commissioner of Police Owen Ellington expressed similar sentiments.
"It was a senseless and brutal murder of a policeman which highlights the dangers police personnel face during the lawful execution of their duties and the brazen nature of the enemies we have to face daily, whether on or off duty,"
Ellington also expressed condolences to the family and friends of James.
National Security Minister Dwight Nelson also bemoaned the brutal slaying.
Nelson said the continued assault on members of the constabulary was reason enough for the entire nation to take stock and come together in the fight against the twin-headed monster of crime and violence.
"Far too many of the men of the Jamaica Constabulary Force are being killed by hoodlums who have no respect for the sanctity of life," Senator Nelson said.