Fri | May 6, 2016

$500k bounty for cop killers

Published:Sunday | November 18, 2012 | 12:00 AM
Colleagues of Corporal Robert Sortie in a sombre mood at the Motorised Patrol Division yesterday.-photos by Norman Grindley/Chief Photographer
Sergeant Marion Francis seems to be at a loss after hearing about the death of her colleague.

While grieving the loss of his colleague Corporal Robert Sortie, who was murdered last Friday night, the officer in charge of the police force's Motorised Patrol Division (MPD), Superintendent Ryland Salmon, is determined to defend his honour.

Salmon has shot down suggestion that Sortie was moonlighting by operating an illegal taxi when he was killed.

The slain cop was stationed at the MPD for some 22 years and was described by Salmon as one of his right-hand men. The superintendent said that the corporal was not involved in any corrupt activity.

"There is speculation that he might have been 'roboting' (operating an illegal taxi). I can rule that out. That is not the case," said Salmon.

Meanwhile, despite the half-a-million-dollar bounty being offered by the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) for information leading to the arrest and charge of those responsible for the killing of the corporal, investigators are yet to get any solid leads.

Fifty-year-old Sortie, a 23-year veteran of the JCF, is the second cop to be murdered in the island since the start of the year.

He was found dead in his car along the busy Constant Spring Road in the Corporate Area.

The cop's vehicle was parked in the extreme right lane on a bridge in the vicinity of the popular plaza called Market Place.

He was sitting upright around the steering with gunshot wounds to the head.

"At this time there is not much in terms of motive. There are no concrete leads. We are out trying to put one and one together," said Salmon.

gutted by killing

The superintendent also revealed that Sortie's colleagues have been gutted by his killing.

Police Commissioner Owen Ellington described the killing as unfortunate, unnecessary and a grim reminder of the dangers faced by members of the constabulary in the course of serving and protecting the citizens of Jamaica.

The head of the MPD said while the hearts of the men and women in the division have been broken by the death of their colleague, their resolve to find his killer will not bend.

"I just want to say to his family that we are going to do everything humanly and spiritually that is possible to bring those responsible for his death to justice in the shortest possible time," he said.