Christopher Thomas, Gleaner Writer
Family members of the three men who were killed in a controversial police shooting in Shrewsbury, Westmoreland, on March 15, yesterday expressed outrage when the two policemen charged in connection with the killing were offered bail in the Savanna-la-Mar Resident Magistrate's Court.
"They shouldn't get any bail, they should face the circumstances of what happened. This is not good enough. When they are wrong, they are wrong," said Roma Green-Myers, a cousin of the deceased men.
Twenty-eight-year-old firefighter Andrew Brydson, 24-year-old Triston Brydson, and their 38-year-old cousin, Kingsley Green, were killed during an alleged shoot-out with the police, who told the Independent Commission of Investigations that they were responding to a report that gunmen were in the area. The men's deaths resulted in days of protest by angry residents, who insisted that the police killed the trio in cold blood.
Constables Kenroy Hines and Damane Campbell, who were charged with murder in connection with the deaths of the three men, were each offered bail in the sum of $500,000, while Campbell was offered bail in the sum of $100,000 in relation to charges of perverting the course of justice, when they appeared before the Savanna-la-Mar Resident Magistrate's Court.
They are booked to return to court on September 12.
Yesterday, approximately 50 relatives and family friends, wearing T-shirts and carrying placards with their pictures, expressed outrage and disappointment outside the courthouse upon learning that Hines and Campbell, who were represented by attorney-at-law Peter Champagnie, had been offered bail.
Legal team ready
Speaking on the court proceedings afterward, Champagnie said Hines and Campbell had acted in self-defence, and their legal team would be prepared to uphold this claim in court.
"In making the bail application this morning on behalf of both constables, I reminded the court that the allegations included that an AK-47 rifle and a .22 Beretta pistol were recovered by the police, and those weapons do not form part of the Jamaica Constabulary Force's standard weapon issue," said Champagnie. "They (defendants) were responding to a call that they had received in relation to gunmen in the area. We maintain that both officers acted in self-defence, and we intend to defend this vigorously in court."