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Police chief stands by his decision

Published:Saturday | March 31, 2012 | 12:00 AM

POLICE COMMISSIONER Owen Ellington has insisted that it was his prerogative to have the Jamaica Constabulary Force's (JCF) use-of-force policy reviewed.

The policy has been the subject of intense debate after the recent spate of controversial police shootings which have resulted in the deaths of more than 27 civilians this month.

Human-rights lobbies have argued that the existing use-of-force policy addressed, in very clear terms, some of the areas the commissioner said were being reviewed.

What was lacking, they stressed, was enforcement.

Ellington told reporters yesterday he appreciated that position, but insisted that "being the one who has to oversee it", he was entitled to review it whenever something occurs.

"We can't come to the public and tell them satisfactorily that we have exploited all lawful means to use force without causing similar injuries or casualties," he said.