No death squad - police high command
The Police High Command has come out swinging as it rushes to dismiss claims of the existence of a police death squad and the ordering of the execution of alleged criminals.
This follows claims by a retired senior cop and a serving police officer in a story published in today's edition of The Sunday Gleaner that the killings of some alleged criminals were thoroughly planned by senior cops and executed by the police death squad.
One of the cops, in justifying the killings, also reveals that a Hit Squad was established during his tenure in Clarendon, where he says there was a group of masked policemen who traveled in an unmarked vehicle as they carried out raids and shootings of alleged criminals.
However, in a release this afternoon, the High Command strongly denied the existence of any "death squad" or the sanctioning of unlawful killings by members of the police executive. The High Command says those making the allegations should prove it and report it to the Independent Commission of Investigations, which probes police fatal shootings and other alleged criminal conduct by the police; or to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.
It says the policemen should tell what they know with the confidence that they will be protected from reprisals so that those guilty can be brought to justice.
In defense of members of the constabulary, the High Command added that such cowardice is to be blamed for the country's current crime situation and said only courage will mend the problem.
The High Command hailed its members on the front line for their bravery and professionalism, noting that they constantly face death in their efforts to protect citizens.
It says the police need the constant support of Jamaicans and urged citizens to move swiftly to remove the cloud of suspicion that surrounds the manner in which they perform their duty.
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