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Calls for PM, Security Minister to respond to 'police death squads' claims

Published:Monday | January 20, 2014 | 12:05 PM

Jovan Johnson, Gleaner Writer



KINGSTON, Jamaica:

There are calls for the Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller and the National Security Minister to respond to claims that there are death squads in the police force.




Yesterday, The Sunday Gleaner quoted a retired senior cop and a serving police officer as saying the killings of some alleged criminals were thoroughly planned by high-ranking police personnel and executed by police hit squads.



The police high command has since issued a statement rejecting the report.



However, Jamaicans for Justice, human rights lobbyist Betty-Ann Blaine and attorney-at-law Patrick Bailey say they are not comforted.



According to Bailey, the Prime Minister and the National Security Minister, Peter Bunting, should immediately begin an investigation into the claims.



Bailey says the retired policeman and the serving member of the Jamaica Constabulary Force, should be found and interviewed by both the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.



Jamaicans for Justice spokesperson, Susan Goffe says there is now need to revisit the 2007/2008 strategic report of the JCF.



That report had noted that police personnel were involved in illicit activities.



Convenor of Hear the Children’s Cry, Betty-Ann Blaine says the claim has come when public trust in the police is waning.



She says the Police High Command should prove that the allegations are not true.



One of the cops told The Sunday Gleaner that there was a group of masked policemen in Clarendon who traveled in an unmarked vehicle as they carried out raids and shootings of alleged criminals.



The revelation from the policemen came days after INDECOM disclosed that 258 civilians were killed in incidents involving the security forces last year, 39 more than the tally for 2012.



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