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INDECOM Launch Investigation Into Car Chase

(photo credit: Hopeton O'Connor Dennie)


February 7, 2022 | By Hopeton O’Connor-Dennie |

Jamaica’s Police watchdog agency INDECOM launched an investigation into members of the local police force after police officers used deadly force by firing a gun at a fleeing car. This is illegal and extremley dangerous.

A motorist (the suspect) who was driving a “Robot” aka illegal taxi, with a white plate, and it read as prescribed by law, was offered and given conditions to be granted bail.

Background

The illegal taxi he was driving was being occupied at the time with a number of passengers. This the police has alleged, was an infraction of the road traffic act as the vehicle was being operated contrary to its road license … the lawmen (the police) has revealed. The alleged traffic offender was being chased by the police in what has been described as narrow crowded streets in a built up area.

It is alleged that the illegally operated car had mowed down a motor cyclist as the operator/motorist made a bid trying to evade the police. In the video sounds and screams from alleged passengers can be heard appealing to the driver to stop so they could be let off. This never occurred as the driver ignored their pleas. The drama was indeed surreal. Reminucient of some movie scene.

Outstanding Traffic Tickets

The illegal taxi operator/motorist has been found to have raked up some 19 unpaid traffic tickets between 2020-2021.

That alleged law breaker should not have been on the road in the first place. This speaks volumes as to the seriousness of the system. People seem to get the system and exist in the society they deserve.

INDECOM

Police Firing Gun At Fleeing Car

INDECOM was set up to defend the respect for life and abuse of citizens’ rights especially by members of the security forces. Police discharging their firearm indiscriminately at a fleeing car filled with passengers is distasteful, demeaning, despicable and a disgrace as it has the potential to endanger the lives of innocent bystanders. This has happened in Jamaica ever so often.

Secondly, it is a violation of Force Orders in the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF). There has to be a safer way at policing.

Deadly Force

Deadly force should only be used if the police officer feels his life is in danger. A fleeing car does not create such a threat. INDECOM has to investigate and the DPP must be allowed to rule on the legality of the polices’ conduct in this car chase operation.

Two wrongs do not make for a right.

Commentary

INDECOM has acted decisively and correctly in seizing the firearms of the police officers. Let the law takes it. course and the chips fall where they may. This is shameful conduct by the police.

Hopeton O’Connor-Dennie is a poet, elegist, author, and senior international journalist who writes for Vision Newspaper.

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