55% Increase in Police Fatal Shootings Since 2017

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The Independent Commission of Investigation, INDECOM, says there’s a 55-percent increase in fatal shootings by members of the security forces since the start of the year.

INDECOM says 31 people have been shot and killed and another 11 shot and injured, in the first 58 days of the year.

INDECOM’s Deputy Commissioner, Hamish Campbell, says it’s a ‘worrying’ and ‘disturbing’ increase that should be addressed immediately.

Mr. Campbell says if fatal shootings by members of the security forces continue unabated, the country could see the number raising to 200 by the end of the year.

He says such numbers haven’t been seen since 2013, when 258 persons were killed by members of the security forces.

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Mr. Campbell says not all of those shot and killed during those incidents were armed.

He’s imploring members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force, JCF, to abide by its guideline and deists from firing at moving vehicles.

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Mr. Campbell says another worrying trend is the fatal shooting of mentally-ill persons by members of the security forces.

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He was speaking this afternoon at a media conference this afternoon at the agency’s Kingston office.

INDECOM says in 2015, 101 people were killed by members of the security forces. In 2016, that number was 111.

And Commissioner of INDECOM, Terrence Williams, is calling for parliament to amend the Committal Proceedings Act.

The legislation was passed in 2013 to speed up trials by not doing preliminary inquiries.

The court would instead use statements taken by the police at the committal proceedings. But Mr. Williams wants statements taken by other entities such as INDECOM to also be admissible at these proceedings.

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