Prominent Human Rights Advocate Calls for Police Commissioner’s Resignation

A leading human rights advocate says it’s now absolutely imperative that there be changes in the leadership in the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) including the Police Commissioner.

It’s the first public call that’s been made for Police Commissioner, George Quallo, to go since his appointment in April.

Director of Jamaicans for Justice, Horace Levy, says this is necessary given the debacle over the JCF’s controversial administrative review of the West Kingston Commission of Enquiry report on the deadly 2010 operation.

And the Public Defender, Arlene Harrison-Henry, says Commissioner Quallo is now ‘severely compromised’ given his staunch defence of the report which the government says it cannot accept.

George Quallo was appointed Police Commissioner of the beleaguered Jamaica Constabulary Force only five months ago.

And already, there’s a call for him to go.

In an interview last evening on Nationwide@5, JFJ’s Horace Levy told Cliff Hughes and Patria Kaye Aarons it’s ‘an absolute imperative’.

The Public Defender also believes Commissioner Quallo is in trouble because of the administrative review which he’s publicly and defiantly declared he’s standing by.

Yesterday, National Security Minister, Robert Montague, said the government accepts the findings and recommendations of the West Kingston Commission of Enquiry.

The Commission’s report was critical of the conduct of the JCF and the Jamaica Defence Force during the May, 2010 operation which left more than 70 civilians dead.

It raised concerns that up to 20 people may have been the victims of extrajudicial killings.

By contrast, the JCF’s administrative review has cleared its members of any misconduct or dereliction of duty.

Mr. Levy says if the government accepts the Commission’s report there are a number of issues that follow which he says the government can’t skirt.

He says this would also include the need for a new JCF administrative review.

Mr. Levy again criticized the JCF, saying it lacks transparency and accountability.

He outlined another consequence which should result from the government’s acceptance of the report of the West Kingston Enquiry.

Assistant Commissioner of Police, Donovan Graham, was this month assigned by Commissioner Quallo to head the police Area One Division which includes the crime-stricken parishes of St James, Hanover and Westmoreland.

But he was one of five named senior police officers cited in the Enquiry’s report for dereliction of duty. The Commission said he and the other four named officers should never again take part in or lead any police operations.

Therefore, Mr. Levy says his assignment can’t stand either.

Today, the National Security Minister will meet with the under pressure Police Commissioner and members of his High Command.

All eyes will be on the meeting; with keen anticipation of its outcomes.

For sure, the Holness administration has a tough decision to make. With Commissioner Quallo’s declaration that he’s standing by the administrative review report, how will the administration reconcile the differences between them?

The signs are clear though. It won’t be standing with Commissioner Quallo. He’s hanging by a thread.

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