The Police are being accused of murdering a man who residents say was accosted on suspicion of being in possession of a ganja spliff.
The incident occurred last Friday afternoon in Mahoney District in Lawrence Tavern, West Rural St. Andrew.
The deceased has been identified as Garfield Coburn of Unity District.
Councillor for the Lawrence Tavern Division, the JLP’s John Myers, is alleging that Coburn was murdered.
Alleged eyewitnesses say when he was accosted by a team of Police personnel, Mr. Coburn protested that he was smoking a cigarette and not ganja.
They say he was later draped and shot dead by a Policeman.
Councilor Myers says a video of the incident involving Coburn has been turned over to the Independent Commission of Investigations, INDECOM.
INDECOM says the Police have submitted a report saying that Mr. Coburn was shot after he attacked them.
But speaking to our news center this afternoon, Councilor Myers says Coburn was murdered.
A day after the controversial killing of Mario Deane, in August last year National Security Minister Peter Bunting, issued a statement where he ordered the Police not to seek to arrest persons in possession of a Ganja spiff.
Bunting later appeared on Nationwide 90 FM and implored the Police to focus on serious crime.
Councillor Myers says he’s surprised that despite that policy directive, Police personnel accosted Coburn and sought to take him into custody.
He says Lawrence Tavern is this afternoon on the brink.
Meanwhile, INDECOM is urging residents to be calm following the controversial killing of Coburn.
INDECOM has confirmed that it has launched an investigation into the incident.
In a statement today, INDECOM says the body of the deceased as well as the incident scene was processed and the hands of the Policemen swabbed.
According to INDECOM the guns of the Policemen have been taken out of circulation.
The Commission says preparation is being made to send the weapons to the Government’s forensic lab for examination.
INDECOM says it’s aware of the unrest that has resulted from the killing of Mr. Coburn but it’s urging calm and continued cooperation with its investigators.
The Commission is also appealing to anyone with any information that can assist with this or any other investigation to visit or call its head office in Kingston at 968-8875 or its mobile number – 878-0167.
Persons are also encouraged make contact with INDECOM’s new Toll Free Line: 1-888-991-5555.
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