In a bizarre turn of events a man who previously sought protection from police through the civil rights group Jamaicans for Justice, JFJ, has allegedly been killed by a licensed firearm holder after an attempted robbery.
Andre Smith, was one of three assailants who allegedly tried to rob a businesswoman of her valuables on West Avenue in East Kingston on Sunday.
However, Smith was gunned down by the woman’s son who is also a licensed firearm holder. Police confirmed to Nationwide News that he is the same Andre Smith.
Just last month, the JFJ in an open letter to the Police High Command called for Mr. Smith to be protected from police harassment.
Police Reports are that at 12:15 am three unknown assailants held up and robbed a female and ordered her inside her house. The Police say the men were proceeding with their demands when they were reportedly challenged by a licensed firearm holder.
Two of the men were fatally shot and a 9-millimetre pistol recovered. The other assailant escaped. The woman and another occupant of the house were reportedly injured during the shootout.
Head of the East Kingston Police, Senior Superintendent Victor Hamilton confirmed the identity of one of the assailants as Andre Smith, a resident of Maiden Street in East Kingston.
Just last month, the JFJ wrote a strongly worded letter to the Police High Command calling for its intervention into Mr. Smith’s case.
They claim he was unable to return home due to police harassment. The letter stated that the JFJ was alerting the public to an imminent risk to the life, safety, and well-being of a citizen, Andre Smith, due to persistent police abuse, harassment and death threats.
It said Mr. Smith was forced to seek redress through filing a legal claim against the police personnel who’ve unlawfully abused him despite being duty-bound to uphold the nation’s laws.
JFJ stated the police high command must take action to control what it described at the time as rogue policemen who do not represent the standards set by the Jamaica Constabulary Force.
The human rights lobby group also noted that if Mr. Smith ended up dead, it would very likely be the result of an unlawful execution by rogue police personnel.
The JFJ said in 2016, Mr. Smith was arrested on a false murder accusation and illegally placed in lock-up by police believed to be linked to the Elletson Road Police Station.
It said while in custody, Mr. Smith was so traumatised by his ill-treatment at the hands of the accused policemen that he attempted to hang himself, leading to his hospitalisation for four days.
When contacted this afternoon Smith’s Attorney-at-Law and JFJ Policy and Advocacy Manager, Monique Long, said she did not wish to comment at this time.