Sunday 25 October, 2020

2019 fatal shooting tally lowest in 2 decades - INDECOM

The Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) is reporting that last year Jamaica recorded the lowest NUMBER OF FATAL security forces’ shooting in 20 years.

According to INDECOM head, Terrence Williams, the security forces killed 86 people last year, which was a sign that the country is moving in the right direction, coming from a position where Jamaica was among countries with the leading per capita security forces’ killings in the world.

Williams said last year Jamaica had dropped to fourth in the world’s per capita security forces’ fatal shootings, and the latest figures should at least keep the island in the same position on the ranking.

“This is the lowest number in at least two decades, and it is indeed, the lowest number that one can find (locally) whenever you are relying on proper statistics.”

INDECOM statistics indicate that the previously lowest number of killings by state personnel in Jamaica was in 2014, when 101 individuals were killed, with 2010 being the worst on record with 277 killed.

Williams said while he welcomes the improvement last year, INDECOM still believes that there are many innocent people who are being shot by the police. He said over a four-year period, the police shot 322 people, with 88 or 27 per cent believed to be “plainly innocent”.

According to Williams, the statistics indicate that the police need to reconsider its method of training, and suggested that police officers should be required to be retrained in shooting twice each year.

He said the reasoning is as a result of what he described as the police’s “plainly innocent” shooting statistics being vastly different from that among Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) members.


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