PM extends condolence to the family of slain cop
Prime Minister Andrew Holness on Saturday expressed deep sadness at the killing of 27-year-old Police Constable Kemar Francis who was shot while patrolling on Pretoria Road in the Maxfield Avenue area.
Prime Minister Holness said he was heartbroken for Kemar’s family who must now endure immeasurable grief following his death; “I am deeply sorry for their tremendous loss and I pray that they are comforted and strengthened during this most trying time.”
Holness said he was deeply saddened and disturbed by the news that yet another member of the security forces was gunned down.
“I am truly and deeply saddened by this tragic loss of a young police officer who had so much more to give to his profession and to his country.”
Constable Francis of the Hunts Bay Police Station was a member of a team of officers on patrol on the Maxfield Avenue when they responded to reports of gunfire shortly before midnight on Friday. Francis’ killing brings to four the number of policemen who have died while on duty seeking to keep Jamaicans safe.
He is the second member of the security forces to be killed in the line of duty this week, as JDF Private Reneil King was killed on Friday morning during a joint police-military narcotics operation in Clarendon.
Prime Minister Holness labelled the constant attacks on members of the security as "an attack on the Jamaican state".
“The killing of members of our security forces represents an attack on the Jamaican state. The series of attacks on security forces cannot be treated as coincidental. The Jamaican state must speak with one voice against this emerging trend where criminals are emboldened to target our security forces," said Holness.
" It is not merely a matter of condemning these killings, the entire society, it’s institutions and its leaders must clearly stand against criminals, and not empower criminals by their pronouncements and actions. When the society is ambivalent in its pronouncements and actions, criminals interpret this as weakness and increase their level and intensity of crime and disorder," PM Holness said.
Prime Minister Holness stated further, “The Government of Jamaica will continue to build a national consensus on crime fighting involving all stakeholders. However, the country and indeed the brave men and women of the security forces, can rest assured that the Government I lead will not sit by helplessly while criminals are emboldened to challenge the state, and endanger the lives of law abiding citizens.”
The Government of Jamaica will continue to support the security forces with the resources they need to effectively degrade the criminal scourge. I am confident in the growing capacity and capabilities of our security forces.
The JDF and the JCF are professional organizations sworn to protect our citizens through upholding the law. I am confident that while they grieve these tragic killings of their members, their resolve to lawfully fight crime is only made stronger," said Holness.