Friday 15 November, 2019

Police version of CRO shooting different from ‘eyewitness’ account

The scene of the shooting of a man by a police constable on Tuesday afternoon outside the Criminal Records Office on Orange Street in downtown Kingston.

The scene of the shooting of a man by a police constable on Tuesday afternoon outside the Criminal Records Office on Orange Street in downtown Kingston.

The Police High Command has issued a statement on the incident in which a man was shot and injured during an altercation with a member of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) at the Criminal Records Office (CRO) in downtown Kingston on Tuesday afternoon.

The high command has also provided more details than were initially reported by 'eyewitnesses' to the shooting that brought activities at the Orange Street-based facility to a temporary halt.

Reports from the police’s top brass are that sometime after midday, the man, who was a customer of the CRO, turned up at the office to collect two reports, one for himself and another for a connected party.

The police said the man was denied one of the reports, and he subsequently became boisterous and verbally abusive.

When it became clear that he could not be calmed down, he was escorted from the premises by the staff, police claimed.

But hours later, the man returned and physically attacked a constable who was on duty at the office, the statement detailed.

After being assaulted multiple times, the constable was said to have been forced to take evasive action, during which he fired one shot from his service firearm, which hit his attacker, the JCF release stated.

The police reported that both men were taken to nearby hospitals, where they are being treated for their injuries. 

But an alleged eyewitness had a much different version of the incident than that from the police.

“The Rasta man was in the building when the police told him to sit down, and he refused. Soon after, an argument developed between the two, to the point where they started to fight,” the alleged eyewitness told Loop News.

The 'eyewitness' claimed that the officer left from where the fight took place, went into the office, came out and soon after an explosion was heard.

“After that me see the Rasta man on the ground holding him belly,” the eyewitness told Loop News.

The Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) is now probing the matter.

The police said Tuesday’s incident has not impacted operations at the CRO, as the office continues to process applications and issue certificates within the normal office hours.

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