Saturday, December 14, 2019

Unlawful killing ruled in 3 Cop slayings

Unlawful killing has been ruled in three of five fatal police shootings that took place in May 2011 at Vieux Fort, the Times has been informed.

The shootings took place during the controversial police campaign against crime dubbed – Operation Restore Confidence.

Some twelve persons were killed by local law enforcers during the campaign, amid allegations that the police had a hit list.

Five of those slain by lawmen, Jn Baptiste Mc Farlane, Mitchel Cadette, Allan Lenny Louisy, Myron Dupal and Kevin Ferdinand, died following a police operation in Vieux Fort.

A Coroner’s inquest which concluded on Friday,  returned a verdict of unlawful killing in the case of three of the so-called “Vieux Fort Five”.

The three were identified as Jn Baptiste Mc Farlene, Mitchel Cadette and Allan Lenny Louisy.

The inquest ruled death by misadventure and returned an open verdict in the case of the other two men, it is reported.

Outspoken Human Rights Activist, Mary Francis, who is also an Attorney at Law representing the Louisy family, told the Times she was pleased with the outcome of the inquest.

She said the verdicts offered a glimmer of hope for family members of the “Vieux Fort five.”

Francis recalled that after a break of about two to three years, the inquest first started in 2012 and had to be aborted because important evidence, such as the testing of guns, was not available.

However she noted that the process continued.

“Justice will prevail in the end,” Francis declared.

The outspoken Human Rights Activist asserted that there was compelling evidence presented during the earlier parts of the inquest that she attended.

“Three men found in the jeep yet police could not bring forth any evidence of any guns – no guns were found by the evidence given at the inquest; no guns in the jeep where you had three men shot dead and bullet holes in the jeep,” Francis told the Times.

She declared that just like any private citizen who commits murder, the police must answer for their actions.

“Something went terribly wrong in this country that has to be corrected,” Francis told the Times.

She expressed the view that there are now sufficient grounds to proceed to the High Court to obtain compensation for the family members of the deceased men.

But Francis also said that the criminal aspect of the matter has to be pursued.

She asserted that the matter cannot be allowed to be forgotten.

Francis told the Times that the verdict of the inquest represents further evidence that can be presented to the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions in dealing with the police killings during Operation Restore Confidence.

A report by the Jamaican Constabulary Force into the 12 killings by the St Lucia police between 2010 and 2011, found that all of them were fake encounters to facilitate executions.

Excerpts of the report, read by Prime Minister Doctor Kenny Anthony during a broadcast to the nation on March 8, 2015, said that weapons were planted by cops and death lists were circulated in the force.


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