The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) is accusing human rights group, Jamaicans for Justice (JFJ) of mounting a media campaign against the police force and its commissioner Owen Ellington.
The accusation from the police comes hours after the JFJ called for Ellington’s resignation, alleging that he has failed to keep the murder rate under control and has failed to improve the police clear-up rate for murder.
According to the JFJ, Ellington has presided over the highest cumulative rate of police fatal shootings ever recorded in Jamaica.
In a statement this afternoon, the JCF said it fully understands the context within which JFJ operates, but urged the human rights group to show respect for its audience by presenting the facts.
According to the police, the JFJ continues to make reckless accusations about extra-judicial killings and police brutality, despite the Independent Commission of Investigations’ recent reports that in most instances the police acted professionally.
The JCF said the commissioner of police has, on several occasions, publicly declared the intention of the constabulary to reduce the number of fatal shootings, and has outlined steps being taken to achieve this.
The JCF pointed to data showing that over the last ten years, criminals have murdered some 16,135 Jamaicans.
The JCF said it would be illogical and unreasonable for any well-thinking Jamaican to believe that any working police force would not come into contact with heartless, vicious criminals whose sole intention is to destroy lives for their own profit.
The police statement said members of the police force have been the subjects of more than 600 gun attacks since the start of the year—almost daily, with some eleven members of the force murdered by criminals so far this year.
The statement said it is not the desire of the police to kill innocent Jamaicans, as the comments by the JFJ seem to suggest.
Source: Jamaican Gleaner