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Mob killings are murder, Commish warns

Tuesday, October 16, 2012 | 11:57 AM    

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — As cases of vigilante killings spread across the island the Police High Command is warning that mob killings are treated as murder.

Police Commissioner, Owen Ellington in a release Tuesday said that people “should not take the law into their own hands”.

“Mob killings will be investigated,” he said, “and those found responsible will be arrested and charged.”

Ellington emphasised that residents, instead, had a duty to report crimes or to “apprehend and hand over criminals to the police where possible”.

The statement comes two days after a 29-year-old mason Dwight Lester was killed in Portmore, St Catherine for allegedly trying to break into premises in the Daytona community.

His was the fourth such killing in recent times and the second in less than a week.

Five days earlier, an angry mob mauled and chopped 23-year-old Oral Smith, also called 'Duppy Eye', to death in Savannah Cross, Clarendon.

Those two incidents follow the much-publicised mob killing of 43-year-old Donovan Hazley and the injuring of his 18-year-old daughter on September 23, and the killing of a teacher five days later along the Old Harbour Road in St Catherine.

Five men were taken into custody and four of them later charged in connection with Hazley's death.

The teacher, 41-year-old Michael Melbourne, head of the Computer Science Department at Old Harbour High School, was chased, beaten and stabbed to death by a mob after a vehicle which he was driving hit four people.

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