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Family of man killed by cops blocks post-mortem attempt

BY KARYL WALKER Editor -- Crime/Court Desk walkerk@jamaicaobserver.com

Tuesday, January 28, 2014    

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THE relatives of Nakiea Jackson, who was killed by the police under controversial circumstances last week Monday, have managed to block a hastily arranged post-mortem on his body from being conducted yesterday.

Jackson's sister, Shackelia Jackson-Thomas, told the Jamaica Observer that none of his relatives had been informed by the police that an autopsy was to take place at the Kingston Public Hospital morgue yesterday.

"I was in my bed and got a phone call about it. I immediately began calling around and our attorney, Jacqueline Neita-Robertson, made some calls and managed to get the examination halted. They did not tell us about it," she said.

Jackson-Thomas said staff at the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) stepped in and ordered that the autopsy be put on hold.

The commission was also not informed of the intention to conduct a post-mortem on Jackson's remains.

According to Jackson-Thomas, her family have since filed a request with the Ministry of National Security that they intend to have an independent pathologist observe the autopsy on their behalf.

The decision not to inform the relatives of the dead man or INDECOM is a breach of the regulations of the security ministry and left co-convenor of human rights lobby group Jamaicans For Justice Susan Goffe taken aback.

"Something is completely not right there. It really raises some serious questions that need to be answered quickly. The thought that the autopsy would have gone ahead without the knowledge of the family, without the knowledge of INDECOM is disturbing," Goffe said.

She called for a full probe by Police Commissioner Owen Ellington into the allegations.

"It a matter of concern for the commissioner. Who authorised it? They could not have moved the body from the morgue if it was not authorised," said Goffe. "This is a case where the commissioner and the minister of national security promised that a full and complete investigation would be carried out. Which pathologist was going to do the autopsy? I wonder if that person knew that there was a breach? It needs to be investigated."

Jackson's death at the hands of the police sparked a protest by residents of his Orange Villa community in downtown Kingston on Monday and Tuesday last week.

Police claimed they were chasing a "dreadlocks-looking man" they suspected had just staged a robbery and when they attempted to accost him he pointed a gun at them. The cops reported that they "took evasive action" and fired two shots which hit the man, and a 9mm pistol was recovered.

However, the residents say Jackson was not in possession of any firearm and accused the cops of planting a gun after killing him in cold blood.

The matter is being probed by INDECOM.

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