ST ANN'S BAY, St Ann — The Independent Commission of Investigations has begun a probe into the fatal shooting of a taxi operator under controversial circumstances at a garage in St Ann's Bay by an off-duty policeman Friday evening.
The killing of Rohan Lewis, 28, sparked a protest by angry residents and some taxi drivers who operate along the Ocho Rios to St Ann's Bay route.
The angry crowd, who converged on the St Ann's Bay Police Station, used debris to block sections of the road at Windsor, close to where the incident took place. They expressed their anger at what they said was the heartless killing of the Buckfield resident.
The blockades were cleared by the police who had to maintain a heavy presence in the parish capital.
The controversial shooting reportedly occurred at a garage at Windsor in St Ann's Bay sometime after five o'clock. Lewis and the off-duty cop, who the Jamaica Observer was told is stationed in St James, were both carrying out repairs to their vehicles.
Initial reports are that Lewis and a mechanic, who was carrying out repairs on his car, became involved in an argument.
Further reports are that the off-duty policeman intervened and attempted to quash the dispute between the men, but this instead resulted in a heated quarrel between himself and Lewis which allegedly led to the fatal shooting. The taxi driver was pronounced dead at the St Ann's Bay Hospital.
Lewis's family is insisting that he was killed in cold blood and dismissed initial suggestions that the deceased man pulled a knife at the law enforcer.
"The policeman kill me pickney inna cold blood, him neva have no knife, and the police dem no want me see him body," bellowed Lewis's mother, Millicent Lewis, who was among a large crowd that gathered outside the St Ann's Bay Police Station demanding justice.
"Everybody love Rohan. Him and all the police dem a friend, so I don't know why this policeman kill me pickney. Him a good boy, Rohan is a trying youth. Rohan nuh trouble people. Him a hard-working youth, him nuh give trouble," she shouted.
She said that the tragic incident had left her entire family in shock and she wants the Police High Command to address what she described as the regular killing of innocent people by the police.
"Every day di police dem kill people pickney fi nothing at all. Rohan nuh do this policeman nothing and him kill him. Mi want justice fi me son, him death can't go so," she said.