RESIDENTS of McKoy Lane in St Andrew have accused the police of unprofessional conduct, alleging that they killed 39-year-old Donovan Johnson, also called ‘Humpy”, in cold blood.
The residents, who staged a protest at the entrance to the lane on Tuesday, alleged that Johnson was killed by policemen wearing masks as his sons, aged 15 and five, and his mother watched.
“Dem shoot him up as him open him door. Dem go to him house and shout out ‘police’ and by time him open him door is pure shot. Him wasn’t a wanted man,” one of the dozens of placard-bearing protesters shouted.
Also on the scene was Johnson’s distraught spouse, Sarietha Blake. With a towel on her shoulder, Blake was at a loss for words as she pointed to the blood-stained entrance to the small house which she had shared with Johnson and their children.
Johnson’s mother, Loretta Facey, was also beside herself with grief.
“When I hear the shots and start calling him phone, him didn’t answer. I come to the house and them tell the police seh I am his mother and one of them shout out ‘what I business with mother!’ I am an old woman, them kill my pickney. Who me going to for help now?” she asked.
Meanwhile, angry residents who converged at the house claimed that the police also “planted” a gun on the dead man.
“After them shoot him them put a gun in his hand and fire it,” one woman shouted.
The residents said a turf war between men in the area was to be blamed for a series of shootings in recent weeks. They blamed the police from the St Andrew South Division for taking sides in the conflict.
However, the police shot down the residents’ claims and said Johnson was a person of interest in the shooting of a woman a few weeks ago.
“He was a person of interest in that murder and pointed a gun at the officers who went to his home early this morning. We know of the woman’s murder and there have been unreported shootings in that area, and based on our information we have been conducting raids in both sections of that community. We have no reason to take sides as our role is to flush out criminals wherever they are. Those claims are totally untrue,” a policeman assigned to the Hunts Bay Police Station said.
The police also claimed that it was Johnson who pointed a gun at them first.
According to the police, minutes after five am Tuesday they were conducting an operation in the tough neighbourhood, which runs off Spanish Town Road close to Payne Avenue, when they went to Johnson’s home. They claimed that after announcing their presence, Johnson pointed a gun at them. They took evasive action and opened fire.
The police said they took a 9mm pistol from Johnson’s body.
The Independent Commission of Inquiry has begun a probe into the incident.