Police react to news of rogue cop's death

BY HORACE HINES Observer staff reporter hinesh@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, April 05, 2015

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HOPEWELL, Trelawny - Members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force last night expressed their disappointment and embarrassment over the actions of one of their members, who was shot and killed during a firefight with another cop when he attempted to rob patrons at a bar in Hanover, Saturday morning.

The dead policeman has been identified as 25-year-old Constable Kemar Beckford, who was stationed at Bethel Town, Westmoreland.

The police recovered a Glock pistol, with nine live rounds and a .38 revolver from the dead cop.

The Glock pistol is said to be a licensed firearm owned by the constable, while the other handgun was his service revolver.

Reports are that about 12:30 Saturday morning patrons were at a bar in Hopewell when they were pounced upon by a masked man who demanded that they hand over their cash to him.

The gunman opened fire after he was challenged by the off-duty police inspector who was among the patrons.

"That man (Constable Beckford) should have never been enlisted in the Force at all, at all," a constable told the Jamaica Observer during a telephone interview.

An police inspector expressed similar sentiments.

"I can't find words to describe the man. All I can say is it has left a bitter taste in everybody's mouth," rued the police inspector.

Meanwhile, an assistant commissioner of police, who tried hard to come to grips with the situation, was prepared to await the outcome of investigations ahead of making a judgement

"It is disappointing to hear what occurred. It is unfortunate. However, I would like await the investigation to find out exactly what happened, because it has to be treated as a deviation from what is expected of our police officers, if it is so," explained the ACP, who was quick to add that he regretted that the off-duty police officer was shot during the shootout.

Another senior police, who claimed he worked with Constable Beckford, described him as a good cop and was surprised at what he heard.

"He (Constable Beckford) was a good cop, bright fellow; come to work on time, work on several sections, is from a good family. He is not a fellow who gave trouble. What could have gone to that young man's head that he resorted to that? At the same time the inspector is a member of the force with over 30 years service, he is a man of a high calibre," the senior police said.

"It is worrying to every man what went wrong, but the evidence showed he (Constable Beckford) was wearing a mask."

Another lawman said: "It is a dark day in the history of the police force when there are such individuals who would attempt to carry out such disgraceful actions. We are supposed to throw the books at robbers and we have robbers in out midst," a cop who was on the scene of the incident said Saturday morning.


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