Police open probe after 11-y-o boy allegedly pepper sprayed by cop
ST MARY, Jamaica – The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) said on Tuesday that it has launched an investigation after an 11-year-old boy was reportedly restrained and pepper sprayed by a police officer in Oracabessa, St Mary last Friday.
A video of the cop using his knee and arms to hold the boy in place on the ground has gone viral.
The JCF said the incident followed a routine stop of a driver, who is the father of the boy, for an alleged traffic violation. The situation escalated, leading to the involvement of the student and a physical altercation with the police officer, the JCF reported.
“The JCF, along with other state authorities, is currently conducting a thorough investigation into the matter. This includes reviewing the incident, collecting necessary statements as well as seeking additional footage to ensure a comprehensive understanding of the events,” the JCF said in a statement.
The cop’s actions have been questioned by both the Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA) and Jamaicans for Justice (JFJ), which both issued press releases on the issue.
The CPFSA said it provided immediate on-the-spot counselling to the boy and his six-year-old sister, who was also in the vehicle at the time of the incident, on Friday after a report from the St Mary police. The agency said it will also offer follow-up counselling sessions for the children this week.
Meanwhile, JFJ on Monday condemned what it has described as the use of excessive force by the cop.
Fitzroy Robinson, the child’s father, is hoping some justice will come from the incident that he said has left him and his family traumatised.
“My son is a quiet boy. He is only talkative around his peers and right now I don’t know what is going through his head,” said Robinson.