INDECOM says single projectile strike mark found on vehicle in Lionel Town crashWednesday, June 16, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) says a single projectile strike mark was identified at the left doorframe of the Nissan AD wagon involved in a controversial crash that triggered protests in Lionel Town, Clarendon.
Three male occupants of the vehicle died and six others were injured, some of whom remain in critical condition.
According to INDECOM, the incident, which also involved the police discharging their firearms at the location of the traffic crash, occurred on the Lionel Town main road in Clarendon, on Saturday about 8:55 pm.
The deceased have been identified as Kevon Salmon, Janoy Blair and Devonte Johnson.
In a media release Tuesday, INDECOM noted that the specific causes, sources and nature of the injuries sustained by the deceased and the survivors have not yet been established.
It said it is awaiting official medical reports to confirm that information.
The statement followed social media posts by the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) indicating that the commission found no evidence that the police shot or chased the Nissan AD wagon that the nine people were travelling in.
“INDECOM Deputy Commissioner Hamish Campbell confirms JCF Reports that:
There is NO evidence to suggest police shot the vehicle or its occupants. Also INDECOM confirms the vehicle was not chased by the police,” the police tweeted Monday night.
“INDECOM confirms the vehicle was signalled to stop by uniformed officers with a MARKED pickup truck. Two survivors interviewed by INDECOM confirm that the vehicle was NOT fired upon prior to the crash. There were visible tyre marks on the roadway, leading to the crash,” the JCF said in another tweet.
However, in its statement, INDECOM said “No single account of any source should be deemed as confirmed by the commission, at this early stage of the enquiry.”
The commission disclosed that in the initial accounts that police officers provided to its investigators, at least three of the officers involved stated that they fired in the direction of the Nissan AD wagon after it crashed.
“During the preliminary examination of the Nissan AD wagon a single projectile strike mark was identified at the left door frame. No firearm was reported as recovered from the scene,” said INDECOM.
The commission said its forensic examiners and investigators revisited the scene on Monday and collected additional ballistic exhibits, which will be subject to examination by the Government Laboratory.
It further outlined that its investigation aims to:
- Identify all officers involved in the incident
- Establish the actions taken by all police officers involved, from the first sighting of the Nissan AD wagon to the collision site
- Assess all actions of the police officers, upon their arrival at the collision site
- Establish the cause of death of the three deceased men, which will be determined after a postmortem examination
- Determine the specific causes for all injuries sustained by all six surviving persons
- An examination by INDECOM's Forensic Unit was conducted on two of the injured young men and exhibits were photographed and collected. These exhibits include swabs for gunshot residue.
INDECOM is reassuring the public that a thorough investigation is being conducted, and this involves an assessment of all accounts provided, from the occupants of the vehicle, from the officers involved in the incident, and also from witnesses.
“The enquiry is complex and the tragic loss of lives and serious injuries, have understandably stirred public emotion. INDECOM will continue to ensure that accurate information is provided to all concerned, especially to the families, utilising our family liaison officers,” it added.
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