Blaine, JFJ support DPP's Buckfield rulingWednesday, August 11, 2010
CONVENER of the country's newly launched New Nation Coalition, Betty Ann Blaine, said her political party is in full support of Director of Public Prosecutions Paula Llewellyn's ruling to charge a police sergeant with murder in the killing of an unarmed man in St Ann.
The cop, Detective Sergeant Lloyd Kelly, was yesterday offered bail in the sum of $1 million in the Home Circuit Court. Kelly was caught on an amateur video firing one shot into the body of Ian 'Ching Sing' Lloyd as he lay writhing on the ground in Buckfield, St Ann two Fridays ago.
Blaine, in a release to the media, said the ruling was one way to counter the culture of revenge and reprisals that presents a threat to the development of the nation's youth.
"Police officers must uphold the rule of law, as the people enforcing the rule of law -- otherwise, we will descend into a state of anarchy. We need to send a strong message that we must always do the right thing. We have a responsibility to uphold the law -- we cannot succumb to 'jungle justice'," Blaine said.
Blaine's call came a day after human rights group Jamaicans For Justice (JFJ) hailed the ruling and said it would be watching the court proceedings involving Kelly with an eagle's eye as it had great mistrust about the constabulary's commitment to investigate its members.
"JFJ will watch the proceedings brought against Sergeant Lloyd Kelly and others who may be implicated in the killing of Mr Ian Lloyd. We have the experience of Janice Allen and others to warn us against shoddy and perverted investigations when the police investigate their own," JFJ said. "We note the speed with which some of the police obtained station bail and the swiftness with which the habeas corpus application was dealt with and the Resident Magistrate's ruling to charge or release the detained policemen. These are things that we wish to be available to every citizen that is apprehended by the police."
But while commending the ruling, Blaine called for speedy action to be taken when ordinary citizens complain about state abuse.
"We are also calling for the judicial system to deal with similar swiftness with the citizens' complaints about alleged police abuses and excesses which are not accompanied by high-profile video-taping of the events concerned," Blaine said.
She also called for the nation's lawmakers to expedite legislation to establish an independent body to investigate alleged police misconduct and said clearing the huge backlog of cases which are burdening the judicial system should be a national priority which would go a far way in preventing citizens from resorting to mob justice.
Kelly will return to court on September 17.
Llewellyn also ruled that strong departmental action be taken against another cop, Constable Vick-Roy Mowatt, who was seen mauling Lloyd with what appeared to be a police baton.
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