The Crawle killingsMonday, March 25, 2013
Today we continue publishing some of the stories that the Observer covered over its 20 years of existence which we were not able to accommodate in our commemorative issue on March 7, 2013.
THE nation was shocked when news broke in 2003 that two women and two men were killed in a house in the sleepy district of Crawle in Clarendon by members of the Senior Superintendent Reneto Adams-led Crime Management Unit.
The four — Angela Richards, 44; Lewena Thompson, 39; Kirk Gordon; and Matthew 'Renegade' James — were killed in what the cops described as a shoot-out, but what residents maintained was a clear case of murder.
The police had gone into the rural farming village in search of Bashington 'Chen Chen' Douglas, who was forced to flee the hotbed community of Homestead in Spanish Town after surviving a gun attack.
Police accused Douglas of bringing his guns to Crawle and operating an extortion ring.
However, Douglas was never caught, and the four ended up dead.
A 10-year-old child reportedly told police she was taken out of the house before the four were cut down by the cops.
Adams and five other members of the elite police squad — two corporals and three constables — who were part of the Crawle operation were removed from front-line duties.
Adams and the members of his team were eventually charged with non-capital murder after a ruling by the Director of Public Prosecutions.
They were, however, freed of the charges in December 2005.
However, Adams was ordered to undergo counselling and a psychiatric evaluation before he was reinstated in the constabulary six months afterwards.
Adams was placed back in uniform and assigned a desk job until he retired from the force in July 2008.
Douglas was eventually killed in the district of Pennants in Clarendon in May 2006.
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