Wednesday, 14 December 2022 15:14

Dishonest, nonsense: Commish slams INDECOM’s fatal shootings report

Written by
Rate this item
(0 votes)

Police Commissioner, Major General Antony Anderson, is firing back at the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) over its third quarterly report on police fatal shootings, labelling aspects of it as "dishonest" and being "nonsense".

Anderson has also given notice that he will be pushing back at such reporting by INDECOM, claiming that it lacks the true context of the confrontations between police and criminals, as well as between crime fighters and mentally ill persons.

INDECOM Commissioner Hugh Faulkner reported last Thursday that members of the security forces have fatally shot or injured 211 people, 75 of whom had no firearm.

He also said that of the number of people killed or injured by the security forces, 27 were mentally ill.

Further, a total of 126 people were fatally shot by the island's security forces between January and November of this year.

Anderson, who was speaking at the St Catherine North Police Division awards ceremony on Tuesday, argued that the report often does not provide enough context on these incidents. 

"So, here you have an officer — part of a team — who intercepts somebody with a high-powered weapon, move on from there, having gotten information, and the person who is intercepted is arrested with a high-powered weapon. 

"He [the alleged gunman] wasn't shot; it [the situation] wasn't a threat. He didn't need to be shot," he explained. 

"Then he [the officer] arrests another person who has been a problem in terms of his shooting of persons and shooting at the police. [The alleged gunman] was charged, got bail, and is out there shooting again," Anderson said in giving his hypothetical scenario.

This situation, he said, then moves on to a confrontation between the alleged gunman and the police, during which the latter was shot and then the "renowned gunman" was eventually shot and killed.

"When the story comes out later in a report, you going to hear man fatally shot. That's the story; no context, no mention of the police officer who has been injured — nothing! Just another fatal shooting by the JCF!" said Anderson.

"Now that is, in my mind, dishonest, and I am going to push back hard at this. This is not a narrative that I am going to allow to stand, so I will be pushing back very hard at this nonsense," he warned. 

Meanwhile, Anderson said law enforcers are often cleared of any wrongdoing in many incidents probed by INDECOM.

Turning to conflicts involving the mentally ill and the police, Anderson labelled that aspect of the reporting by INDECOM as also being "dishonest", because of the 1,200 cases involving those persons, law enforcers gave assistance in 60 per cent of such cases.

He contended: "If you tell me now that the police shot six mentally ill persons who didn't have a firearm, and you leave that hanging there, it means one thing.

If you say that the police officers, in six cases, that the people were armed with weapons out of 1,200 cases that we responded to, it tells the public a different message. When you leave it like that it is dishonest because it has no context." 

He again reiterated that he will not allow such reporting to stand and discredit the work of law enforcement officers. 

"Who is speaking doesn't live the reality on the ground. They're just talking and agendas are running, but we can't let that stand. That's foolishness!" the police commissioner charged.