JIS News

Prime Minister P.J. Patterson is promising open justice without delay in the case involving the shooting death of two elderly persons and the injury of another by the police in Flankers, St. James last Saturday. In a statement issued hours after he returned Monday afternoon from a working visit to Washington and attended the weekly meeting of Cabinet, the Prime Minister issued a statement committing the Administration to advancing the processes of dialogue, support and healing that is necessary in Flankers.
“The Cabinet today confirmed the assurances given by the Police High Command and the Minister of National Security that the investigations which are already fully underway into this tragic incident, will be professionally done. In this matter justice must be done in a transparent manner and without delay,” Prime Minister Patterson said.
Noting that he had been fully updated on the events the Prime Minister expressed condolence to the families of Mr. David Bacchas and Mr. Cecil Brown, who died in the incident as well as extended best wishes for the speedy recovery of Ms. Audrey Stephens, who sustained serious injury. “I share with the bereaved families their feeling of pain and understand the anger felt by the community,” Mr. Patterson said.
He added that the Police had a special obligation to ensure the restoration of healthy relations with the residents and said the steps already announced by the Commissioner of Police indicated the direction he expected them to pursue. The Prime Minister noted too that the remit of Superintendent Brown-Getton, who has been appointed as the Public Liaison, would enable the Government to respond to the immediate needs of the families, including funeral expenses.
The Minister of National Security and the Police Commissioner will visit the community on Tuesday to continue the process of dialogue, support and healing, Prime Minister Patterson said.
He added: “The Police undoubtedly have a difficult job in helping us to fight criminal elements but the Government that I lead cannot condone the wanton and excessive use of force against law abiding citizens of this country whom we must protect, even as we seek to control crime and violence.”
He called on all the residents of the area and colleagues and taxi drivers to show restraint and to work together to ensure justice, peace and harmony for all.

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