JAMAICA: Six police officers charged over killing of Matthew Lee

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21 Aug 2019
[International Secretariat]

Reacting to the announcement that the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM), Jamaica’s independent police oversight body, presented charges against six members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) following a six-and-a-half-year investigation into the fatal shooting of Matthew Lee, Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International, said:

We welcome the Independent Commission of Investigations’ continuous and determined efforts in investigating the killing of Matthew Lee. It is now in the hands of the Jamaican justice system to act effectively in the light of this case. The victim’s family’s dignified pursuit of justice is an example of how to dismantle a culture of fear that has allowed the police to get away with unlawful killings for decades.”

Police killed Matthew on 12 January 2003 at approximately 12 noon in Kingston’s affluent Arcadia community, when he was returning from a police station with two men, one of whom had gone there to fulfil a condition of his bail. Amnesty International documented Matthew’s case in 2016.

For decades, Jamaican communities, especially those in disenfranchised inner-city neighbourhoods, have been scarred by an epidemic of unlawful killings by police. Amnesty International documented how the failure of the state to bring those suspected of criminal responsibility to justice have a profound and lasting impact on their loved ones. Their relatives, and in particular their women relatives, are left to face a long struggle for justice, as well as frequent intimidation and harassment by the police.

16 August 2019

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