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Reject Shoot-to-kill Culture

Jamaica is in a sad state.

We are at a low place when our leaders express the zeal to take the

lives of criminals instead of finding sustainable measures to deal with the issue of crime.

Minister of National Security Dr. Horace Chang shocked the nation when he blatantly instructed our police officers to use their training to execute any armed criminal they encounter.

It is more concerning that our National Security Minister expressed his lack of

sympathy to provide any emergency response to these ‘accused persons’ if they are injured.

Many Jamaicans wear the scar of extrajudicial killings and the inequality in healthcare, why

are our politicians meddling in operational matters?

This is a similar approach taken to address the matter of crime in Jamaica. Former Prime

Minister Hugh Shearer told the police to shoot first and ask questions after. Politicians tend to act as advisors to matters involving the police, while they continue to fail at providing

policies that will allow Jamaica to be a safe place. We are yet to see a crime plan and a

wholesale approach to tackle this issue, yet Minister Chang wants to deliver tactical advice to

our police officers in responding to criminals.

We are supportive of our police officers defending themselves if their lives are threatened.

However, proportionality must always be considered, and responsible efforts grounded by

Codes of conduct for law enforcement officers that guide the profession should be made to

de-escalate tense situations.

The Police Force and the Jamaica Defence Force have lost the confidence of the Jamaican

people. This was identified in a recent RJRGLEANER commissioned Don Anderson poll.

The meddling of politicians has contributed to the lack of respect and confidence we have

seen from citizens of Jamaica. We believe the Minister should focus on ensuring resources

are available to enhance our training and equip the organization with more effective crime-

fighting tools.


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