(JAMAICA OBSERVER) — The leadership of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) is now in crisis mode as information surfaced yesterday that the three cops involved in the fatal shooting of a man at Chedwin Park, St Catherine Sunday morning, were driving a police service vehicle and carrying police-issued guns despite being on suspension.
“We are going to follow all the leads and we are looking below the surface, if you get my drift. This is something that we are taking on very aggressively because of the implications for the JCF and the signal that it gives to the public,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Selvin Hay, who heads the Inspectorate of Constabulary, told the Jamaica Observer yesterday.
“So we are looking at not just the incident but all the underlining issues regarding what were the policy breaches,” added Hay as he confirmed reports reaching the Observer that the probe has been widened to cover more than the fatal shooting of Sheldon Daley by the cops.
“It is still early days, but from our preliminary investigations the vehicle in question is indeed registered to the JCF and this is one of the issues we are looking to come to grips with. We are trying to determine how these men, who were on suspension, came to be in possession of the vehicle and other police equipment,” said Hay.
He said while he was not 100 per cent sure, it appears that the vehicle was assigned to the Mobile Reserve, which was where the three rogue cops were based when they were suspended.
According to Hay, the search continues for the third cop, a corporal, who had not been apprehended up to late yesterday.
Initial reports are that Daley was at Chedwin Park when he was approached by two men who opened fire, killing him.
The men tried to escape in a waiting vehicle but were chased by an off-duty cop who engaged them in a shoot-out along Old Harbour Road, Featherbed Lane, and Jobs Lane.
The vehicle carrying the three men collided with another car at the intersection of Jobs Lane and Brunswick Avenue where the shoot-out ended.
It was later discovered that one of the rogue cops had been fatally shot, a second was taken into custody, while the corporal managed to escape.
The driver of the vehicle, which collided with the car carrying the cops also died on the scene. Police yesterday identified him as 32-year-old Kevron Burrell. Two other persons in the car were injured and taken to hospital.
The Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM), which is also probing the incident, has confirmed that the cop on the run and his colleague who was arrested, were charged in 2017 for the 2015 murder of 28-year-old Ricardo Meadley. They were out on a $1-million bail.
Yesterday, Assistant Commissioner of INDECOM Hamish Campbell also confirmed that its investigators had received information that the suspended cops were driving a JCF vehicle and had JCF guns but he said this was still to be confirmed.
Campbell also indicated that Daley did not figure in the investigations which led to the three cops being suspended, sparking widespread speculation on social media that they were paid hit men operating with JCF equipment.
At least five guns, a log book, five licence plates, and blue flashing lights used by the police during emergencies were reportedly taken from the vehicle the men were driving.