KINGSTON, Jamaica, December 10, 2014 (AMG) — Witnesses on Tuesday recounted the cold-blooded killing of two men allegedly by police officers during their testimonies at the Commission of Enquiry into the 2010 bloody military operation in Kingston, Jamaica.
Joan McCarthy testified that she had not seen her son-in-law Dwayne Edwards and grand-nephew Andre Smith alive since police took them to a section of the house in which they were staying on May 24, 2010. She said the men were among a group of people who were inside her apartment when soldiers and police ordered them along with two other men to go up to the upper floor of the building.
McCarthy claimed that she later saw police officers carrying a body wrapped in a sheet which had been covering her son-in-law’s bed. Under cross examination, the elderly McCarthy broke down in tears as she insisted that she knew that it was police officers who had shot and killed her son-in-law. She said she identified his pants and the shoes he was wearing when she saw the officers carrying the body away. She testified that she did not see Andre’s body.
Another witness, Paulton Edwards, backed up Ms. McCarthy’s testimony that there was no-one left in the apartment after the police and soldiers ordered everyone downstairs, and insisted that only the police and the four men went to the upstairs section of the house.
The enquiry, which is chaired by Sir David Simmons, was set up to determine whether security forces used excessive measures during the operation into the West Kingston community of Tivoli Gardens, a depressed inner city slum which was the stronghold of convicted gangster Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke.
More than 70 residents of Tivoli Gardens lost their lives during the four day gun battle between security forces and armed gunmen.
Image credit: BBC World Service