Men­tal is­sues floor INDECOM’s case

Jamaica Gleaner - - NEWS - Hopeton Buc­knor/ Gleaner Writer

ERROL CHATTOO, the direc­tor of com­plaints at the West­ern Re­gional Of­fice of the In­de­pen­dent Com­mis­sion of In­ves­ti­ga­tion (INDECOM), says he is hav­ing chal­lenges in­ves­ti­gat­ing the cir­cum­stance sur­round­ing a re­cent in­ci­dent in which a men­tally chal­lenged man was shot and in­jured by a po­lice­man in Mon­tego Bay.

While not­ing that INDECOM had com­menced in­ves­ti­ga­tions into the mat­ter, Chattoo said that their in­ves­ti­ga­tion was now in limbo be­cause the vic­tim, who was lo­cated at the Fal­mouth Hos­pi­tal in Trelawny, was not able to pro­vide a state­ment due to his men­tal state.

“When we re -vis­ited him af­ter we were told that his med­i­cal con­di­tion had im­proved, we found out that based on his men­tal sit­u­a­tion, he was not in a fit state to be ques­tioned,” said Chattoo. “This has brought our in­ves­ti­ga­tions to a stand­still as we are left with only the re­port from the po­lice.”


Ac­cord­ing to re­ports from the po­lice, shortly af­ter 12:45 a.m. this past Sun­day, the men­tally chal­lenged man, who has been iden­ti­fied as Mark Smith, walked into the guard room at the Bar­nett Street Po­lice Sta­tion armed with sev­eral bot­tles and at­tacked the po­lice of­fi­cers who were on duty at the time.

Af­ter be­ing struck and in­jured, one of the po­lice of­fi­cer pulled his ser­vice pis­tol and fired sev­eral shots, hit­ting Smith in his up­per body. Smith was rushed to the Cornwall Re­gional Hos­pi­tal, where he was treated and sub­se­quently trans­ferred to the Fal­mouth Hos­pi­tal and ad­mit­ted in a se­ri­ous con­di­tion.

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