Tivoli Gardens: Witnesses begin chilling testimonies of alleged police killings

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Jamaican police officer (Cedit: BBC World Service)

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KINGSTON, Jamaica, Sunday December 14, 2014 — Witnesses on Tuesday recounted the cold-blooded killing of two men allegedly by police officers during their testimonies at the Co
mmission 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.

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Denise-ClarkeDenise Clarke · AMG Senior Journalist
Denise Clarke is a seasoned journalist with more than 15 years of experience with media in the Caribbean. Her writing has been featured in newspapers and magazines in Jamaica and the British Virgin Islands. She is also a public relations professional serving a global client list from North America to the Far East.
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