Dr. Horace Chang comes under fire for seemingly suggesting that police should “shoot-to-kill” when confronted by armed criminals
National Security Minister Dr. Horace Chang is coming under fire for seemingly suggesting that police officers should shoot-to-kill, when confronted by armed criminals.
Speaking at a groundbreaking ceremony for a police station in Frome Westmoreland, yesterday (September 15), Dr. Chang said criminals who draw firearms at the police should be prepared to deal with the consequences.
In response to Dr. Chang’s statement, Jamaicans for Justice, JFJ said the stance is not only unfortunate, but may very well be interpreted as a tacit approval of extra-judicial, killings.
Executive Director, Mickel Jackson said while JFJ stands with members of the security forces defending themselves, it is to be done in keeping with local and international use of force and firearms policies.
She noted that the stance is particularly concerning, given the recent 33 per cent increase in police involved fatal shootings.
She said the minister must withdraw the statement.
Meanwhile, Dr. Chang was also taken to task, by the Independent Commission of investigations, INDECOM, which sought to remind public officials to be guided by the constitution of Jamaica, in their statements and actions.
In a release, INDECOM said all citizens are subject to the same laws of Jamaica.
It said in any confrontation, the law gives primacy to the right to life, which is an inalienable constitutional right.
INDECOM said these rights are bolstered by legislation and policies, which identify the circumstances for use of force and provide direction on application and enforcement.
It noted that access to medical attention should be afforded to all persons in keeping with the state’s obligation, to safeguard life.
The commission said injury or surrender are also possible outcomes when law enforcement officials are engaged in solving and tackling crime.
INDECOM emphasized that a “shoot to kill” policy should not be the state’s response to crime reduction.