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JFJ welcomes Cornerís Verdict in police killing of Neville Lemmon †

JAMAICANS FOR JUSTICE | 2015-05-22 00:00:00

JFJ welcomes Cornerís Verdict in police killing of Neville Lemmon   Jamaicans for Justice (JFJ) welcomes the jury verdict of the Special Coronerís Court in the inquest into the death of Neville Lemmon. On May 20, 2015, a Coronerís Jury handed down a verdict of manslaughter by gross negligence against unnamed police officers who were responsible for the shooting death of Mr. Lemmon on August 4, 2005. The matter now proceeds to the Director of Public Prosecutions, who is responsible for initiating a prosecution in the Circuit Court.  

Neville Lemmon, a carpenter from Seaview Gardens was shot dead by police officers while on his roof, allegedly smoking a ganja spliff. A group of over twenty officers descended on Lemmonís home, purportedly as part of an unrelated operation in the area. Upon seeing him on his roof, they ordered him to freeze, at which point they claim that he attempted to pull a gun at the twenty-plus strong group of officers. The police opened fire, lodging three bullets in Mr. Lemmonís chest. The gun that Mr. Lemmon is alleged to have had was never placed before the court, and the police maintain that they cannot locate it.

After he had been shot, Mr. Lemmon was dragged by his feet, off the roof to the ground, and placed in a police car. His family requested to take him to the Kingston Public Hospital which was five minutes away. The police denied their request. When they attempted to follow the officers, the police blocked their path with a vehicle. It took approximately half-an-hour for the police to transport Mr. Lemmon to the Kingston Public Hospital. The post-mortem revealed that Mr. Lemmon had by that time received a total of eight gun-shot wounds, an additional five to the shooting at his home.  

After his death, the DPP declined to press charges against the officers, and referred the matter to the Coronerís Court. It is now again in the hands of the DPP to continue the process towards justice. JFJ calls for a thorough and timely prosecution of this matter. Neville Lemmonís family has already waited ten long years for justice. We thank the Coronerís Jury for their work over the past four years to inquire into Mr. Lemmonís death at the hands of the police.  

JFJ provided legal representation on behalf of Mr. Lemmonís family. It is his elderly motherís wish to see justice for her sonís death before she dies. Like for many Jamaican families, access to justice for abuse at the hands of the police has been a long and frustrating journey. This small victory is still only one step in holding those responsible for this violation of the right to life accountable. Justice delayed is truly justice denied.

Posted By :Dr.Barry Wade


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