ENGLERSTON MP Glenys Hanna Martin. (File photo)
By EARYEL BOWLEG
Tribune Staff Reporter
ENGLERSTON MP Glenys Hanna-Martin wants National Security Minister Marvin Dames to explain why it took three days for authorities to confirm that a police involved killing happened last Friday.
In a press statement yesterday she called the late confirmation “totally unacceptable” and “very concerning”.
Police killed 31-year-old Jamal Frazer Bodie on Friday evening. This newspaper pressed police officials for answers on the matter many times on Sunday and Monday, but it was National Security Minister Marvin Dames who finally confirmed the incident when contacted on Monday. Police officials released a statement on the matter on Monday evening.
Police Commissioner Paul Rolle told The Tribune he thought a statement had been released earlier.
“It was miscommunication in regards to that,” he said. “I apologise for the miscommunication. There was no attempt to hide anything.”
Nonetheless, Ms Hanna-Martin noted the recent uptick in police-involved killings that she said is “causing much disquiet in the public domain”.
“We face a grave risk that community confidence and trust are being eroded and compromised,” she said. “These are essential components to maintaining the peace, social balance and a healthy democracy.
“We demand transparency and accountability in the exercise of police powers; we insist on the protection of the law for the security of all citizens.
“It is now therefore critical that an independent body be immediately established to investigate allegations of excessive force and alleged abuses by police. It may very well be necessary to review existing policies and practices and explore alternative strategies. Body cameras must be urgently mandated.”