JFJ Delighted with Verdict in the Troy Gordon case

JFJ Delighted with Verdict in the Troy Gordon case

Tuesday, August 3, 2010, Kingston, Jamaica – Jamaicans for Justice (JFJ) is delighted with the verdict arrived at in the Troy Gordon case.  A Coroner’s Jury on July 27, 2010 decided that that the police officer, Corporal Lloyd Morrison who shot and killed Gordon on April 19, 2004 along the Golden Spring Main Road, should be charged with murder. At the time of Gordon’s death the police alleged that he had stolen a motor car and in the course of attempting to apprehend him Gordon became violent, grabbed the police’s gun and during a struggle was shot.

Conflicting eyewitness testimony claimed that Gordon was beaten by the police, that he never struggled for the policeman’s gun. The eyewitness further claimed that Gordon was shot in cold blood in front of other civilians who were calling on police to ‘kill him’.   The Coroner’s jury appeared to believe this version of events and ordered the policeman be charged with murder.

It took over two years for the Bureau of Special Investigations to complete its investigation and another eight months for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to rule that the case should proceed to Coroner’s Court. Since the matter first went to court on January 15, 2007, it has been plagued by problems of witness and juror availability and repeated adjournments. Despite the delays and the difficulties a jury found that they heard sufficient evidence to decide that Corporal Morrison should be charged with murder in the death of Troy Gordon.

This decision marks the end of only one stage in the long and difficult road to justice for Troy Gordon’s family.  From here the case will go to the Supreme Court for the charge of Murder to be determined in that sphere.  Nevertheless, JFJ is delighted that Troy Gordon’s family has gotten some satisfaction in this matter.  They have steadfastly maintained that Troy was murdered and been faithful attendees over the years in the Coroner’s Court.  JFJ is glad that the accused will be called to account for his actions in the death of Troy in the Supreme Court.  After the long delay in concluding the Coroner’s Court process JFJ hopes that the matter will be expedited at the Circuit Court level.

JFJ calls on the government to move urgently to establish the Office of the Special Coroner and provide it with sufficient resources to ensure that cases involving persons who have died as a result of actions taken by agents of the state will be dealt with in an expeditious fashion in order to achieve closure for all concerned  This office needs to play a vital role in ensuring that Coroner’s inquests do not become hearings that deny justice through the lengthy delays that attend the processes and can in fact help to lead to an end to the pattern of impunity that has characterized Jamaica’s police killings.