JFJ Press Release: Jamaicans For Justice Celebrates Resident Magistrate’s Ruling As A Positive Step

Jamaicans for Justice Celebrates Resident Magistrate’s Ruling as a Positive Step towards Police Accountability

Jamaicans for Justice is extremely pleased with the outcome in the case of R. v. Leemour Palmer, a constable in the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).

Constable Palmer was charged with Assault Occasioning Grievous Bodily Harm following an incident in February 2005, when he assaulted Ms. Angela Fennel-Reid, breaking her nose and knocking her unconscious. Since the incident Ms. Fennel-Reid has been harassed and intimidated by police. She is in hiding following an incident in which she was shot, three days prior to going to court to testify in the case against Constable Palmer. She was lucky to escape with her life.

On November 6, 2007, Mr. Palmer was convicted of the offence and today, November 13, 2007, he was sentenced to six months hard labour by Resident Magistrate Sharon George presiding in the Half Way Tree Resident’s Magistrates Court. Charges against Ms. Fennel-Reid, which had been laid concurrently, were withdrawn due to a lack of evidence.

In refusing to grant bail pending an appeal by Constable Palmer, RM George stated that the evidence against Constable Palmer was very strong and it is unlikely that the Supreme Court would overturn her ruling. RM George further stated that Constable Palmer had shown no remorse or mercy for Ms. Fennel-Reid and because of the prevalence of this type of conduct and these kinds of actions by police officers across the island, she needed to “send a clear message.”

Jamaicans for Justice is hopeful that such rulings and sentences will send a clear message that members of the JCF will be held accountable for their actions and we commend RM George for her ruling and her insightful comments.

For more information contact:
Carolyn Gomes: (876) 755-4524-6/382-8583
Susan Goffe: (876) 815-3648/970-4224