(CMR) Police in Jamaica are being accused of acting with excessive force as they try to enforce recently implemented measures aimed at containing the spread of the coronavirus.
According to Deputy Public Defender Herbert McKenzie, his office was made aware of reports that the police allegedly used whips to beat Hellshire, St Catherine residents on Good Friday.
McKenzie said the group, primarily males, were beaten for being on the road during the curfew.
The public defender made the revelation while speaking on a popular radio programme on Thursday (April 23).
“There is nothing in our law that prescribes corporal punishment, worse nothing that allows the police to administer corporal punishment,” said McKenzie as he spoke to “Hotline” host Emily Shields.
McKenzie added that despite what is seen on social media, with some countries utilizing extreme measures to enforce rules and laws, such actions were unlawful in Jamaica.
The Deputy Public Defender highlighted that the police have also been accused of misconduct as it relates to the treatment of St Thomas residents as they sought to enforce laws under the Disaster Risk Management Act.
He also noted there were also discrepancies as it relates to the laws being used to hold individuals in police custody.
“If you breach the quarantine, you can’t be held under the state of emergency under the basis that you’ve breach quarantine,” added McKenzie as he sought to explain the irregularities