Jamaica commission explores deadly raid

By David McFadden , AP

KINGSTON, Jamaica–Adina Derby raised her voice in anger and grief as she recalled the morning when masked soldiers and police raided her West Kingston neighborhood, using mortar rounds to blast through street barricades of junked cars and piles of wood.

��They come with blood in their eyes to kill off everybody!�� Derby exclaimed, describing how she was shot in the back while trying vainly to save her wounded 20-year-old son by pushing him on a handcart to a nearby hospital.

Joan McCarthy recounted seeing policemen grab her nephew and son-in-law during a door-to-door search and hustle them out of sight. She said the officers dragged away their bodies minutes later wrapped loosely in a sheet taken from her own bed.

One after another, survivors from the warren-like Tivoli Gardens slum are telling a truth commission what they experienced during one of the bloodiest incidents in Jamaica’s recent history, the 2010 raid to capture a gang kingpin who ran a criminal fiefdom that seemed untouchable until Jamaica reluctantly agreed to act on a U.S. extradition warrant.

The commission, which began hearing testimony this month from slum residents was appointed by the government largely in response to widespread complaints that authorities summarily executed people and trampled civil rights in the hunt for Christopher ��Dudus�� Coke, the second-generation leader of the feared Shower Posse gang. Police and military officials are expected to testify after the Christmas holidays.

The panel of two retired judges and a university professor is supposed to present a report and recommendations to the island’s governor general. It’s not yet clear whether any judicial proceedings will follow the testimony, which is expected to be completed within three months. Police May Have Greatly Exaggerated