Friday, May 25, 2007


About a month ago the news broke in Jamaica that Jephthah Ford (pictured here as he left the hospital), a prominent medical doctor known for giving free treatment to members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), was in the Kingston Public Hospital (KPH) on 24-hour observation after being beaten by three policemen. Dr. Ford was described as being in serious but stable condition.

Dr. Ford is out of the hospital now and he is dead set on doing something about police brutality on the island.

A 2007 Amnesty International report on Jamaica read:

Reports of police brutality continued. At least 138 people were allegedly killed by police during the year. Impunity for police abuses and a complete lack of accountability in the security and justice systems remained the norm.

The following comes from the Jamaica Gleaner.

Alliance against brutality launched

The National Action Coalition (NAC), an activist organisation that speaks out against police brutality and other forms of injustices, will be officially launched on Wednesday, May 30.

The NAC is the brainchild of Dr. Jephthah Ford, who was himself badly beaten by several members of a police party on April 9, following a at a dance at the Fun Citi establishment he operates along the Port Henderson Road in St. Catherine.

Unable to practise

The well-known medical practitioner, who is also a politician and businessman, has not been able to practise since the incident, having suffered severe injuries to his head, ear, hands and chest.

A long-time supporter of the police, his father having been a policeman, Dr. Ford has decided to act on behalf of the disadvantaged.

"It (the NAC) is not just against police brutality but against injustice in whatever shape or form," he told The Gleaner yesterday.

The first order of business for the NAC will see Dr. Ford attending a post-mortem on behalf of Pauline Cunningham of Waltham Park Road, Kingston 13, whose 16-year-old son Jaughvanie Burton was one of three men who were shot and killed by the police under controversial circumstances on May 6, inside the Chinese Cemetery on Waltham Park Road. The post-mortem is scheduled for next Wednesday at 10:00 a.m.

Dr. Ford explained that the NAC will represent the family of anyone killed under questionable circumstances by members of the security forces. He revealed that the NAC already has 87 members, including 12 attorneys-at-law.


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