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1 000 cases for BSI officers

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KINGSTON – Terrence Williams, commissioner of the Independent Commission of Investigations, will have a backlog of almost 1 000 cases to deal with when he resumes office later this month.The caseload includes at least 617 fatal shootings by members of the security forces.According to detectives attached to the Bureau of Special Investigations (BSI), the 961 cases now being probed by that entity include 296 people who were shot and injured by law-enforcement officers. Three members of the police force are also being investigated for discharging their firearms unlawfully. The Gleaner has learnt that some of the fatal-shooting cases being probed by the BSI, and which will be handed over to the Independent Commission of Investigations, date from as far back as 2005.Assistant Commissioner Granville Gause, who heads the BSI, told The Gleaner that his department was ready to hand over the outstanding files to Williams, once the green light is given by Police Commissioner Owen Ellington. An attorney-at-law, Williams was recently appointed by the Government to take over the investigation of shooting incidents involving the security forces. Contacted on Tuesday, Williams told The Gleaner that the BSI would remain in operation and continue its investigations even when the Independent Commission was up and running.“The law allows us to supervise its investigations so it will remain in operation under our guidance,” Williams said. He also noted that investigators at the Police Public Complaints Authority will become part of his staff and continue with their investigations.“We are now putting together a proposal for more investigators and for their training but that will not be in place by next week,” said Williams. The Independent Commission comes into effect on August 16. (Jamaica Gleaner)