Police clear roadblocks, warn against erecting barricades

THE police yesterday cleared roadblocks mounted on Industrial Terrace and sections of Spanish Town Road and again warned people to refrain from engaging in the illegal act as tension continued to grip that section of West Kingston.

At the same time, police personnel expressed concern for the welfare of women and children in Tivoli Gardens, saying that they fear they will be used as human shields if the security forces resort to entering the community and come under fire in their attempt to arrest Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke.

Coke is to face the court to determine whether a request for his extradition to the United States has any merit. The Americans, who have accused him of trafficking in guns and drugs, filed the request last August. It was eventually signed by the Jamaican Government last Tuesday. Since then, residents of Tivoli Gardens have barricaded all entrances to the community.

According to the police, the roadblocks that they cleared yesterday were erected by people from Denham Town and Tivoli Gardens despite repeated public appeals not to block roads and to remove barricades constructed in the two communities.

“The police view this action by the criminals as a direct act of provocation and is a clear indication that they are not interested in the rule of law,” a news release from the constabulary said. “Police, however, from the Kingston Western Division and the Mobile Reserve have cleared the blocked areas.”

The Police High Command also reiterated an assurance issued last week that “decent, law-abiding citizens of Tivoli Gardens and Denham Town… have nothing to fear as the security forces will conduct themselves in a professional manner consistent with the laws of Jamaica”.

The high command also asked residents of Tivoli Gardens and Denham Town to call the police if they need assistance and to provide any information they might have.

Yesterday, the police again emphasised their intention to exhaust all peaceful means to arrest Coke.

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