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Cop facing murder charge

Protesters up in arms. Inset, Kayann Lamont.

KINGSTON — Corporal Dwayne Smart, the police officer who shot and killed a heavily pregnant St. Thomas woman and injured her sister on the weekend, is to be slapped with murder and other charges.

Yesterday, Acting Director of Public Prosecution, Lisa Palmer-Hamilton ruled that Smart be charged with murder, illegal possession of firearm, wounding with intent, and assault.

Upon the charging of Smart, the prosecution is expected to skip the preliminary enquiry stage of the case in the St. Thomas Resident Magistrate’s Court and have the matter transferred to the Home Circuit Court in Kingston. The circuit is expected to be reopened on September 17.

Twenty-seven-year-old Kayann Lamont, who was a month away from giving birth, was shot in the head in Yallahs square by Smart following a tussle. Smart had accosted Lamont over the use of indecent language.

Her sister, Novia Lamont, was shot in the shoulder while running to her aid. Another sister, Shemean Lamont, was allegedly assaulted by the cop, who also turned the gun on her. However, the weapon did not fire.

Smart reportedly had to be restrained by colleagues on the scene.

Both women were taken to the Princess Margaret Hospital where Kayann was pronounced dead and Novia admitted. She was released from the hospital yesterday.

The family has since contracted the services of former Justice Minister Dorothy Lightbourne to get compensation from the state over the incident.

In the meantime, the Police High Command, speaking for the first time since the incident yesterday, expressed regret at the shooting and pledged to take all possible steps to minimise the use of force in their interaction with citizens. (Observer)

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