Commissioner of Police Owen Ellington, says that the Jamaica Constabulary Force withdraws the statement by Senior Superintendent of Police Fitz Bailey, head of the Organised Crime Investigation Division (OCID), which identified homosexuals as being prominently involved in the ‘Lottery Scam’ and highly lucrative criminal enterprise.
In a statement this morning, Ellington said that he had spoken to Bailey and that the JCF regretted any prejudice that might have arisen from the remarks.
"He shared information with me supporting his assertion and cited discussions he has had with representatives of J-FLAG (the Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays) about the problem. He fully understands the basis of concern for the safety and well-being of members of the gay community who may be targeted by misguided individuals simply because of the statement's under reference," said the commissioner.
Bailey made the claims on TVJ's Prime Time News on Monday, July 11. The police official initially refused to apologize and claimed his comments were "based on data collected" by the OCID.
Bravo to JFLAG for demanding—and getting—a retraction at a time of heightened brutality and harassment toward Jamaica's besieged LGBT community. Anti-LGBT violence and killings have increased in recent months but there have been no arrests or prosecutions. Two gay bars were raided in February. In December 2010, an activist with JFLAG was found viciously stabbed to death.