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Jamaica agency says 53 police officers face murder charges

February 4, 2015 GMT

KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) — A Jamaican agency that probes abuse allegations against the island’s security forces says 53 police officers are charged with murder.

The Independent Commission of Investigations disclosed the number of officers facing murder charges at a Wednesday press conference. Jamaican officers accused of unlawfully taking a life make up the large majority of the 84 officers before the courts.

The commission says it recorded 129 fatalities by security forces last year on the island of 2.7 million. That’s a 50 percent drop in fatalities from 2013, when 258 people were slain, and the fewest deaths at the hands of law enforcement in years.

There seems to be a mix of reasons for the reduction, but perhaps the biggest is a new-found fear among officers of prosecution by the increasingly robust commission.