Police High Command orders probe into allegations of mistreatment of Rastafarian family
The Police High Command has ordered an immediate probe into claims that officers attached to a station in Gordon Town, St. Andrew, mistreated a Rastafarian family.
This after reggae artiste Ja’dore, whose real name is Sean McDonald, reported that in April, officers went to his home in Irish Town and removed his 2 sons (one 8 and the other 4 years old).
McDonald also claimed that he was assaulted by the cops when he went to the police station and that some officers had trimmed his children’s locks, and gave the boys meat to consume.
The Rastafarians are vegetarians.
A report of the matter has been made to the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM).
A statement from the JCF Corporate Communications Unit said the Inspectorate of Constabulary has begun probing reports of misconduct by police officers in Gordon Town, St. Andrew following allegations, detailed in a story of a daily newspaper, published today.
The investigation was ordered by Commissioner of Police Major General Antony Anderson.
The IOC investigators are in the area collecting statements.
Meantime, Culture Minister Olivia Grange has expressed deep concern about the reported maltreatment of reggae artiste Ja’dore and his family by the police.
In a statement, this afternoon (May 11) Grange said she is shocked and deeply concerned by the allegations against the police.
She said the very serious allegations surround human rights abuses, including physical violence, and the infringing of religious freedom involving the alleged feeding of meat (which is forbidden by the family), and the cutting of locks.
The minister said if these allegations are true, they are unacceptable and an affront to justice and peaceful ‘livity’, and that such actions should be condemned in the strongest manner; and the perpetrators left to face the consequences.
She said many Jamaicans, including members of the Rastafari community, share her concern about these allegations and are anxious for a quick resolution.
Grange said she has been in touch with Minister of National Security, Dr. Horace Chang, on the matter and that she welcomes the intervention of the Commissioner of Police, who ordered an immediate investigation.
She added that she has spoken with Jahdore and assured him of government’s commitment to investigate and take appropriate action where necessary.
The minister also assured him of her respect for and commitment to the Rastafari community and its beliefs and that she will fight any action that deprives Rastas of their rights.