CMC News:- The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) says it has launched an investigation into reports that police officers had “forcibly trimmed” the locks of a young woman who had been in custody at the Four Paths Police Station in Clarendon, south of here.
In a statement, the FCJ said that it “is aware of a video that has been making the rounds on social media, in which a young woman along with her mother claim that JCF members…forcibly trimmed her locks”
The statement said that Police Commissioner, Major General Antony Anderson, has ordered an immediate probe into the claims being made; the results of which will be made public.
It said that a team of investigators from Inspectorate and Professional Standards Oversight Bureau (IPROB) has been immediately dispatched to Clarendon to investigate the claims made by the women and to objectively determine the facts surrounding this matter.
“The High Command of the JCF has already engaged both the Divisional and Area leadership in a bid to establish exactly what transpired, when it transpired and by whom,” the police said.
Media reports said that a 19-year-old woman, who was held at the Four Paths Police Station in Clarendon, a few days ago, was forcibly trimmed by police officers and that the incident comes as Jamaica celebrates 183 years of emancipation and with many Jamaicans expressing the view that they do not feel the mental shackles of the country’s colonial past have been eradicated.
The woman, Nzinga King, and her mother, Shirley McIntosh, have put out a video detailing what they claim occurred at the police station and have called for the intervention of Prime Minister Andrew Holness as they believe King’s religious and human rights were violated.
McIntosh told The Gleaner newspaper that her daughter was held at the police station from Thursday, July 22 to Monday, July 26 and that the ordeal arose from an incident that occurred a few weeks prior while King was on her way home from nursing school.
“At the end of it, King was charged with disorderly conduct on July 22 and placed before the court.
Both mother and daughter contend that while being processed to be placed in a cell, King was trimmed by a female corporal,” the Gleaner reported.
In its statement, the JCF said that in the video, “the young woman – who states that she is a lifelong Rastafarian – suggests she was unfairly detained by the police following an incident in a public passenger vehicle. The matter of which she speaks was duly tried by a judge in a court of law, where she was convicted and sentenced.”
It said that the claims of Human Rights abuses made by the young woman and her mother are viewed by the High Command “as very serious in nature and are, therefore, being treated as such.
“While investigations into the matter are ongoing, it must be stated categorically that the cutting of people’s hair – particularly that of Rastafarians – has no place in the modern JCF.
“Any such behaviour on the part of a JCF member would be inconsistent with the JCF’s Diversity Policy and our values of respect for all persons and their human rights. Any police officer, who in 2021 would violate any person’s rights in this way, would not be suitable to continue as a policeman/woman,” the JCF said, adding “we assure both the public and our members that a transparent and fair investigation will be conducted”.