Int’l Advocacy group appalled by murder of woman while in the presence of police

Statement regarding the loss of life due to police negligence – OCTOBER 14, 2014
Citizens Advocacy Group International is appalled at the negligent actions of police personnel who were summoned to mediate in a verbal dispute which resulted in the loss of life.An extract from the story in a Jamaica Observer article published on October 14, 2014 reads:“Allegations are that, on the day in question, the accused were involved in a quarrel with Bottom and the police were summoned. During their mediation, Bottom reportedly went inside her house and returned with a bottle containing a liquid substance and a ratchet knife, but was disarmed by members of the police team.

“Shortly afterwards, while the police were still present, it was reported that Garfiesha allegedly used a knife to stab Bottom in her chest. The injured woman was rushed to the Kingston Public Hospital where she was pronounced dead.”

The police visited to maintain the peace and to prevent crime when the victim went for a liquid substance and a knife, which they later disarmed.

During that same period, one of the daughters [allegedly] stabbed the victim in her chest with a knife where she was subsequently pronounced dead at hospital.


The obvious questions

woman killed in presence of police
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Why didn’t the police arrest the victim then and there since they possessed probable cause that she was likely to have committed a crime based [allegedly] on her very daring deed of going into her house for a weapon and substance and threatening harm to the trio, in their presence?

What if the liquid substance were actually caustic which the victim had planned to douse the trio with, as well as the police, would they still fail to act decisively? 

More shockingly, if the police is charged with the very important duty of detecting and preventing crime, how could they allow Garfiesha to be so brazen and daring to [allegedly] use a knife to stab the victim which subsequently killed her, in their presence?

Bearing in mind that the purpose of the police on the scene in the first place was to maintain the peace and detect and prevent crime. Were the police otherwise preoccupied to the point where they did not see Garfiesha [allegedly] advance to the victim at the time of the attack and what, if anything, were they preoccupied with?

Was the knife which Garfiesha [allegedly] used to stab and kill the victim on her person all along or did she retrieve it from her house during the police presence?

How is it remotely possible that police officers who are supposed to be erudite and competent in their professional duties and who are duty-bound to protect, among other things, the right to life, fail to do so when the incident took place in their presence and they had the wherewithal to do so?


This appears to be a remarkable situation of criminally negligent manslaughter by the police and we are calling upon the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) to investigate the circumstance under which police officers allowed one citizen to kill another whilst in their authority/supervision and during their presence.

We are also calling for Police Commissioner Carl Williams to hold the responsible officers accountable since they were clearly negligent (omitted to act) in their operations.

It is unfathomable how the personnel charged with preventing crime caused something like this to occur, in their presence, and they should be removed from frontline duties and placed under review.

Citizens Advocacy Group International

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