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Police Association wants to meet on laws

Published: 
Sunday, March 18, 2018

SASCHA WILSON

The three police officers who were suspended for allegedly failing to act on the domestic violence report days before the quadruple murders in La Brea did investigate the report.

Sunday Guardian was told by a police official that the officers made two attempts to arrest the perpetrator, but received legal advice to first obtain a medical report from the victim Abigail Jones-Chapman before detaining the suspect.

Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams on Friday suspended Sgt Rosalie Joseph-Taitt, Cpl Virendra Ramlal, and WPC Naila Homer with immediate effect pending an investigation into an allegation of neglect of duty. Jones-Chapman went to make the report at the La Brea Police Station on March 8 where she stated that the suspect had put a knife to her throat and threatened to kill her. Five days later, the bodies of Jones-Chapman, her daughter Olivia Chapman, 16, their landlord retired teacher Michael Scott and Olivia's friend Michaela Mason, 14, were discovered at her Sobo Village home.

The police official claimed, "The officers got legal advice not to arrest the man until they get the medical (for Jones-Chapman). The protocol is you first have to obtain a medical to proceed in domestic violence cases." Sunday Guardian was told when Jones-Chapman went to the station she was sent for medical attention. "When she returned to the station, the police took a detail statement of the entire event. The next morning the officers went in search of the suspect but they did not find him. They tried to retrieve the medical but they could not because the doctor was not available until next Tuesday. The next morning, Saturday, they again went in search of the man. I am not sure if they found him, but they were told by the police legal adviser that they first need to get a medical before they arrest him. They made entries in the station diary about their instructions not to arrest him."

Police Social and Welfare Association president Michael Seales has expressed concern about the officers' suspension and has called for a meeting with the law association and stakeholders to address the laws relating to domestic violence cases.

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