JCF Receives Backlash After the Arrest of Man in Viral Video

Public denounces arrest of man in viral video seen lashing out against Prime Minister Andrew Holness for imposing tighter COVID-19 measures. Shaquille O’Neal Higgins’ outburst against the Prime Minister leads the police to an alleged unlawful, outstanding charge.

The accused was recorded, presumably by members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF); head of the Corporate Communications Unit of the Jamaica Constabulary Force, Senior Superintendent Stephanie Lindsay, says the man was arrested, not for his statements towards the Prime Minister, but another matter.

A video recorded at the police station showed the man being asked to apologize to the Prime Minister. Attorney-at-Law Ludlow Black told CVM Live the police are not authorized to force an apology. He explains though the right to freedom of speech should always be recognized, it should be done in good taste. While concerns are being raised about freedom of speech, the Attorney advises that these instances should not be used as examples.

The People’s National Party (PNP) Human Rights Commission says while it reserves judgment for the proper judicial body to determine, armed with all the facts, the group is concerned with what it says were several violations, including, intrusion into the sanctity of the person’s home, dissemination of the video in an undignified manner without consent, public dissemination of a video apology at a police station and confession given under duress.

More in this CVM Live story from Christeen Forbes: