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Journalist Under Police Attack … Meeting Called …

Rudolph Brown/ Photographer Clifford Blake, Acting Commissioner of Police chat with from left Dr. Sheryl Johnson Bruke, SP at CISOCA, Angela Patterson, Director Corporate Services of Jamaica Constabulary Force and Velma Thomas, SP Communication Safety Service Branch after the hand over of printer and AC Unit to JCF during the Embassy of the People's Republic of China Handing over ceremony to the JCF at the Office of the Commissioner of Police on Friday, February 2, 2018 *** Local Caption *** Rudolph Brown/Photographer Clifford Blake, acting commissioner of police, is arrested by the attention of Angela Patterson (left), director of corporate services of the JCF, and Superintendent Velma Thomas of the Community Safety and Security Branch after the handover of a printer and AC unit to the JCF from the Chinese Embassy last Friday.


Breaking News: The Police High Command under the leadership of Acting Commissioner Clifford Blake has responded to a least three incidents in which journalists have been “assaulted” by likely unprofessional elements within the police force.  This deteriorating relationship has hit an all time low.  Dionne Jackson Miller, PAJ president reported that the meeting took place, but gave no further details.

Meeting

The acting Commissioner Clifford Blake has met with senior journalists to iron out problems which seem to have arisen since at least three incidences have been in the news.

Investigations

We understand that three such investigations are currently being undertaken.  One is said to be completed. The latest which is Mr. Aldolph Brown, a photojournalist with the Gleaner/RJR group being pepper sprayed by the police in Cross Roads, recently. This investigation is ongoing and appears to be getting urgent attention.

Police Complaint

The acting Commissioner is reported as complaining that journalists refuse to comply with instructions especially at crime scenes.

Police Obstructive?

This has been an ongoing source of complaint.  The police is king at these scenes and oftentimes refuse to cooperate with the media with few exceptions.  What do they have to hide?  Why do they appear to be so obstructive?

Dionne Jackson Miller

Efforts to contact the PAJ president, Dionne Jackson Miller for a report/feedback on the meeting with the Police has not been successful. We were hoping to get a return call from her office but up to press time no call back.  Stay tuned to Vision Newspaper for this report as it  becomes available to our hands.

Commentary

We heard through the grape vine that such a meeting was called but we did not get an official invite … neither a phone call nor any other form of communication say an email.  As a consequence we did not attend.

It is a good to see the Police High Command responding so promptly to reports of a possible breakdown of relationship between journalists and the Police. There seems to be a genuine desire to want to work with the media. We welcome this move as it is a positive one.

Hopeton O’Connor-Dennie is Senior International Correspondent & Photojournalist for Vision Newspaper Canada.
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