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Rev Abdul-Mohan: Police suspensions send clear message

Monday, March 19, 2018
Rev Joy Abdul-Mohan at Susamachar Presbyterian Church, San Fernando on Saturday. PICTURE RISHI RAGOONATH

The suspension of the three La Brea police officers sends a clear message to the protective services that they need to treat reports of domestic violence seriously, says Reverend Joy Abdul-Mohan.

She expressed disappointment at the police response to domestic violence reports and the controversy surrounding the judiciary in an interview with reporters at a Presbyterian Board of Women 90th Anniversary Conference at Susamachar Presbyterian Church in San Fernando. The church is appalled at the violence in the country, especially domestic violence, she said.

“And the issue and concern we have as a church it’s how the protective services are becoming irresponsible in their stewardship. Their stewardship needs to be more glaring in terms of how they treat with the victims and those who report cases of domestic violence. They need to deal with it forthwith so that women can be protected and their families can be protected. We are very disappointed in some of our police. We know there are good police officers, but generally our police officers are ignoring their responsibilities as stewards of protection,” Abdul-Mohan said.

Commenting on the suspensions, she added: “When the Commissioner does something as serious as this, it is not that they have lost their jobs but they have been suspended in the interim while the investigation is going on. This will send a clear message that the protective services must do more and must be more vigilant in their stewardship as people of the protective services.”

Abdul-Mohan said the protective services need to network with the church, halfway homes and other stakeholders to effectively deal with the problem. Help is also available for perpetrators, she said.

Her comments were made just days after the bodies of Abigail Jones-Chapman, her daughter Olivia, 16, her landlord Michael Scott, and her daughter’s friend, Michaela Mason, 14, were discovered at a house in La Brea. Jones-Chapman had reported to the police that the suspect had put a knife to her throat and threatened to kill her.

The officers who were on duty when the report was made have been suspended pending an investigation into allegations of neglect of duty.

Commenting on the controversy in the judiciary, Abdul-Mohan, a former senator, said: “For us the woman or man on the street, the general citizenry, we feel it has lost its credibility because when an important institution such as the judiciary is in that state it leaves the citizen to wonder what is happening.

“For us as individuals we are disappointed with the rivalry and we feel that more should be done to bring camaraderie and to ensure that proper policy is in place so that people will follow that policy and it will not be in abeyance.”


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