Allegations of police negligence in Mandeville to be investigated

BY ALICIA SUTHERLAND Observer staff reporter sutherlanda@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

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Mandeville, Manchester - Allegations that the Mandeville police were negligent in responding to pleas for help from an injured woman who eventually died early Tuesday, will be investigated, says Assistant Commissioner of Police Derrick Cochrane.

"The matter will be investigated and the chips will fall where they may," Cochrane, who has responsibility for the Area Three Police (Manchester, Clarendon and St Elizabeth), told the Jamaica Observer.

The dead woman has been identified as 29 year-old mother of six children, Natasha Dixon of Grey Ground District. Reports are that she had an altercation with a seventeen year old youth (Kevin Mignott) said to be her boyfriend close to the Mandeville Park at about 5:30am.

During the altercation, Dixon, who was at one time an Observer newspaper vendor, was reportedly stabbed. An allegation circulating in Mandeville on Tuesday was that Dixon ran to the nearby Mandeville police station but officers in the guard room failed to assist her. She collapsed and died close to the station.

The teenager was subsequently charged with murder.

While she conceded that she was not an eyewitness and was relying on a second hand account, a relative of Dixon was among those voicing the strong belief that the police had not acted properly.

"If she (Dixon) reach the door (of the station) they could have come out. Maybe she didn't have to die. Is suh police tan. Is after effect dem work. Police station should be open place. Dem fi change out the whole force, dem nuh mek sense. Dem nah protect and serve nobody, dem a protect and serve demself," the grieving woman said.

Cochrane said the police high command was well placed to probe the allegations.

"We have robust systems through the Inspectorate of Constabulary to investigate matters of citizens' complaint about police inactions in treating with their reports. The history of the JCF is replete with instances where members have been charged criminally and departmentally for their actions or inactions in this regard. The matter will be investigated and the chips will fall where they may," he said.

Dixon's six children range from two to twelve years old.

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