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Mandeville taximen charged for displaying murdered colleague’s photo

Friday, June 06, 2014 | 3:08 PM    

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MANCHESTER, Jamaica -- Three taxi men were on Friday charged in Mandeville for displaying the photograph of a dead colleague on their windshields, sparking angry protests in the Manchester capital.

Forty-nine year old taxi operator Rupert Taylor better known as ‘Cat’ was stabbed to death during a robbery at his home in Belretiro, Manchester early Monday (June 3).

Fellow taxi operators mourning his death Friday were reportedly charged $2,500 each for having his photograph on their vehicles.

The incident sparked a protest by disgruntled taxi men, community members, and relatives of the deceased.

The dead man’s sister Elaine Taylor was among the protesters declaring that it is a common practice for photos to be posted on vehicles, and questioned why the taxi men were being prevented from doing the same for her brother.

“Everybody else picture guh on the cars and they don’t tear it off. As fi Cat go on it dem tearing it off (and charging taxi men). Other people deh pon it til dem bury… It nuh right,” she said angrily.

At the scene of the protest in the vicinity of Willogate Plaza OBSERVER ONLINE was told by a police officer that the charges were made because the taxi men were in breach of the Road Traffic Act.

He said that it is illegal for ‘PPV’ (Public Passenger Vehicles) to have posters on the windshield, windows or the rear glass.

However, one taxi man said that he was not aware that he was breaking the law under such circumstances.

He said that he will not be partaking in the displaying of pictures or posters on his vehicle again even though he believes that the law forbidding the practice is just a “moneymaking thing.”

At about midday OBSERVER ONLINE was told that some taxi operators visited the Mandeville Police Station to have further dialogue with a senior officer about the issue.

Meanwhile investigations continue in Taylor’s death.

A man who was detained in relation to the murder is still in police custody and another is being sought.

Alicia Sutherland

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