ST ELIZABETH, Jamaica – Police Commissioner Major General Antony Anderson has reiterated his appeal for the public to seek the assistance of the police to resolve conflicts before they become deadly.
“… Because the worst case is what happened in Clarendon a couple days ago where that kind of conflict leads to five people being killed [including] four children,” he said in reference to Tuesday’s quintuple murder of Kemisha Wright and her four children – 15-year-old Kimana Smith, 10-year-old Shemari Smith, five-year-old Kafana Smith- all girls- and her 23-month-old son, Kishaun Henry.
They were found with their throats slashed at their home in the Cocoa Piece community near Chapelton in Clarendon.
Anderson said oftentimes the police become aware of domestic disputes too late.
“…That is at the extreme level, but only the community and people around know whether their early intervention had they told us, had something been done whether or not that could have been averted or prevented. We don’t know,” he said while speaking at the ground-breaking ceremony for the $200 million Lacovia Police Station in St Elizabeth on Thursday.
“The nature of these things are that sometimes we the police only know after it’s gone to bad… and at that point the most we can do is catch the suspect and bring them into custody,” he said.
Twenty-three-year-old Rushane Barnett, believed to be a cousin of the deceased, was held in Trelawny in connection with the murders on Tuesday evening.
Anderson said early intervention in disputes is important.
“We would prefer if it doesn’t happen at all, so we prefer to know beforehand. It doesn’t mean that it will always stop it, but it means that we can pay attention to it and intervene as we can as the law allows and provides for,” he said.