Man in viral video held as a suspect in larceny, JCF insistsTuesday, July 27, 2021
ST ANN, Jamaica — The police are seeking to clarify circumstances in a viral video of a man seen making derogatory statements about the prime minister, and then being arrested, saying that the two incidents are not connected.
According to the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) it has taken note of concern expressed following the circulation of the video on social media involving the man.
The JCF said that the man, Shaquille O'Neal Higgins, was taken into custody by the St Ann Police on July 27, 2021, as a suspect in a larceny case and not because of the statements made in the video.
“Many persons have drawn a nexus between him being taken into custody and Mr Higgins' production of the viral video. Persons have drawn the mistaken conclusion that Higgins was taken into custody because of his calumnious remarks,” a statement from the JCF said.
The facts are that Shaquille Higgins was taken into custody as a suspect in relation to a case of larceny dwelling, committed on the 24th of July, 2021 against a 45-year-old woman of Moneague, St Ann, the statement added.
The police said that they were alerted to Higgins' location by his own declarations, which immediately went viral on social media.
''The Constabulary would like to reiterate the fact that all citizens in our democratic society enjoy wide ranging rights and liberties, including freedom of speech. However, those rights and liberties come with responsibilities and implications,'' the statement said.
Head of the St Ann police, Superintendent Dwight Powell, confirmed with OBSERVER ONLINE on Tuesday morning that Higgins was in custody at the Moneague Police Station in the parish.
According to Powell, the video prompted the police's "intervention" in arresting Higgins.
"The video prompted our [the police's] intervention. It was observed, however, that he [Higgins] may have fit the description for a person of interest in some break-in incidents in the Moneague area," Powell stated.
Those break-in incidents allegedly occurred at businesses, among other places in Moneague, the police said.