Police chief lashes people spreading fake news
Announces murder charge against policeman in Donna-Lee Donaldson case
DONALDSON... reported missing on July 13

POLICE Commissioner Major General Antony Anderson has flayed individuals for posting "fake news" in the course of investigations, charging that "it only helps the guilty".

Speaking during a digital press briefing on Tuesday, where the high command, among other matters, announced the laying of murder charges against Constable Noel Maitland, companion of missing social media influencer Donnalee Donaldson, Major General Anderson highlighted what he said were "the challenges we face when conducting an investigation in an atmosphere where fake news abounds".

"I am not referring to news with inaccuracies, I am referring to fabricated and misleading stories in relation to an investigation. Every time these fabrications are published they not only divert the attention of the police, but they further traumatise the grieving family and loved ones," the police commissioner said.

"These fake news elements do not serve the interest of the family, they don't serve the interest of law enforcement, and they do not serve the interest of justice. Fake news muddies the water and causes people to lose faith in the integrity of the judicial process; it only benefits the guilty," he added.

Maitland, who is assigned to the St Andrew North Police Division, was taken into custody last week by detectives from the Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime Investigation Branch in relation to Donaldson's disappearance. Donaldson, whose disappearance has drawn nationwide attention, was first reported missing to the police on Wednesday, July 13 after she failed to return home, having reportedly left her house to visit the policeman's apartment on the night of July 11. He was formally charged on Tuesday with her murder.

The woman's body is yet to be recovered.

BY ALICIA DUNKLEY-WILLIS Senior staff reporter dunkleywillisa@jamaicaobserver.com

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