The three police officers who were suspended following the La Brea quadruple murders in March were cleared of any wrongdoing and have since returned to work.
T&T Police Service public relations officer ASP Michael Jackman confirmed yesterday that the suspension of Sgt Rosalie Joseph-Taitt, Cpl Virendra Ramlal and WPC Nailah Homer was lifted.
“That investigation has been completed and no wrongdoing or neglect on the part of the police was unearthed,” said Jackman.
Their suspension came following a complaint by Christine Jones, the mother of Abigail Jones-Chapman, who was murdered together with her daughter, her daughter’s friend and landlord, that the police failed to act on a domestic report made by her daughter just days before the killings.
Three days after the murders, the police issued a statement announcing that then Police Commissioner Stephen Williams, after reviewing Jones’ complaint and Jones-Chapman’s report and other relevant documents, decided to immediately suspend the officers pending an investigation by the Professional Standards Bureau.
Expressing shock and disappointment that the officers were cleared of any wrong doing, Jones, in a telephone interview, said, “As usual, the police are never doing anything wrong.”
She still insisted that the killings could have been prevented had the police arrested the suspect when her daughter made the report.
“They said they could not arrest him because they did not have a medical. What does a medical have to do with arresting someone?”
She said God has been giving her the strength to cope with this tragedy and she still attends the police Victim Support Unit counselling sessions.
Police Service Social and Welfare Association president Michael Seales says the association will be supporting the officers if they pursue legal action.
He said the officers returned to the job about a month ago, but unlike when they were suspended there was no public announcement that they had been cleared.
He said, “After a thorough investigations and legal advice would have suggested that they followed every rule of the law and all the standing orders for their operations so they would have breached no rule.
“They were suspended on a mere allegation of misconduct but what we would have said to Commissioner Williams at the point of time is that he would have gotten the analysis wrong and he was moved by emotions rather than the whole issue of trying to respond to the horrific death of all four persons. He wanted a scapegoat and that scapegoat was the police officers who did absolutely nothing wrong.”
Abigail Jones-Chapman, 41, her daughter Olivia Chapman, 16, Chapman’s friend Michaela Mason, 14, and retired teacher Michael Scott, 70 were found dead in the downstairs apartment of Scott’s house at Khani Settlement, Sobo Village, on March 13.
Her ex-boyfriend, Rodger Mattison, 39, a labourer, of Salick Trace, Guapo, has since been charged with the murders.