Stop referring to latest homicide as ‘domestic violence’ without details, residents told

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Police PRO Assistant Superintendent Frankie Thomas (file photo)
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By Carlena Knight

[email protected]

One law enforcement official is calling on the public to desist from referring to the country’s latest homicide as a domestic violence case.

Police spokesman Inspector Frankie Thomas was speaking yesterday on the Observer AM show about the murder of 25-year-old Neltha Telemaque whose body was found near Burma Quarry on Sunday.

He explained it is premature and very reckless for residents to be referring to the matter as a domestic violence case as the police investigations have not confirmed this to be so.

“We would rather await the outcome and conclusion of this particular investigation before we label it as such because at the end of the day, we don’t want to focus our minds, or be forced or pointed in a particular direction and then we end up looking elsewhere.

“So, I urge us to be cautious, be patient and at the same time, allow the investigation to take its full course, and then we will decide as the evidence leads, and as the information comes to hand,” Thomas added.

His sentiments were echoed by Counselling Psychologist Terese Millet-Joseph who said referring to matters like these as domestic violence cases only plays into a certain narrative.

“I think it is a good idea for us to get into the habit of using terms like gender-based violence, particularly where they are uncertain as to what type of violence exactly it was, because domestic violence is only one type of gender-based violence, and so I think broader conversations around gender-based violence in general would be a good idea rather than us getting in the habit of referring to every incident like this, as they are not always domestic violence incidents.

“When we use the term domestic violence, it immediately perpetrates a narrative,” Joseph said.

Thomas also reiterated calls for persons on social media to proceed with caution when posting and sharing information linked to these heinous crimes.

Not only could this gravely affect family members, Thomas explained, but sometimes sharing specific information could negatively impact the case.

“You would find that the, quote and unquote, best of investigators and detectives that we have out there, seem to know more than the evidence we have before us, [and they] would resort to social media in the thought of doing good, but end up doing more harm and danger to our investigation than they would have ever imagined,” Thomas said.

Telemaque’s body was discovered with what appeared to be multiple wounds.

Charges have not been laid despite law enforcement issuing a wanted bulletin for All Saints resident, Kevin Samuel, who later surrendered to police.

When asked how the investigation is going thus far, Thomas said, “I spoke with one of the key investigators and they are in the process of taking statements and interviewing people.

“The investigation is progressing as is expected in the nature and under the circumstances,” Thomas explained.

Meanwhile, a GoFundMe Page has been set up by the family to cover the costs of Telemaque’s funeral.

Visit https://gofund.me.70b3ac58 to donate.  

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