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Check the source of photo, Babsy tells JCF

Published:Wednesday | February 24, 2016 | 2:00 AMChristopher Serju

Olivia 'Babsy' Grange, the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) candidate for St Catherine Central, has challenged the police high command to verify the source of a photograph of a group of policemen it says has been used as campaign material for the party and with which it has taken issue.

"How do they know the JLP actually did this? There is a group that's not a political group, and I saw it on their page; somebody sent it to me from their WhatsApp group. So how do we know it's the Jamaica Labour Party that has done this? Anybody could have done this. I mean, once something is online, you know, anybody could have done it," she told The Gleaner yesterday.

The JLP stalwart was responding to a release issued by the police Corporate Communications Unit (CCU) "voicing its dissent against a series of viral images bearing the photograph of JCF officers that have been fashioned into campaign paraphernalia for the Jamaica Labour Party.

"The photograph - taken by the JCF's Corporate Communications Unit and posted on the JCF's official Facebook page in 2012 - has been manipulated to present the impression that the five on-duty officers, and, by extension, the JCF, are a part of the JLP's campaign machinery."

POLITICAL POSTER

The photograph, which clearly identifies the five men as uniformed members of the JCF, with their faces blurred, is part of a poster urging electors to vote for Opposition Leader Andrew Holness in tomorrow's general election.

The CCU release further states: "Police Commissioner, Dr Carl Williams condemns the use of these images, and explicitly notes that the JCF categorically distances itself from these images and their designer.

"The use of our police officers in this fashion is an unfortunate and deceitful act. It places these five officers, who did not authorise the use of their photograph in this manner, in an uncomfortable position and at risk of unnecessary negative attention, especially during this emotionally charged period."

Grange, who was not aware of the release until The Gleaner brought it to her attention, promised to investigate the matter.

"I wasn't aware of the JCF accusing the Labour Party, but somebody sent me this yesterday from a group which was not a JLP group. Certainly, I would have to check into it. There is nothing on it that identifies the Jamaica Labour Party as doing it, so I would to look into it."

christopher.serju@gleanerjm.com