Sat | Feb 16, 2019

No peace for relatives of west Kgn dead

Published:Wednesday | June 16, 2010 | 12:00 AM
Roshean Mason Jr holds a photo of his father yesterday at the waiting area near the site where post-mortems of persons killed in the west Kingston operation last month were being conducted. - Ricardo Makyn/Staff Photographer

Patrina Pink, Gleaner Intern

IT WAS a chaotic scene as dozens of upset and grief-stricken families of victims of the west Kingston Labour Day raid went home empty-handed from the Spanish Town Hospital morgue yesterday.

Many mourners had turned out to the morgue to identify and register the bodies of their loved ones for official post-mortems, but only 10 autopsies were slated and completed for the day.

The scene was very uncomfortable for workers organising and observing the post-mortems.

"People who were not supposed to be here were here and they got boisterous and bawled that they wanted their dead," remarked one official, who requested anonymity.

"One lady got angry and started talking that dogs ate her cousin. We had to prove to a reporter that nothing like this happened. They are just angry and are spreading a lot of propaganda," the official added.

The Ministry of Justice dispatched three grief counsellors from the Victim Support Unit to provide emotional support for the mourners.

Levi Rhoden, parish coordinator of the unit, confessed to the limited reach of his team.

"In this environment, no counselling can take place, but for those willing, we take their contacts."

Very few were willing to access the counselling provided by the unit. Instead, Rhoden said the families were more concerned with finding the funds to bury their dead.

One young woman, Sushana Francis, had gone to the morgue to register the body of her six-month-old child's father. An asthmatic 25-year-old Roshean Mason was reportedly hauled from his bed, beaten, shot and then thrown off the roof.

"Everybody know about the youth that get thrown off the roof. Dem disgrace him, do him bad," said Francis.

Dr Michael Pollanen, an independent observer pathologist, arrived on the island recently to oversee the post-mortems conducted by the Government.

Post-mortems are scheduled to continue over the next two weeks.