Mark Titus, Gleaner Writer
Jamaica-born United States Army Captain Winsome Rattigan is hopping mad as she feels the local police are not handling the case of her missing brother properly, giving credence to the belief that the local justice system does not treat the poor and the rich in the same way.
"It is so disappointing to know that the attitude of the police in Jamaica is seemingly different towards the poor in comparison to those of the upper class," Rattigan told The Gleaner earlier this week.
"In 2006, the disappearance of an influential couple in Manchester saw the formation of a special search team led by former Assistant Commissioner of Police Les Green going out to investigate."
In lashing out at what she described as the "one rule for the rich and another for the poor", Rattigan said Jamaica seems to be embracing inequality.
"What or who determines the equality, the existence, and the purpose of a human being?" the military woman asked. "Is the Jamaican justice system designed to cater to the upper echelons of Jamaicans only?"
While noting that he did not wish to speak to the specific concerns raised by Rattigan, Senior Superintendent of Police Fitz Bailey, who heads the Organised Crime Investigation Division, told The Gleaner that if there was a belief that the police act improperly, systems are in place to deal with it.
"All I can say is that the force is being modernised and systems have been put in place for police officers to act professionally. If they fail to act professionally, we have systems to deal with it," said Bailey.
"In any organisation, the process of modernisation is ongoing, and in the process, you are going to find system errors … . Once the system errors are identified, it is the responsibility of the High Command and the management to ensure that the errors are adequately addressed."
MISSING SINCE OCT 1
Rattigan, who hails from Mango Valley in St Mary, arrived in the island recently to assist her relatives in the month-long search for her brother, Lloyd Rattigan, a farmer who was last seen on October 1.
"The cruel reality is that my brother is seen as a 'nobody' in the eyes of the justice system," lamented Rattigan. "He is poor; there is no equality with the rich and well connected. He is the scum of society because of his socio-economic and psychosocial status."
Rattigan, who is convinced that her brother is dead, is offering a $100,000 reward to anyone who can locate his body.