Jamaica Police refute Rastas' version of 'Changa Changa' arrest
The police have released their version of events which led to the arrest of popular Rastafarian personality Robert Lee Young, otherwise called ‘Changa Changa’ in Montego Bay, St James last month.
Changa Changa was arrested by cops who the Rastafarian community claimed demanded a strip search from him after they had searched him and found nothing illegal. The Rastas claim Changa Changa refused to comply to being strip searched and was hauled off and charged with resisting arrest.
But a release from the Constabulary Communications Unit (CCU) contradicted that claim.
The police said Changa Changa, who is known to wear clothes made from banana leaves and bamboo, was charged following a Friday, July 12 incident in which he reportedly refused to comply with the instructions of a policeman, whose suspicion was aroused by his behaviour along Jimmy Cliff Boulevard in the second city.
“It is reported that after being asked to allow the policeman to search a bag that he was carrying, Young refused and then shoved the policeman while uttering indecent language,” the release stated.
The case was mentioned in the Parish Court on Wednesday, July 31, where it was transferred to the Petty Sessions Court. He is to return to court on Friday, September 27 to answer to charges of resisting arrest and indecent language.
“The Jamaica Constabulary Force is committed to respecting the fundamental rights and practices of all groups within the society. However, members of the public are being reminded that several pieces of legislation to include the Constabulary Force Act, the Road Traffic Act and the Town and Communities Act, confer the powers of search upon the Police on the basis of reasonable suspicion, and as such, requests should be complied with. Moreover, the law requires that members of the public comply with the requests of the Police generally in all circumstances and refrain from behaviour that obstructs them from carrying out their duties," the release further stated.