Green Flag Caused Woman's Death in St Catherine; Political Thuggery?

A woman was gunned down late Monday in Portmore, St Catherine by unknown assailants. The Jamaica Constabulary Force's Corporate Communications Unit confirmed the killing, but said details are still unclear at this time. Her identity has not yet been released.

It has been learnt, however, that the woman, said to be a supporter of the governing People's National Party (PNP), might have been the victim of political thuggery.

A Facebook status posted by Senate President Floyd Morris suggested that the woman was killed because she allegedly removed a green flag from her gate in the Newlands community in the parish. The area is considered to be a Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) stronghold.

Morris said: "I am a very angry and sad man tonight. We have just experienced the killing of one of our members who was brutally shot by thugs and cowards who turned the gun on a supporter of the PNP because, as reported, she took down a flag that was posted at her gate by members of the JLP."

The woman was said to be making preparations for canvassing as a general election looms.

The senator condemned the killing, insisting that "this is madness and must not be condoned on either side of the political divide".

Member of Parliament for the constituency, Arnaldo Brown, (St Catherine East Central) also condemned the killing.

"We certainly do not support any acts of violence in the constituency, especially acts of violence against women and children," he exclaimed.

He described the killing as "bizarre" and "suspicious" citing that the community has been "relatively quiet".

"Over the course of the period that I have been member of parliament Newlands, in particular, has been relatively quiet. We haven't really had many incidents of this nature and I think it's quite unfortunate that this situation has arisen," said Brown. 

"Certainly we are cooperating with the police as best as we can...and we hope that the police will be proactive in terms of dealing with it," he added.

An attempted to contact JLP caretaker Alando Terrelonge but calls to his phone went unanswered.

In the 2011 General Election, Brown won the seat by 558 votes. Some 21,436 electors are registered in the constituency.