Alleged family dispute over land leaves one dead; two in custody

MANDEVILLE, Manchester — Police here are theorising that an alleged six-year family dispute over land and houses in this south-central parish is a possible motive for Thursday’s shooting death of United Kingdom resident Michael Brown.

Brown, otherwise called “Jimmy”, 48, was killed about 12:20 am while in bed, four days after laying his 74-year-old mother to rest.

Head of the Manchester police Superintendent Shane McCalla told the Jamaica Observer that the police had intervened in the long-standing family dispute over property and houses.

“Up to as recent as last night [January 18], the police had to intervened in a domestic dispute between [relatives]. All the necessary actions were taken, persons were warned,” McCalla said.

However, the police’s intervention wasn’t sufficient to prevent Brown’s death.

“The dispute stems as far back as 2015 and it is various properties, not only located there [Mike Town], but in other areas of Manchester, about five houses in total,” said McCalla.

A police source told the Jamaica Observer that up to late Thursday, two of Brown’s relatives were taken into police custody.

Superintendent McCalla earlier said the two relatives were persons of interest.

“We would have gone to the extent where we also referred relatives to the restorative justice department as another avenue of intervention into the long-standing dispute over the properties,” said McCalla.The police chief said the relatives were counselled for hours.

“We brought them in and spoke to them for hours to try to come to some level of understanding and even after we did that we still referred the matter [to the restorative justice programme] for them to go through as another layer of intervention,” he said.

Manchester has over the years seen gruesome cases involving domestic disputes, and McCalla is urging residents to find amicable means of resolving conflicts.

On Thursday when the Observer visited one of Brown’s family properties in Mike Town, some grief-stricken family members expressed their disgust at the series of events leading up to his death.

“The whole of here is family property… a him mother him come bury. We nuh see nuh sign of forced entry [to the room he was in]. A inna him bed [he was killed],” said one of the family members.

The relative pointed to three houses on the Mike Town property, claiming the structures were a part of the contention between other relatives.

“You know how much night we haffi call police, because of the same dispute. Dem even threaten each other after the burial,” said the family member.

The relative claimed Brown’s mother suffered during the dispute and claimed that the matriarch was attacked by another relative, forcing her to run from her home in the nude seeking help.”All now me cyaa believe this [killing] end up happen, it is the way of the world,” said the family member.

Another family member said last September Brown installed a closed-circuit television system to monitor the family property because of the same family dispute.

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