Teacher mistakenly labelled as person of interest

June 01, 2021
Members of the Jamaica Defence Force and Jamaica Constabulary Force in the Comfort district on patrol recently.
Members of the Jamaica Defence Force and Jamaica Constabulary Force in the Comfort district on patrol recently.

A high school teacher has been left in an uncomfortable position after his name was among 23 persons of interest listed by the Manchester police last Thursday.

Marlon Thomas from Comfort, which is currently a hotspot in the parish, has claimed reputational damage as a result of the publication of the list.

However, the teacher said he has lived in the community for years, and claims to be the only one known by the name Marlon Thomas.

The man listed as a person of interest is known by the alias Mat. Thomas said that he has never been called by that name.

"I went to the police station on Friday and explained the situation. They took my name and other biographical data and it reached to a point where they wanted to take my mug shot and I told them I wasn't there for that," Thomas said.

He said that he is worried about the impact of what he claims to be a mix-up. He is similarly concerned that efforts being made by him to clarify the situation with the police would leave a stain on his record. He said that when he visited the Manchester Police Headquarters last week, the detective took him to the commanding officer, Superintendent Gary Francis.

Have no criminal record

"... Mr Francis told me that I am not the person of interest. I assumed we were finished but the detective said he is not sure they are finished with me at CIB (Crime Investigation Bureau). I went back there and they wanted to create a form, and the nature of that form is to create profile, and I have no criminal record ... ," he said.

Thomas said that he was asked to affix his signature to a document that was incomplete and bore information that was not applicable to him.

"I refused. I don't want any police to be profiling me. They took the information of my car and so on, and one police said I was only signing to say the information there was correct... I insisted I was not going to sign it," he said. Thomas said he was "chased " from the station for refusing to sign the document.

Superintendent Gary Francis confirmed to THE STAR that Thomas, the teacher, is not the person the police have an interest in.

"It is surprising that he is saying he was treated badly by the police ... After I spoke to him, he left and he did not say he had any discomfort ... . He is not the person we want. He is the law-abiding teacher ... ," he said.

Meanwhile, Thomas, who has plans to renew his US visa and visit his two-week-old daughter soon, says he fears the chatter surrounding his identify and the information collected by the police will pose challenges for him.

"It's already circulating in the media and even my principal has called about it. My name has been circulating in the news as a person of interest along with 22 other persons who I have no affiliation with ... I am also on filing and I don't want any background search to be done with Marlon Thomas in the media from Comfort, Manchester," he said.

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