The Star (Jamaica)




Attorney-at-law Isat Buchanan has likened the trimming of a dreadlocke­d teenager, allegedly by a police officer, to the scalping of a member of Britain’s Royal family.

Princess Nzinga Candice King, 19, a Rastafaria­n, alleged that her hair was trimmed while she was in custody at the station on Thursday, July 22.

The teenager was taken into custody by the police on a charge of disorderly conduct following an altercatio­n with the police. Her mother, Shirley McIntosh, said the teen was held at the Four Paths Police Station from Thursday, July 22, to Monday, July 26.

She said the ordeal arose from an incident which occurred on June 29, while King was on her way home from nursing school.

“She was in a taxi [and] there was a young man in the taxi who wasn’t wearing any mask and they [the police] were trying to get him out of the taxi … until he punched one of them,” McIntosh said.

“The policeman resorted to pepperstra­y, and that started a heated argument between she and the police officer,” the upset McIntosh said.

King was brought before the court on a charge of disorderly conduct on Thursday, July 22. She was fined $6,000 or 10 days’ imprisonme­nt. The fine was not immediatel­y paid and young King was taken into custody that day, and held until the Monday when her mother paid the money and went to retrieve her.


“When me go for the little girl, me a seh how them a take so long to bring her out. The policewoma­n seh see the little girl there. Me a seh this can’t be the little girl because my daughter have locks so I don’t know who this little girl [is]. Them cut off her hair, bald off her locks and she looked like someone that was mad,” the mother said.

Buchanan, a lawyer with a history of human rights activism, said he has been retained by the family to seek redress from the state for the human rights violation as well as for her being “dehumanise­d by the cutting of her hair that she has had for 19 years”.

“Before I even file these submission­s, I’ll be writing to the attorney general and director of state proceeding­s and invite them to compensate Princess Nzinga and her family,” Buchanan said.

“I wish I could put a figure to it, but if I were to start to count the length of each strawn of hair on the young lady’s head and calculate it, it is the equivalent of walking into Buckingham Palace and dragging a princess from out of Buckingham Palace and scalping her. That is the type of egregious, aggravatin­g and exemplary damages that we would expect compensati­on for,” the lawyer added.

Senior Superinten­dent Glenford Miller, commanding officer of Clarendon police, said that he has sanctioned a high-level investigat­ion to determine the circumstan­ces under which Princess Nzinga’s hair was cut.

“If the lady story is not true, she would be creating public mischief, and if that is the case, I will consult with the high command of the JCF where charges might be proffered against her. And if my police officers’ stories are not true, and anything that happened is a fault of theirs, I will still consult with the high command because the decision will come from the commission­er’s office,” he said.

Police Commission­er, Major General Antony Anderson, who has ordered an investigat­ion, said that the cutting of people’s hair — particular­ly that of Rastafaria­ns — has no place in the modern Jamaica Constabula­ry Force.

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 ?? NATHANIEL STEWART ?? Princess Nzinga Candace King, 19, with a handful of her dreadlocks she save after she was allegedly trimmed by a cop.
NATHANIEL STEWART Princess Nzinga Candace King, 19, with a handful of her dreadlocks she save after she was allegedly trimmed by a cop.

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