Brooks clarifies ‘media circus’ comments in Donna-Lee case
Senior Communications Strategist at the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) Dennis Brooks is seeking to clarify comments he made referring to the Donna-Lee Donaldson investigation as a 'media circus'.
"What I am saying is because social media has such a pervasive impact, and we accept that social media can be used for good, but the same good that it can be used for can also be manipulated if you are not careful. And so when people manufacture outrage by inserting into the narrative, fake news, and when I say fake news I mean deliberately fake news, all that they are doing is creating or trying to turn the investigation into a media circus -- this frenzied frantic madness that is not good for the investigation," he said.
Donaldson was first reported missing on July 13 by her mother, Sophia Lugg, who said she was last seen on July 11 when she left for the apartment of her boyfriend Noel Maitland who is a cop. However, he said she left his home the following day about 11 a.m. Brooks said that sharing false discoveries online, like claiming a body has been found, only hurts the victim's family and makes it harder for the police to carry out their investigations.
"It is not good for the parties involved, the loved ones, the people who genuinely are about. And it is not good for even the persons who might mean well and are trying to use their social media presence for good," he said. Brooks is encouraging the public to use the proper channels if they wish to help the investigation.
"The concern is not misplaced, the genuine concern of people who want to ensure that this is not a nine-day wonder is not misplaced. If it is that they believe that there is more that the JCF can do, then there are means that they can communicate it," he said, while encouraging persons to call 119, Crime Stop or 811. Brooks said he appreciates that there is some distrust as members of the JCF are involved in the case.
"But what I'm saying is everything that we have said since day one has shown that is all the more reason why we are treating this investigation the way we are treating it. We are giving it a level of focus that many other missing person investigations wish they had the resources behind," he said.