The person who on Saturday filmed and distributed via social media a video of a dying Onica King broke no laws, according to police.
The video, which clearly shows the bleeding 36-year-old professional nail technician fighting for her life after she was stabbed multiple times in the presence of her two young children, provoked outrage among some Barbadians, many of whom called on police to prosecute and jail the person behind it.
However, Acting Inspector Rodney Inniss, the public relations officer of the Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF) told Barbados TODAY it was not a criminal act to record and circulate videos of people dying.
“As a police force we consistently ask for the public’s assistance in solving matters. However, we don’t want them to send out those types of videos. We generally have no control when individuals send out these types of videos unless it is pornography, which is a criminal act,” Inniss said.
King, of Lead Vale, Christ Church and the mother of two children, ages six and three, was stabbed multiple times in her shop at No 41 Mandela Plaza, Swan Street, The City, and left to die.
Police have since issued a wanted bulletin for her husband, 47-year-old David Dacosta King, also of Lead Vale, Christ Church.
Inniss described the video as insensitive, while he appealed to the sense of “morality and compassion” of those who engage in the practice.
“We think it is quite insensitive what is going around. It is a matter of morality and having empathy and expression of condolences for the family. Persons are advised that is a lot of hurt and trauma and it affects everyone. Doing things like that only exaggerates the problem.
“We are asking persons to kindly desist from doing such. We want to encourage people to assist rather than just take out a camera and record such incidents. It is better for individuals to assist in doing something positive than to be the first person to catch footage on video and circulating it,” he said.
“We are pleading for morality and compassion. I want the public to think about the persons who are hurting in these circumstances and the grief because videos can remain in the system for years,” he told Barbados TODAY.
The police spokesman also said that any information or footage that may help with serious investigations should be submitted to the RBPF, but repeated his strong condemnation of the distribution of the gruesome videos.
“If for some reasons persons have footage that can assist the police there are several avenues for doing so. It is not necessary for such videos to be broadcast to the whole world. It’s a hurtful thing when one considers the family and children,” Inniss stressed.