Thousands gather to pay final respects to female cop Melissa Edwards
Melissa Edwards, the district constable who was attacked and killed in late September, was on Saturday remembered as a Jamaican who not only served her country with pride, but was an individual who managed to touch and transform the lives of thousands in her short time on earth.
The Funeral Service for Edwards was held at the St Barnabas Anglican Church, Manchester.
"She was never a person to hold a grudge, she was an individual who was lively, she always managed to maintain a smile through her most challenging moments,” said one woman, who joined the large number of family members from Jamaica and other countries, to mourn the loss of the woman, who many described as a shining light.
“Always a smile instead of a frown, always a hand when one was down. Always true, thoughtful and kind wonderful memories she left behind,” one relative said as she read from a section of the funeral programme.
As the message was read, members of the JCF - both senior and rank and file - fought hard to hide their pain.
But it was the gut-wrenching screams from one relative that would trigger a flood of tears.
In an amateur video that was being circulated on social media, a family friend was seen trying to comfort the weeping relative
“Melissa you gone, you gone, only God knows,” one family member was heard saying as she wept openly and had to be consoled by relatives close by.
Reports are that the victim, her brother and her husband were at home when the brother reportedly left the house to run an errand. It is further reported that, upon his return to the house, the brother found the house grill locked.
After calling Edwards-Whyte and not getting an answer, he went around the back of the house and looked through a window to see his sister lying in a pool of blood.
The police were alerted and managed to gain entry to the house, and subsequently discovered the body of the woman. A machete was found at the scene.
The district constable's death sent shockwaves across the country and has received widespread condemnation, including by the national security minister and the police commissioner.