Former Station Sergeant to challenge COVID policy in court
FORMER STATION Sergeant in the Royal St Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force (RSVGPF) Brenton Smith intends to challenge the government’s SR& O #28 in court.
“I have absolutely no problem in challenging the system,” Smith told SEARCHLIGHT in a December 2 interview via telephone.
SR& O #28 in -The Public Health (Public bodies Special Measures) Rules of 2021 took effect on Friday, November 19 and mandates certain groups of workers to take a COVID-19 vaccine in order to continue working in their respective jobs.
Smith who refused to be vaccinated is no longer a police officer, having exited the constabulary when the deadline expired for these various categories of public workers to take a covid vaccine and they had not done so.
Smith, who at the time also was president of the Police Welfare Association said there are police officers who have worked very hard over the years and to now be considered as having abandoned their jobs when all they want to do is work is, “the height of ignorance on the authorities’ behalf and I have no apologies in saying that.”
Smith said he was thrown out of the workplace on Tuesday November 30 and while some persons consider him defiant, “it seems as if defiant is a one way thing for many persons.”
He explained that the reason for not taking the vaccine is because he refuses to give up his constitutional rights of freedom of expression, freedom of conscience and freedom of consent as he does not believe in the COVID-19 vaccine science at the moment.
“Furthermore, we are looking where persons when this vaccine came into being said it was a 100 percent efficacy then it go down to 90 something, then it went to 70 something and we are even seeing in Israel where the efficacy went down to 37 or 34 percent.
“And now that this new variant is in, you know they don’t have the answers to whether or not the vaccine will even work…people are lying through their teeth and I am not into that,” Smith said.
The police officer of 27 years said it could never be a good feeling losing benefits after so many years but he does not think that the benefits override what are his constitutional rights.
“So I do not mind giving up my benefits for what is right and justice for not only me but other persons as well,” Smith said.
He added that many people in the country are hurting because of what he considers the government’s draconian vaccine policy.
He referred to the figures which the Prime Minister said it would cost for government to regularly test workers who refused the vaccine stating that this is far less than the economic fallout of firing workers.
“But you know what he didn’t say? How much more it would cost the social welfare department for the number of persons who would have to go there for assistance. He need to also bring that into the mix because you cant leave that out.
“The more persons lose their job is the more persons will be seeking assistance through the welfare. Give us the figures of how much that would cost,” the former policeman said.
During the interview, Smith also commented on an investigation launched by the Commissioner of Police (COP) Collin John into the financial status of the Police Welfare Association (PWA).
Smith was head of the PWA for a period between 2016 to 2021 and told SEARCHLIGHT he thinks he may be a target for character assassination.
“When persons want to get to you and destroy your character…is not now the authorities trying to lock me up…I am serious and I am glad you made mention of it because I intend to speak on it at length,” he said of the investigation.
“….and if we are honest with ourselves, you would see that I was not given a fair chance to do my duties in the police force,” Smith said.
“It is said monies were misappropriated from 2012 to the present but for three of those years from 2014 to 2017” a named Superintendent “was the Chairman so I want to know, are they taking out those three years?
“Man let me tell you something; they are on a witch hunt and they can continue on that witch hunt but what is most critical, I am seeing they are saying now that the authorities in the police force doesn’t care about the general membership because if they did and if they do, and I would say this, if you want Brenton Smith, come for Brenton Smith, lock up Brenton Smith but you can’t tell me you are stopping all deductions from the Association from all members from the rank of Inspector down to constable from paying their welfare dues which assist persons over the years medically, legally, soft loans…” Smith observed.
“In fact there were police officers who were shot in the line of duty and when their parents went to the authorities in the police force, you know where they send them? To the welfare association.
“How in God’s world could you tell me the welfare association started a retirement fund three years ago and now have accumulated funds of over $200,000 in such a period of time and you stopping that? So you not concerned about the well-being of the police officers, for the future of the police officers? And we want to sit down and think that is right because you want to get to one man?, he questioned further.
“Well I am here anytime they ready to arrest me if they think the funds were misappropriated under my leadership or even by me, come for me but don’t do that to mistreat the other members of the organisation,” Smith said.
He added that he has no problem with the investigation as his mother brought him up always to be honest and he would defend any attempts to assassinate his character.