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Five months a long time for NYPD probe – Camillo

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Vincentian Permanent Representative to the Untied Nations, Camillo Gonsalves, believes that five months is a long time for the New York Police Department (NYPD) to conduct an internal review of his arrest in New York on March 28.{{more}}

Gonsalves, however, told SEARCHLIGHT last week Friday that the NYPD has yet to say what are its finding in a case where a New York councilman was arrested in September 2011.

“I don’t want to speculate too much but I suspect there is a desire in the police force to let things calm down,” Gonsalves said.

He noted that the consuls general of the Caribbean countries have told the police that they thought his arrest was unacceptable.

Various civilian groups had made similar representation, Gonsalves said.

“Very often, if you know the NYPD, if it is a case of police misconduct, police brutality, various police action, some far more serious and some more complicated with me and some not so, the police tend to take a rather long time to respond.

“I think they think that that will allow cooler heads to prevail. I don’t know if that’s the case in this instance. … We think the facts are fairly clear and we will like a response from them. As of now, it hasn’t come,” Gonsalves said.

But Gonsalves, whose current contract expires in December, said he does not think the investigation would be affected if he ceases to be the Vincentian envoy to the UN.

“This was not an assault on me an individual, Camillo Gonsalves. It was an assault on the accredited representative of St Vincent and the Grenadines of a sovereign country. So, the investigation would not die with me, if, for some reason, I was no longer the permanent representative. But, hopefully, the matter will be resolved in short order.”

Gonsalves said that while the NYDP investigations are continuing, Kingstown is satisfied with the response of the US federal government.

Susan Rice, US ambassador to the United Nations, and US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton have visited the envoy and expressed their regret at the incident.

“We are essentially satisfied with the response of the US federal government in this regard. But the New York police have not responded in a similar manner as of yet,” Gonsalves said.

Further, the United Nations Committee on Relations with the Host Country had an internal hearing on the matter, and Gonsalves had spoken before that body, he said.

The US representative, he said, has asked for time for the police to conduct their own investigations. (kentonchance@searchlight.vc)

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