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Police abusing power

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16.MAY.08

EDITOR: As honest, law-abiding citizens of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, one cannot but be appalled at the disturbing frequency with which the police force abuses its power. The Commissioner of Police obviously fails to understand that the “police force” is a phrase that represents a body designed to serve and protect its people. Instead, “police force” is interpreted literally to mean not simply force, but excess force in the commission of appointed duty.{{more}}

The alleged manhandling of Ipa was not the first or isolated report of police abuse of power. The Veira raid and the more recent raid on Dougie Defreitas of Nice radio are symbolic of the stench that permeates not simply the Police Department, but more specifically the government from whom the orders are derived. I take my hat off to Dougie Defreitas for having a backbone. The alleged rape of the police office similarly represents an abuse of power by a government that clearly has outlived its welcome.

It is with eager anticipation I await the lyrics of calypsos in the upcoming carnival celebration, because it should allow for a freedom of speech forum that is sadly lacking over the last few years in St. Vincent. Instead, what we have witnessed is a blatant attempt by government to smother any voice that is in disagreement with policy and practice of the ULP. Threats to sue and calls for apology are just calculated attempts to dampen the spirit and call for justice, while injecting fear into the less resilient. To a lesser extent, it is a bid to camouflage the real issue and to divert attention from the authentic and pressing allegations of rape, not once, but twice. We need to ask ourselves why would these young women conspire and make up stories about this “nice” gentleman? A man whose position of power holds crushing implications. We also need to ask ourselves why a man so accused is reluctant to face the music and clear his name. Why is he trying to hush everyone instead?

Gonsalves has obviously grown to think that he is not only head of government, but that he OWNS St. Vincent. He may also be viewed as a dictator of the highest order whose intimidation, victimization and vindictive retaliation must come to an end. Further, such bullying tactics are echoed in the actions of the Police Department. I find the entire scheme of events absolutely disgraceful.

It is clear to me, and should be clear to all Vincentians, as it is clear to people everywhere, that anytime a government is investing more time in having the police department harass innocent people instead of focusing on the very real crime that is ravaging society, it is time for people to take a stand. There is a saying that if you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything. People like Bassy Alexander, Adrian Fraser and other decent Vincentians should seriously consider the plight of this beloved country and run for office. While politics may be viewed as unpalatable to such decent folk, the alternative is totally unacceptable: dictatorship and anarchy. It is time to mobilize in the creation or coalition of a new political party that is truly viable.

Sue Me-Too

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