CHARLESTOWN, Nevis - QUESTIONS are being asked about police officers’ conduct and what penalties are being meted out to them when they breach the Force’s Standard Operating Procedures while making arrests in the Federation.
Those questions were asked as media reports highlighted that the man in a concrete drain on whose back a police officer was standing while another stood by without rendering assistance, was charged with Simple Wounding, Resisting Arrest and Battery of a Police Officer.
That incident had reportedly occurred on Nevis in early February 2021.
Local media house WINN FM reported that the Head of the Nevis Division of the Police Force, Superintendent James Sutton, confirmed that the charges were filed against Malvern Walwyn of Hardtimes Village, Gingerland.
Walwyn is scheduled to appear in court today (May 5) to answer to the three charges.
SKNVibes understands that police have been tight-lipped on this particular case, as no word has been forthcoming on the reported internal investigation into the matter.
This publication had however been told by a source close to the police that internal investigation into the matter is ongoing and the officer might have to defend his action in court.
Videos and photos that circulated on social media back in February showed one officer standing on Walwyn’s back while he lay face down in a concrete drain.
That incident was followed by a shooting incident several weeks later in the Sandy Point area, where two squads of officers were unable to control a knife-wielding male.
In their report on the incident, police explained that they were called to an area in Sandy Point to address a concern of a seven-year-old being beaten by his father.
They also reported that when the officer arrived at the scene, the assailant was “behaving in a violent manner and used threatening language. He refused to cooperate with their instructions”.
Police further stated: “The Anti-Gang Unit was summoned to provide assistance. While there, the assailant continued behaving in a violent manner. He advanced towards the Officers with a knife, swung the knife at them, and threatened to kill one of them. He was warned and refused to comply with the commands of the Officers. As a result, he was shot in the legs by members of the Anti-Gang Unit.”
In a recent interview with SKNVibes, Commissioner of Police Hilroy Brandy stated that internal investigations into the matter are still ongoing.
“When you have a shooting like that there must be an investigation, and that does not mean that the officer is right or is wrong - but you will have to investigate,” Brandy said.
On numerous occasions, the manner in which police handled arrests have been questioned by many in the public domain. But it is also the public’s duty not to prevent the police from carrying out their duties.
The police have equally called upon the public to stop resisting arrest and also for those persons or family members who seek to interfere with those officers who are executing an arrest.
However, the conduct of some officers while on foot or mobile patrols has raised eyebrows in the public domain, as on many occasions they were allegedly engaged in deep conversation with friends or “cat-calling” and/or making snide remarks against females.
Does this go with the the Force’s mandate, which states that “the purpose of the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force (RSCNPF) is to uphold the law fairly and firmly, without fear or favour, to prevent crime, to pursue and bring to justice those who break the law, to keep the peace, to protect, help and reassure residents and visitors and to be seen to do all this with integrity and impartiality”?