Officer allegedly assaults civilian
BASSETERRE, St. Kitts - INSTEAD of honouring his mandate - Serve and Protect - a member of the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force has allegedly physically abused a male civilian and the matter is being investigated by his colleagues.
Several videos making rounds on social media show an off-duty police officer in an altercation with a male civilian as a number of his uniformed colleagues intervened in an effort to quell the skirmish, which took place at a popular spot near the College Street Ghaut on Friday evening (Mar. 4).
It was reported by various media outlets that the off-duty officer was involved in an accident with a parked vehicle that reportedly belong to the said individual with whom he had the skirmish.
Surveillance videos confirmed the accident, but what reportedly transpired later has again raised concerns about the conduct of officers and the way they treat members of the public.
According to reports, the officer allegedly assaulted the unidentified male while brandishing a handgun during the altercation.
Eyewitnesses reported that the officer was seeking to arrest the individual who had nothing to do with the accident that was allegedly caused by the lawman.
At several points in the video, the civilian was seen with a bloodied face.
Police have since confirmed that they are aware of the photos and videos making rounds on social media, and the Public Relations Department said in part that “the Police High Command is aware of the matter and is looking into it”.
This is not the first time that the conduct of officers have come into question.
Just recently, two officers were brought before the court to face charges for varying offences.
In October last, 26-year-old Tyrique Jones of Wades Garden was slapped with Possession of Firearm and Possession of Ammunition charges, which were in connection with the discovery of a Beretta PX4 Storm Pistol and several rounds of .9mm ammunition that were found in the handbag of a female he was with at the time.
Police said the weapon was found after Jones and 29-year-old Sylaine Phipps of Boyds Village were searched during security checks at a popular night club on Fort Street.
Several days earlier, 27-year-old Cheslyn Hutton of Cotton Ground had allegedly thrown contraband over the walls of Her Majesty’s Prison in Basseterre.
He too was slapped with charges.
Those incidents had prompted the Commissioner of Police, Hilroy Brandy, to send strong words to his office. He told SKNVibes News that they would throw the entire book at officers who are bent on breaking the law..
“If an officer cannot perform professionally, then he will be disciplined,” Brandy stressed.
Those incidents followed videos where an officer was seen standing on the back of a male in a concrete drain in Nevis while his colleague looked on without rendering assistance.
“Police must realise that they are judged at a higher standard than the ordinary citizen in St. Kitts and Nevis. So, when they go and break the law, they are expected to be met with a higher punishment than the normal citizen,” noted Brandy.
He added: “It is not a good thing for the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force when two of its own are involved in criminal activities. At the same time, we will leave no stone unturned to investigate them and bring them to justice like any other criminal.”