Wednesday 5 August, 2020

Desir: Police were not directed to arrest anyone

Acting Commissioner of Police of the Royal St Lucia Police Force, Milton Desir

Acting Commissioner of Police of the Royal St Lucia Police Force, Milton Desir

Acting Commissioner of Police Milton Desir has denied widespread allegations that the police were directed to make a recent arrest.

Desir spoke today on the NTN Live Midday Update with Royal Saint Lucia Police Force program.

"Unlike what we see flying in Facebook where persons were directed to arrest certain individuals, that is not so.

We only arrest persons who has breached the law. I don't think any politician need to tell me that. I have 35 almost 36 years of service in the force so I know who to arrest, who not to arrest," said Desir.

Christopher Hunte was arrested, charged and released on bail for inciting an unlawful march, namely the anti-Chastanet drive around the island that took place on Sunday, June 14.

Moderator Lissa Joseph posed to the top cop: "There is the public understanding in some quarters that the police force seemed to have singled out individuals."

Desir responded: "The answer to that is yes and no... the Public Order Act gives the police the power to go to the persons who they believe have organized that event. So you are singling out them.

I know persons are saying it started with Richard (Frederick) but Richard was not arrested. But what did he do? He came there and said 'hey, the police has not given us permission, so we are not going to have this motorcade. So leave, go to your homes,' it was said, so he has taken himself off but somebody else take it over."

Desir said that as a result, police had to take action and that they would continue to do so in similar situations.

Regarding the unlawful Black Lives Matter protest that took place on Friday, June 12, Desir revealed that he was satisfied with how it was handled by the commander on the ground.

He further said that despite the commander saying that arrests may be pursued, the commissioner is satisfied with leaving it be: "I am not going to ask anybody to arrest any individual. However, I need persons to know that they committed an offence by not complying."

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