Sunday 29 November, 2020

PWA calls out DPP on IMPACS and Chakadan Daniel investigations

Police Welfare Association (PWA) president, Travis Chiquot

Police Welfare Association (PWA) president, Travis Chiquot

Police Welfare Association (PWA) president Travis Chiquot is calling on the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to make public the findings of outstanding matters involving members of the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force (RSLPF).

According to Chiquot, a resolution to the matters has been long overdue and is affecting the morale, performance and status of the officers involved.

These matters are inclusive of the Chakadan Daniel and the IMPACS investigations.

The body of 22-year-old Chakadan Daniel was found hanging in the prison cell of the Micoud Police Station in 2013.

An inquest in 2015 ruled Daniel's death unlawful.

On December 6, 2018, some six officers who were on duty at the Micoud police station at the time of Daniel’s incarceration were brought in for questioning acting on orders of the Director of Public Prosecution Daarsrean Greene, former lawyer to the family, but no charges have been laid against the officers.

"We are very much concerned that these matters remain unsolved," Chiquot told Loop News Thursday, adding, "We continue to blame the system for what is happening there," while acknowledging the IMPACS investigation is going into its ninth year.

A dozen individuals were allegedly killed by members of the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force during 2010-2011 during Operation Restore Confidence (ORC), an operation sanctioned in an effort of reducing crime at the time.

Several officers again were taken in for questioning, however, charges are yet to be laid.

Just recently National Security Minister Senator Hermangild Francis said the investigation had to be restarted due to unforeseen circumstances.

"We've seen about three or four investigations, we've seen a new team investigating and the Welfare Association maintains its position that justice delayed is justice denied," Chiquot declared.

Police officers, he says, cannot continue to work under such conditions.

" Where persons continue to work with allegations of extrajudicial killings, waking up in the morning and thinking you are going to be charged for murder... persons are dragging their feet on the situation," he observed.

"The Welfare Association has called on all the authorities to look at the position and to come out clean to the people of Saint Lucia. If there is no evidence we need to indicate that in certain situations there is no evidence."

In the Chakadan Daniel investigation, he said officers were questioned for negligence but were not charged:
"We are prepared to have them charged or not charged."

Officers, he noted, are unable to be promoted within the ranks of the RSLPF as a result of the allegations being levelled against them.

"We are prepared to have our day in court, we are prepared to deal with the matter, we are prepared to say if the DPP does not have any evidence to come out and indicate he does not have any evidence."

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