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Brandt’s trial to begin February 28

David Samuel Brandt, prominent Montserrat attorney-at-law may well make the history books, not because it was so desired by the accusers or the perpetrated prosecutors, nor his prominence of being a well-loved and long-serving politician, for Chief Minister, but for the length of time sexual charges, repeatedly said to be very serious ones, finally has a date set for trial and confirmed to begin on February 28, 2020; while languishing in jail for bail revoked and refused.

Lawyer David Brandt

But, prosecutors and judges have and will say it was his efforts to stall the charges in the courts that cause the delay in a trial date.

Dr. David Dorsett, Brandt’s lawyer primarily in Constitutional matters

This trial has its beginning from over ten years ago with the arrest and charges laid in September, 2015, Since then it’s been up and down, in and out trial of David Brandt who is facing charges on several counts of child exploitation of underaged girls. Now a new judge has been named and has already had chamber hearings into the matter, with quiet and unconfirmed information that the hearing may not actually begin in earnest for yet another two to three months. The question posed to the informer, is it possible that the unusual bail revocation be reversed, as it is unusual enough already in the circumstances to help make the court history books.

The date which had been set since last year and again earlier this year is February 28, 2020. His Lordship the Hon Justice Rajiv Persad from Trinidad is the new judge who replaces Justice Gareth Evans, and who was brought (sent in) following Justice Morley both of whom had been recused from the Brandt trial. Justice Persad who practices in Trinidad has reportedly served on previous occasions in the East Caribbean Supreme Court arena.

This matter has reached this stage after the lengthy preliminary battles against the charges and the process from the magistrate’s court to now.

Recusals (Morley and Evans)

Judge Iain Morley
Judge Gareth Evans

As reported earlier Justice Morley first installed for the trial was recused, doing so willingly. But, his replacement Justice Gareth Evans after revoking Brand’s bail and remanding him to prison, was later also requested to recuse himself from the Brandt matters. He refused to be recused in a 90 clause long Ruling which was delivered within half an hour of the end of the hearing. See – https://www.themontserratreporter.com/second-judge-off-the-brandt-trial/

Dr. David Dorsett, Brandt’s legal representative in one of his Constitutional challenges, had also appealed the judge’s decision in the matter.  Her Ladyship the Hon. Mde. Louise Esther Blenman, Justice of appeal on October 23, 2019, heard the matter and ruled: (1) the request that bail be considered by another High Court judge is refused.

(2) That the criminal trial of the appellant (Brandt) be presided over by a judge of the High Court other than Justice Evans, pending the hearing and determination of the appeal against him, refusing to recuse himself from the trial…

Brandt did not comply with case management directions to file written submissions on the issue of admissibility of the evidence obtained from his seized telephone. Instead, he filed a fixed date claim seeking inter alia declarations that: (i) his right to privacy under section 9 of the Constitution of Montserrat [the •constitution] was contravened; (ii) the search of his cell phones without prior authorisation was unlawful and unconstitutional; and (iii) the evidence obtained from the search of his cell phones is inadmissible as evidence against him.

The learned judge Evans dismissed the claim, found that the use of the court’s jurisdiction to grant relief under the Constitution in the circumstances was wholly inappropriate and constituted an abuse of process.

The Fixed Claim hearing and eventual bail revocation

Last year June, it was just days (Friday to Tuesday) after that matter, the bail revocation was ordered, the decision in the foregoing matter coming sometime later the Antiguan lawyer Dr. Dorsett filed an appeal on Brandt’s behalf. Following this also, was the request for Evans to recuse himself when on grounds that he had shown and practiced bias in the matters following hearing of the cell phone issues and the matter that lead to the bail revocation, a matter that in part was held ‘ex parte’ Brandt in the first instance and the next with one of his early attorney’s, but allegedly without being able to contest or inquire into anything at that hearing. It was after that episode that Brandt’s bail was revoked.

Dr. Dorsett files appeal after judge’s refusal to recuse himself, but withdraws on Court’s ‘advice’

In order to file an appeal, we learned that the lawyer had requested the transcript on that hearing which was redacted. Justice Evans having refused to recuse himself the matter was eventually set to be heard by the Appeal Court, but was dismissed when according to Dr. Dorsett, he withdrew the appeal based on an ‘announcement’ by the Court when it sat on January 27, 2020, here in Montserrat.

Following that decision with Justice Evans finally gone from the Brandt’s trial, Dr. Dorsett speaking with the media, said, he was “happy as a lark”. He said he knew that the matter would end up favourable because Justice Blenman had issued the initial order, having read his submissions and Justice Evans’ ruling on his request for his recusal. In the said ruling Evans had written in one instance, regarding Dorsett’s submissions, “The contentions are weak to the point of being fanciful.”

Justice Evans had concluded his ruling (one that was not intended to be public) in the 87th paragraph, wrote:I reject that contention for the following reasons: (a) The contentions are weak to the point of being fanciful. (b) They contain no scandalous or personal attacks upon me.

“I am happy as a lark. From the time the matter got on appeal before justice Blenman the tide started to turn in our favor. I mean I don’t want to be critical of a judge, but every time before, everything we did, he (Evans) said I was wrong; I mean he criticized me in ways in which some was suggesting I was an incompetent lawyer, didn’t know what I was doing, like I was some scamp…,” Dorsett said, citing his record,  competency and commenting further that the Judge should not make a judgement and want it to be secret.

He contended – “… we are saying going forward, we must have an assurance that a court proceeding with the matter is unbiased. As a matter a fact as a matter of appearance, appearance is what matters. The people of Montserrat is entitled to look up on a Court and feel confident that fairness is being done and  seen to  be done; and we are not talking about what the people of England think is fair, but what the people in Davy Hill think and Olveston and other parts of Montserrat think…”

Meantime, other than being charged and already being in jail for four months –

Judge dismisses Attorney’s Request for bail

This item was reported by ZJBNews. The High Court of Justice on Montserrat has refused an application for re-admittance to bail in the case against prominent Attorney David S Brandt.

Mr. Brandt on November 18th asked that the court consider reinstating bail, after Justice Gareth Evans in July ordered that the attorney’s bail be revoked.  The judge said this was in response to four years of stalled tactics by Brandt’s attorneys. Mr. Brandt was incarcerated and based on this ruling would remain in custody until his trial.

Dr. David Dorsette appeared for Mr. Brandt via zoom link, while Attorney Henry Gordon held papers for Annesta Weekes QC for the Crown who appeared later by Zoom Link. His Acting Lordship, the Honourable Stanley John presided over the matter.

Charged with several counts of sexual exploitation of underage girls, including having unlawful sexual intercourse with a girl under the age of 16 years. He was to be tried originally on November 18th, but the court ruling now means that a new date will have to be set for the trial.

The Constitutional Appeal

It was at the said sitting that the Civil Appeal in the matter of the seizure and search of Brandt’s cell phone was heard. The Court described the appeal thus: “The thrust of his (Brandt’s) appeal was that the learned judge erred in dismissing his claim as the search of his cell phones was in violation of his constitutional right to privacy and unlawful. Mr. Brandt also challenged the learned judge’s decision to make a costs order against him.”

After the decision was delivered later in St. Kitts, it was described by Dr. Dorsett as ‘a partial victory’.

Held: allowing the appeal in part; affirming the order as to costs made in the court below; and awarding costs of the appeal to the respondents at the rate of one-half of the amount assessed in the court below, that:

1. The recourse to the Constitution for a declaration that the search of the cell phones was unconstitutional was an abuse of process as effective alternative means of redress were available to the appellant in the circumstances to challenge the use of the evidence gathered from such search.

2. (per Michel JA and Webster JA [Ag.]) The search of the appellant’s cell phones was unlawful but did not breach his constitutional right to privacy.

3. The finding by the court below that the claim was an abuse of process satisfied the requirement under rule 56.13 of the Civil Procedure Rules 2000 that the appellant had acted unreasonably in making the application and the exercise of discretion by the judge below should not be disturbed.

4. The matter is remitted to the High Court for assessing the costs of the proceedings in the High Court and costs of the appeal are awarded to the respondents in the amount of one-half of the amount assessed as costs in the court below.

The trial to begin February 28

Brandt will now face his trial and it is here that he is expected to correct his approach and where he will have the opportunity as the appeal court notes, he can “challenge the use of the evidence gathered from such search.” at the beginning of his trial. It is then believed that matter will be the first order of business.

There is now late news that in another ‘private’hearing was the matter of a judge ordering an attorney be appointed to assist Brandt’s in his defence

Posted in Court, Crime, Featured, Local, News, Police, Regional0 Comments

Follow the money

The following are just a few excerpts of an article subscribed to TMR and which we will publish fully in the next issue.

by Capt Inspector John

As you have already more than likely suspected by now, there exists a global crime syndicate that has been controlling the global banking system, and by extension, everything on the planet, for a long time. Irrefutable proof can be found in the bad guys’ playbook ‘Pawns In The Game’, written by William Guy Carr, a Canadian naval flag officer.
You will discover everything that has happened since 1774 is covered in this playbook. We know the global crime syndicate has drawn on this playbook, and used the exact same plays, for centuries. Carr documents it comes with documents and eye witness testimony.
It is always about the money.

The global crime syndicate is controlled by the Rothchild central banks. The Rothchild central banks are closely associated with the Vatican crime syndicate. The Jesuits, the military arm of the Vatican, controls the Vatican. The Jesuits control the city of London. The city of London controls the United States, the freemasons, and the Crown Temple B.A.R.

Other major players of the global crime syndicate include the Khazarian Mafia, Illuminati, Council of 300, Council on Foreign Relations, and the Bilderbergers. Collectively, these entities control every penny on the planet.
So what has this all got to do with David Brandt? Let me explain.

First off I will confess my favorable bias toward David Brandt. I was very close friends for years with his ( now deceased) brother Randy, while we both lived in St Thomas. I met Mr. Brandt, his wife, and his daughter in St. Thomas. I found them all to be very nice, honest, salt of the earth type folks, with no pretensions.

When Randy passed away, I contacted Mr. Brandt to inform him of the details. Since I had no contact info on Mr. Brandt, I contacted the Montserrat Reporter for assistance in getting this info to Mr. Brandt. Within 15 minutes of my sending that email, Mr. Brandt called me. I am grateful to the Montserrat Reporter for their amazing assistance in this matter. That is the last time I spoke to Mr. Brandt.

When Mr. Brandt was in St Thomas I offered a proposal. So, at the end of HPRP, I had a large group of vetted, seasoned, hard-working, professional contractors. This was shortly after the volcano blew, and Montserrat was desperate for housing.

I proposed to Mr. Brandt that I could bring these contractors to Montserrat to rebuild. We would be self-sufficient and would require no government assistance of any kind. Not a penny.

Mr. Brandt liked the idea. Sadly, he was unable to get past the British corruption to make that happen.

Follow the money. FYI, I just read the Montserrat Reporter editorials going back to 2015. There is no difference about the type of corruption, and who controls it, in any country on the planet. It is exactly the same in England, and the U.S., as it is in Montserrat.

Why? Nothing happens without the involvement of banks. Mr. Brandt could not get past the global crime syndicate control of everything. And that everything controlled what aid may be given to Montserrat.

My point, at all times, I derived from the facts, and discerned with my heart, that Mr. Brandt was deeply dedicated to the welfare of Montserrat, and its people. He did not ask anything for himself in my presence.

So! How is it, that in such a tiny place as Montserrat, that someone of the stature of David Brandt, could be charged with sexual misconduct 10 years ago, 5 years ago, and 1 year ago, and be incarcerated, and still have no trial, or conviction? Follow the money.

How is it possible to hide such crimes for so long in so small a place, by such a high profile figure? Follow the money.

I submit to you, that at the bottom of this story is pedophilia, human and child trafficking, aka white slavery. Why do I say this?

To be Continued

Posted in Columns, Court, Crime, General, International, Local, Police, Regional, UK - Brexit0 Comments

Skerritt-and

CARICOM mounts election observation mission to Dominica

P M Roosevelt Skerritt and UWP Leader Lennox Linton

The Caribbean Community will mount a CARICOM Election Observation Mission to monitor the general elections which will be held in the Commonwealth of Dominica on Friday, Dec. 6.

The mission will be headed by Josephine Tamai, Chief Elections Officer, Department of Elections and Boundaries of Belize. Tamai has served as Chief of Mission as well as Deputy Chief of Missions CARICOM Election Observer Missions. She most recently served as a member of the CARICOM Joint Electoral Reform Mission to the Commonwealth of Dominica in August 2019.

The other members of the Mission include experts in Electoral Management and Administration from Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Suriname. The Mission will be supported by Jhonson Alexandre and Helen Marshall of the Foreign and Community Relations Directorate of the CARICOM Secretariat.

Members of the Mission and the CARICOM Secretariat Support Staff began arriving in Dominica on Dec. 2 and will depart by Dec. 9.

The CARICOM Election Observation Mission will meet with the electoral officials, leaders of political parties and other stakeholders of the Commonwealth of Dominica. On the day of the elections, the Mission will monitor the electoral process including the opening of the Poll, the voting process, the closing of the Poll and the counting of the ballots.

The Election Observation Mission will issue a Preliminary Statement based on its observations and findings. A Report of the General Elections will be subsequently prepared and submitted to the Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community. For CARICOM, election observation serves as a platform to support existing democratic traditions within the Caribbean Community as part of its wider policy of supporting democracy.

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, CARICOM, Elections, International, Local, News, OECS, Police, Politics, Regional0 Comments

police-boat-dingy-70643805_2427541494038204_525367821350207488_n

Another RMPS marine loss

Heliconia Start

December opens up to another loss to the marine unit of the Royal Montserrat Police Services (RMPS).

dinghy minus engine

Sketchy information reaching TMR informs that the replacement dinghy of one lost earlier this year in September, ended up on rocks at Little Bay minus its “outboard engine” as seen here in the photograph.

It’s been reported that on receiving information that there will be rough seas overnight, the dingy was used to secure the Heliconia Star, returning to the port and the rough seas. This morning the dingy was found as seen, with no engine.

Many questions for the marine managers, including: “Why did they not spend the night outside the rough waters on the secured HS which is so well equipped with the dingy in tow?

still missing from September

Posted in Climate/Weather, Environment, Featured, International, Local, News, Police, Regional0 Comments

Dominicans-boat-washed-up-at-Rendezvous-DSC_0036

Dominicans sentenced to 4 years in jail, file appeal

The washed-up sailing vessel is still sitting on the Rendezvous Bay rocks while its masters sit in the Montserrat jail after seeking help in their distress

On Friday, October 18, 2019, two 26-year and 34-year old Dominican men pleaded guilty to an indictment which read, “MARTIN JNO BAPTISTE and DANNY HENRY, between the 5th day of September, 2019 and the 12th day of September, 2019, did, for material benefit, arrange for an unauthorised migrant to enter the territory of St Maarten, knowing or being reckless as to whether such person was an unauthorised migrant.”

Following our report last week on the matter, the men’s Attorney-at-Law Warren Cassell had hinted he was seeking instructions to lodge an appeal in the matter.

The two men were arrested and finally charged after their boat had run aground, washed up on the rocks at Rendezvous Bay when they then called the Royal Montserrat Police Service for assistance.

In the grounds of appeal the lawyer stated:  
1. The learned judge erred when he failed to uphold the submissions made on behalf of the Appellants that the facts alleged against the appellants amounted to a criminal offence under the Penal Code of Montserrat.
 2.  The proceedings were a nullity by virtue of the fact: (a)   that there was no evidence alleged to demonstrate that there was a connection to Montserrat of the actus reus and mens reas of the offence of smuggling unauthorized migrants to St. Maarten.
(b)  The indictment is duplicitous on its face.
 3.  The Learned trial Judge erred in law when he permitted the Appellants to plead to the offence of Smuggling Unauthorized Migrants.
Besides Cassell added: “the Appellants reserve the right to add new grounds of appeal and amplifications when a transcript of the proceedings and of the learned trial Judge’s reasons for sentence is delivered to them.”
Both men were sentenced to four years in prison, after a second count against them was dropped.

Posted in CARICOM, Court, Crime, Featured, International, Local, News, OECS, Police, Regional0 Comments

Stepfather pleads guilty to raping 12-year-old child

Stepfather pleads guilty to raping 12-year-old child

by staff writer

ST. JOHN’S, Antigua, Nov 15, CMC – The High Court will sentence the stepfather of a 12-year-old child on January 24, next year after he pleaded guilty to having sex with her two years ago.

The man, who appeared before Justice Ian Morley admitted to having sex with his under-aged stepdaughter in 2017 and pleaded guilty to the charge of unlawful sexual intercourse with a female under the age of 14 contrary to Section 5 of the Sexual Offences Act.

The court heard that the sexual offence occurred on December 17, 2017, but that he had been interfering with the child a year earlier.

Media reports said that the man, who was not named, continued having sexual intercourse with the child, who had a breakdown in class in January this year.

The girl told her classmate about her step-father and the man was subsequently arrested after her mother made a report to the police.

Posted in Court, Crime, Kids, Local, Police, Regional, Youth0 Comments

Police kill suspect in the alleged rape of a 105-year-old woman

Police kill suspect in the alleged rape of a 105-year-old woman

by STAFF WRITER

CASTRIES, St. Lucia, Nov. 3, CMC – A man who reportedly raped and sodomised a 105-year-old woman, was killed by the police on Saturday. 

The police report that the suspect, Miguel Edward, also known as Mad Max, was killed around 12 p.m. (local time).

Edward, who reportedly attacked the woman at her home earlier in the day, was killed as he attempted to flee to Martinique.

The police say he was about to board a boat and was fatally shot when he pulled a weapon on the law enforcement personnel. 

The police say, Edward was “a menace” and had been in and out of jail on several occasions.

Posted in Crime, International, News, Police0 Comments

Investigation launched into arrival of boatload of Haitians

Investigation launched into arrival of boatload of Haitians

by staff writer

BASSETERRE, ST. Kitts, Oct 21, CMC – Immigration officials have launched an investigation to determine how 15 Haitian nationals arrived here by boat on Sunday night, docking at the St. Kitts Defense Force’s Port in Bird Rock, on the outskirts of the capital.

Chief Immigration Officer, Merclyn Hughes told local radio stations that the investigation had been launched and the police are also assisting in the process.

Haitians migrants at sea (File Photo)

“We are just trying to assist them so we’re in the process of conducting interviews, but they are just being held for safekeeping. We know there’s a crisis in Haiti but we cannot say whether or not they fled from there so at this time we are just trying to ascertain what is the situation,” she said.

Media reports had indicated that the Haitians on arrival had been attempting to register at a nearby hotel, but the Immigration official said they are now being held at the Basseterre Police Station.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Security, Osmond Petty, told a radio station here that while the twin-island Federation does not have any specific policy with respect to Haitians, there is a process of dealing with any illegal immigrant regardless of nationality.

“We deal with them just like any other illegal immigrant landing in St Kitts and Nevis,” he added.

Despite being a member of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) grouping, many Caribbean countries require Haitians to be in possession of a visa so as to facilitate their entry into their countries.

Strangely, a news report out of Montserrat said the police speculated whether Hatians may have been those who two Dominicans sentenced to four years after their boat ran aground off the north end of Montserrat, having called the police for assistance with their stricken boat.

Posted in CARICOM, Court, Crime, Environment, Legal, News, Police, Regional, Travel0 Comments

Warren Cassell (after Claudes case) DSC_7615

Montserratian Attorney speaks of police ‘stop and search’ tactics

Warren Cassell

As has become commonplace Attorney at Law Warren Cassell in a ZJBNews report has added his voice to the conversation surrounding ‘stop and search’ actions executed by members of the Royal Montserrat Police (RMPS) on civilians here.

A number of complaints have been made of police officers some allegedly wearing masks stopping and searching individuals. But lawyer Warren Council shoots down the arbitrary stop and search, stressing that there must be reasonable suspicion to engage in such action he says on this basis individuals including our client of his can seek redress in the courts.

Cassell says, “The Montserrat Constitution protects citizens and residents from arbitrary search of their person or their property.”

He said he has a client who is claiming on, “his right not to be searched unless it falls under some of the exceptions listed in the Constitution – he has been violated and therefore he’s seeking a declaration and damages for what happened on the night when masked police officers searched him.”

Cassell says, “…it was unwarranted, unlawful, it was unconstitutional.”

He explains, “In order to search somebody without a warrant. If you have a warrant is one thing, because then it will be authorized by the court. In order to search somebody without a warrant, you must have reasonable suspicion and you cannot just come and say I have reason to suspect. No, it doesn’t exist in a vacuum; it doesn’t exist like that.

“You can’t set up a road block and arbitrarily decide to search somebody or just be driving down the road and stop because you see somebody you don’t like and you feel that you could search them and search their vehicle as well, that is unconstitutional,” he concluded.

Cassell works full time with a law firm in Antigua. He conducts a weekly radio program in matters dealing with the law as he did previously in Montserrat. But, he still finds himself having to serve clients in Montserrat.

Posted in Legal, Local, News, Opinions, Police, Regional0 Comments

rasta protest march6

Police accused of wearing masks at ‘stop and search’ ‘routines’

Police tactics under complaint scrutiny

During this past week, an investigation has been launched into allegations made initially on social media, and accordinly from direct complaints about the approach taken by Officers while conducting stop and search procedures, here.

It is alleged that some officers of the RMPS, have been taking an aggressive approach when conducting stop & search activities. Some persons also claim that officers have been wearing facemasks, while carrying out these activities, and were not wearing ‘police’ uniform.  

Following now, is our first knowledge of the ongoing situation which is not from Social media, but as indicated.

Around the middle of the month our attention was drawn to an article by a colleague Jeevan A. Robinson – MNI Media | Date: 15 September 2019 – Montserrat | What is Happening at the RMPS? MNI Media Writes an Open Letter to the Gentlemen In Charge of the Royal Montserrat Police Service

It is further understood that names and identification as to who these Officers were, was refused when requested, Robinson said.

He continued that “The purpose of MNI’s open letter to you both today, as the two in charge of the RMPS, is not to offer condemnation; as I am almost certain that the aims of your role are to ensure that the island is served efficiently and appropriately by the Officers that make up the Police Service on Montserrat. However, MNI is sure you both are aware of recent instances where members of the public have been voicing openly, via social media, their concerns over the treatment they have experienced when interacting with some your Officers.

The article drew attention to a specific post on Facebook which we followed and found as follows: Trevon M Pollard 

September 15 at 1:45 AM · 

“Moments ago I was attacked by Four police officers Two from the previous batch released from the Montserrat Police Service and Two from the recent one all wearing dark clothing, except one in uniform they used indecent language, some threatening language such as you better watch yourself, you do not know what you have done , one also said Karma is a bitch, on not finding anything in my car they tried all kind of ploys to get me to attack one of them . One recruit as I was leaving threw himself on the bonnet of my car to say, “you want to knock me down that is assaulting an officer.” I am calling on the powers that be to take the necessary course of Justice as I made a formal report minutes ago.”

The MNIMedia editor in his article reported that he checked, as most journalists are expected to with stories that appear on social media, with Pollard.

He continued in his articled ‘open letter’, “It is known that factually the RMPS do conduct stop and search on members of the public. You have a job to do and that is understandable.

On the night Mr. Pollard was stopped and searched, it is understood that he was informed that he was suspected of having Cannabis (marijuana) in his possession. 

However, is it standard practice that RMPS Officers pull over citizens wearing face masks? Are these standard issue gear for your Officers? 

Is it also standard issue that your RMPS Officers should be wearing studded gloves that can inflict undue harm whether intentionally or unintentionally on members of the public with whom they come into contact?

Rastas marching up goverment headquaters

See the full article at: http://www.mnialive.com/articles/what-is-happening-at-the-rmps-mni-media-writes-an-open-letter-to-the-gentlemen-in-charge-of-the-roya

The information that came from this was shocking enough and got us all here asking questions with ZJBNews also picking up on the story and reporting later.

What we discovered was even more surprising particularly that before and after the Commissioner reacted on ZJB radio there have been similar and worse complaints before, regarding the conduct of the police with the public in fairly recent times. We were surprised to learn that several of these complaints had been made to the police before that which caused the media to call for answers.

One returning and visiting Montserratian woman complained of being aggressively hustled out of her car and accused of having too many persons in the car, never knowing whether these were indeed police. She did launch a complaint but was too shaken to ask for IDs etc or names of the person carrying out the stop. Another woman complained of being harassed having been stopped three times within a short space of time and asked the same question even after she had complied by taking her driver’s license and registration records to the police station, the first-time round.

Some similar complaints from persons who have been accosted by who they realise are police officers, later, sometimes after skirmishes or unpleasant exchanges with who they discover were police officers, wearing masks. The police were often, mostly in plain clothes and there was at least one person who said that there was in one instance an officer in uniform, but who hid initially, making identification of the alleged police officers.

The Commissioner when challenged with the issue initially was cautious but spent much time explaining the police functions require them in carrying out their protection of the law to behave in a certain way, that is in keeping with the law, pointing out that no one is above the law. Eventually on the matter of the masks, he said that they are not part of the police kit.  Later speaking with ‘Basil on the Breakfast show’ last Friday, he reported that an internal investigation is on the way. He requested that persons with evidence of the same experience to contact ‘the police, through whatever means they chose.

We discovered that several persons who experienced the ‘stop and search’ accompanied by reportedly unusual and aggressive behaviour, even suffered loss.

Some persons claiming themselves to be members of the Rastafarian community who gather around the Carrs Bay area in Montserrat, also complained that the police had been behaving improperly, impose and trespass on their constitutional rights.

Hearing little and fearing no positive response following their complaints they were eventually moved to protest, launching a march today, which was being planned since Wednesday, to the Governor’s office, with placards and chants: “Police in masks? Terrorists! What we need? Justice! And who are we? Rastafari!

Outside the Governor’s office, spokesperson Karen Allen with whom I had spoken the Wednesday, spoke briefly pointing out the concerns centering around how they feel their constitutional rights have been abused. There they requested and met with the Governor and the Police Commissioner.

At the Governor’s press meet on the Wednesday 26th, we raised the issue of the recent complaints of the unconventional activities and behaviour of the police and the discomfort and distrust the public was beginning to express. With time running out, he responded that he had great confidence in the Police Commissioner who he said was handling the situation as described earlier. He startled us however, that regards to the masks, denying the allegations, “there were no masks he said, they were police gear…”

We will update this report as to the outcome of the Rastas’ protest march which included one of the stops and search victims who lost property, and the subsequent meeting with Governor Pearce and Commissioner Foster.

Posted in Crime, Culture, Featured, Local, News, Police, Regional, Religion0 Comments

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