Categorized | Legal, Local, News, Opinions, Police, Regional

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.

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

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.”

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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.