The Police Welfare Association has been made aware of a statement posted to the Facebook social media platform, by a profile alleging to be the sister of an aggrieved male residing abroad.
The statement details an encounter where she alleges a police officer searched the motor vehicle of the male and proceeded to steal from the motor vehicle a quantity of cash.
The allegations hurled against the officer were of grave concern and immediate enquiries were launched. Based on our findings we wish to update the general public on this matter.
On Monday, April 10, 2023, about 8:00 a.m. two teams of officers were dispatched to conduct traffic checks along the Beanfield Highway. These checks were in full view of businesses equipped with recording devices.
During the conduct of the checks, a silver toned Subaru SUV, which had not been stopped by officers proceeded to come to a halt and the male driver proceeded to question the purpose of the traffic check.
He was advised to proceed as to not cause an obstruction to the lawful conduct of the officers’ duties. The driver proceeded to park his vehicle and at this point was approached and spoken to by a female officer.
During that time, the relevant documents were examined by that officer. The driver got out of the motor vehicle and commenced arguing in raised tones and gesturing towards the officer.
The male supervisor, a Corporal of Police, approached the driver and the officer. He examined the documents to ascertain that all was in good order. The driver continued to use profane language and stated that the officers knew who the criminals were and had failed to go after them.
He was informed of the responsibilities of Traffic Police Officers and cautioned against his conduct. He went on to berate Saint Lucians, alleging persons were not supposed to be able to afford expensive vehicles.
He then insisted that he be searched. A search of his vehicle was conducted by another police officer in full view of not only him, but other officers and the public.
At this time, the Corporal had left to attend to other individuals.
He eventually left the area and returned shortly after alleging that monies had been withdrawn from his account using a card which was in his wallet. He alleged that he found the wallet some distance away from the traffic check and the card was still therein.
He was advised that footage could be reviewed to determine whether anyone unlawfully accessed his account. He proceeded to accuse the Corporal of theft. No officer had left the scene of the traffic check and upon his return it was still ongoing.
He was advised of the same but insisted that monies had been withdrawn from his account. He stated no cash had been taken from the wallet, but a deduction had been made by way of a card.
At no point in time did any officer handle the wallet of the gentleman. He was in possession of his wallet and provided his identification card to officers from it. The officer volunteered to write down his identification information for the driver for the purpose of further investigations and repeatedly identified himself.
The Police Welfare Association has reviewed recordings of the incident and the evidence directly contradicts the information provided in the social media post.
We therefore demand that the owner of the Facebook account in the name of “Angel Isaac” immediately issue a retraction and apology to the officer.
We also call on the host of the talk show, Champagne in the Morning, which repeated this post and named the officer without making any attempt to validate the claims to issue an immediate apology and retractions or face the same consequences.
To cast such aspersions is defamatory and will not be tolerated. We do not stand for ill discipline, however, in instances where officers are clearly being tarnished for personal fame, the association will take every necessary action to defend the integrity of officers and the organization we serve.
At no point in time did the corporal search this motor vehicle, nor did any officer leave the scene to facilitate a withdrawal of any monies from his accounts.
This can be verified by reviewing bank footage as well as that of the businesses in the area and footage gathered by the devices of officers present.
The association has employed the services of legal counsel for the officer and proceedings against this individual are going to be pursued rigorously. The actions to malign this officer will not be allowed nor tolerated.
SOURCE: Police Welfare Association. Headline photo: Stock image.