Police Welfare Association (PWA) President, Camron Laure, has told the Times that the Vieux Fort police need to be “highly commended” for the restraint they demonstrated in efforts to subdue a mentally challenged man last night.
The man’s father and a police officer came under cutlass attack and were wounded in the incident at Cedar Heights, Vieux Fort.
Police fired several bean bag shots at the deranged youth, which failed to stop him.
According to reports, eyewitnesses kept urging the police to use lethal force but they did not, eventually firing a live round into the leg of the mentally challenged man.
Some members of the public are said to have hurled stones at him in an attempt to help subdue him.
The mentally challenged man, his wounded father and the injured police officer were all hospitalized as a result of last night’s incident, according to information reaching the Times.
PWA President, Camron Laure, believes that the police could have been justified in using lethal force in the circumstances.
However he said the law enforcers showed commendable patience and restraint.
Laure said he was happy that a life was spared, but concerned that persons were injured in the incident.
He told the Times that the Vieux Fort incident demonstrates the need for the police use of force policy to be backed up with the provision of more non-lethal options for subduing individuals.
The PWA President noted that bean bag shots often do not work, while the use of shotguns often leads to amputations.
Laure spoke of the need for more help to be given to families of mentally unstable individuals, so that they are able to recognize signs that the mentally challenged person may be about to behave violently.
He noted the need for the involvement of other agencies to deal with mentally challenged individuals, since it was not the job of the police to do so.
Laure declared that the police should only become involved when an individual has broken the law.