Acting Police Commissioner Milton Desir has told reporters here that the matter involving the fatal police shooting of teenager, Arnold Joseph, is close to a conclusion.
“I think the matter is very much close to being completed,” Desir disclosed.
However he explained that there is one particular piece of evidence required, but unavailable currently.
Desir said he believes one of the reasons for the delay in obtaining the evidence is the current COVID-19 situation.
According to the Acting Police Chief, the firearms the officers used on the night that Arnold Joseph died have to be tested.
“We have to get a report and this we have not gotten,” he told reporters earlier this week.
Desir said experts outside of Saint Lucia have to test the weapons, but because of current limitations on travel the tests could not be done.
“In terms of every other thing with the investigation, that has been done – it’s only this aspect we are missing,” he declared.
Desir said the firearms are still in Saint Lucia.
He also said the officers involved are still on duty.
“We usually go by the maxim ‘Innocent until proven guilty'”, the Acting Police Chief observed.
He said the officers were on lawful duty.
“We need to prov that the officers did something wrong before we take any action against them,” Desir stated.
“The mother of the deceased, I know she is very much concerned – let me assure her that I, as Commissioner, will do all in my power to ensure that she gets the justice that she deserves.”
“If it points out that any officer was at fault, we will go through the process and it is not the Commissioner to say I am not going through the process, the file would be going to the Director of Public Prosecutions who will give us directions to whether to charge or not,” Desir said.
He disclosed that at present, there is not sufficient evidence to lay charges.
Seventeen year old Arnold Joseph was fatally shot in May last year when police opened fire on what they described as a ‘suspicious vehicle’ in Castries.
His mother, Joanna Joseph, has been on a relentless campaign for justice declaring that the police are attempting to cover up the fact that her son was murdered.