Mary Francis Urges Body Cameras For Cops After Fatal Police Shooting Of Teenager

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Attorney at Law Mary Francis has called on the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force (RSLPF) to provide body cameras for officers and subject them to lie detector tests after last week’s fatal police shooting of sixteen-year-old Ajani Charlery in Vieux Fort.

“I think the time has come for the police officers – members of the SSU and those units to be issued with body cameras. The members of such units should be subject to lie detector tests,” the outspoken Human Rights Advocate told St Lucia Times.

“I think this is necessary at this point in time because there are always contradictory statements between what eyewitnesses are saying and what the police themselves come up with,” the National Centre for Legal Aid and Human Rights Coordinator explained.

“When you bring a case against the state ridiculous defences are put up. So with body cameras the facts will be easily ascertained,” Francis asserted.

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She also called for an inquest into the fatal shooting of the teenager at Vieux Fort to determine whether the police used excessive force.

“While the police are carrying out investigations we know those things take a very long time. What we have to do in Saint Lucia is ensure that inquests are held soon after those deaths take place,” Francis told St Lucia Times.

“And not inquests under the old 2002 Inquest Act. We need to reform the inquest system also,” she asserted, adding a need for greater transparency and independence whereby a magistrate no longer serves and an independent position of coroner is created with investigators independent of the police.

“As it is now, the police would prepare a file and put it before the magistrate. Where is the independence? It’s a farce,” Francis expressed.

Ajani Charlery, a student of the Micoud Secondary school, was fatally shot by the police on Friday, January 28, when the officers said they were conducting an operation on Cemetery Road, Vieux Fort, about 10:00 pm.

A police statement said the officers were acting on information relating to the location of a seventeen-year-old suspect in a report of Burglary, who had escaped custody.

The statement said the police identified the suspect in the company of three other males. 

It said when the officers approached, the four ran away, but the police detained three. 

At the same time, one who attempted to evade arrest was shot while apprehending him, transported to a hospital, and later pronounced dead by a medical practitioner, according to the police statement.

However, relatives of the deceased have asserted that there’s something fishy about the incident.

And residents of the community have questioned the use of deadly force by the police.

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Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
Our Editorial Staff at St. Lucia Times is a team publishing news and other articles to over 200,000 regular monthly readers in Saint Lucia and in over 150 other countries worldwide.

8 COMMENTS

  1. Video don’t lie so I don’t know what’s with all the bullshit people writing. That’s why I’m America so many police get off and so many goes to jail….it’s because of the damn video fools. If the police had bodycam it would have been hay or nay end of discussion .

  2. Just giving cameras is not enough. There need to be a requirement to have cameras on during stops, arrests, pursuits , searches and other interactions or face consequences.

  3. @Mary your comment is spot on – all I can is “Mary Mary quite contrary–how does YOUR GARDEN GROW”?????????

  4. Mary Mary Mary, I honestly thought you were a better lawyer. Don’t you know that the polygraph is not conclusive and is not a hundred percent accurate. Don’t you know that it detects some innocent persons as telling lies and some guilty ones pass it with flying colours? Remember Aldrich Ames, the former CIA officer who turned KGB double agent, and who was convicted of espionage in 1994. He was polygraphed several times and never caught. His downfall came after he was followed for several months and caught in the act. I agree that there needs to be a more transparent system, so why not start with your own investigations. What? Too lazy for that. It’s time you lawyers learn to find your own independent witnesses to interview. That can be a good start. But trust me police or no police the outcome might be the same since it looks like everyone in this country is up for sale to the highest bidder. On the other hand we hearing that the boy was not the one who escaped from police custody. Is that true Mary.

  5. Hello Mary! Wake up and face reality! Since your last international conference you became pretty hyped. You learned about bullet finder, robots, body cams, drones, air command etc. Sorry to say, you have become deluded. The police here don’t even have enough transportation to respond to some urgent calls in the out areas. Have you really, really sat down and examine the condition of the force? What is evident is that they are broke and in dire need of leadership. One can’t miss that…if one is functioning on all cylinders.

  6. Mary Francis why haven’t you launch a campaign to educate your criminals to not committing crimes . You defend rapist , thieves, murderers …you have no regards to victims of vicious crimes but anytime police shoot you quick blame them . When criminals shoot and rob people you keep your mouth shut..so many crimes happening where are you ? Mary Francis you full of shyt

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