Saint Lucia’s Police Commssioner, Severin Moncherry, has promised an investigation after the posting on social media Tuesday of a viral video of a police officer striking a man in handcuffs.
Moncherry, who was on leave, returns to work Wednesday.
“I will definitely cause it to be investigated speedily and will report to media on that,” the Police Commissioner told St Lucia Times.
Although admitting that he was not aware of what transpired prior to the 30 second recording, Moncherry pointed out that the suspect had been restrained.
He also noted that there were two officers on the scene at the time.
“I am not going to condone that type of behaviour – it is unacceptable and we need to start somewhere,” Moncherry declared.
“Too often we see police officers abusing people and they seem to get away with it. It is something that I take very seriously,” the Saint Lucia top cop told St Lucia Times.
He recalled that since taking over as head of the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force (RSLPF), he has had officers dismissed for such conduct.
“I will not have police officers abuse people, especially when they are people who are disadvantaged,” Moncherry asserted.
He noted that in the case of the video, the man was restrained.
Moncherry explained that police officers are law enforcers, not persons who mete out justice.
“We cannot be judge, jury and executioner,” he asserted.
The 30 second video that went viral shows a police officer in a polo shirt, helmet and short trousers leading away a man who has his hands handcuffed behind his back.
Another similarly dressed law enforcement officer is visible in the recording.
At one point in the video the suspect hits the arresting cop with his upper body, whereupon the officer draws back his right hand while holding the man with his left, and strikes the suspect in the face.
The man is then falls to the ground with the officer who struck him over him.
Both officers put their hands on the man’s chest before the video comes to an abrupt end.
It is said that the video was recorded Tuesday in Castries.