Saint Lucia police have deemed illegal, a Black Lives Matter rally held Friday in Constitution Park, Castries.
Acting Police Commissioner, Milton Desir, denied permission for the event to be held although the police here expressed solidarity with the BLM movement.
Police officers had a presence at the rally in Castries.
While attendees at the event lustily sang verses from ‘By the Rivers of Babylon’, Acting Deputy Police Commissioner, Wayne Charlery, told reporters that the job of the police is to preserve the peace.
He explained that he and his officers had done their best, with a lot of patience and perseverance, to ensure that the peace was preserved.
But Charlery observed that it was ‘certainly an illegal gathering’.
“My officers and myself have assessed the situation and we are considering our options and certainly these options will certainly be brought to bear as we move along today,” he explained, without going into details.
Asked specifically whether charges could be laid, Charlery disclosed that it is one option the police can consider.
In response to the issue of evidence, he noted that he was on the scene.
“There are many persons that I saw, including yourself that I know very well,” he told a television reporter.
Charlery said if the police decided on that option, his statement would include many persons he knows.
“I believe that the court would find me a very credible witness,” he declared.
“Like I said, we are pursuing every option. Obviously for the future preservation of the peace it may be something that we may have to do, but a decision has not been made as we speak right now.”
The senior police official said officers understood the reason for the gathering which was in solidarity with the global BLM movement.
Charlery expressed the view that all Saint Lucians are in solidarity with the BLM initiative.
“However our purpose here today is to ensure there is no disorder and their is no chaos. I think we are doing very well right now in trying to achieve that objective,” he asserted.
According to Charlery, the preservation of the peace was key to the presence of the police at the event in Castries.
“I would not go to the extreme of saying that the police are being used in a biased way. I believe that we know our job and we are very impartial,” he told reporters in response to questions about the police prohibition of the rally.