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Tuesday, July 3, 2012


Forget about the semantics! Are we being unfair to the police when we accuse them of “extra –judicial” killings? Are we giving them the necessary support to deal with the increased army of well-armed and professional criminals invading and terrorizing our society?

I find the police to be generally extra-judicious and perfectly normal; but can the police afford to remain “normal” when the peace and security of our little island are threatened by extraordinary criminal circumstances, bordering on international terrorism? Should the police lie down or should they respond appropriately, decisively and proactively?

Choiseul in the spotlight
Even Choiseul – a normally peaceful West Coast community – is challenged nowadays! Lately, the community has been hit by a spate of auto theft and other types of sophisticated criminal activity. Over the last three months, three jeeps have been stolen from the premises of their owners: Firstly, a Suzuki jeep was stolen from a La Fargue residence; then a similar vehicle was stolen from the premises of a Morne Jacques resident (and up to day it has not been recovered). And just in the wee hours of July 2, a white Daihatsu Terios was stolen at Le Riche.

Just imagine for a moment, you are a licensed firearm holder and you catch a thief trying to make away with your vehicle from your private premises, what do you do? Or what do the law authorize you to do to protect your private property? Will inventions of extra-judicial killing against the police by (Mary Francis and Martinus Francois) help? Will these individuals help to stop and catch the thief and bring him to justice? Will they help you recover your jeep? Will their human rights advocacy deter the criminals and contribute to the safety and security of society?

I’ve never heard either Martinus or Mother Mary said a word about the persistent violations of the Finance Act by Mr Chou and the King Administration. I have never heard either of them comment on the right to life (the no. 1 human right) of those murdered by the criminals. I haven’t heard those self-styled human right experts offering suggestions on how to deal with the increasing army of burglars terrorizing St. Lucia and depriving us of our right to property; but when the police intervene and use deadly force to protect us and property from the criminal gangs and collateral damage results in the process, Mother Mary cries fowl and accuses the police of extra-judicial killings!

It is a fact that Governments do allow police, citizen, corrections, or other security personnel to employ force to actively prevent imminent commission of crime, or even for deterrence (

Use of force vs extra-judicial killing
The use of force (deadly or otherwise) by members of law enforcement entities should not be confused with extra-judicial killings. In general, all armed bodies, be they the police or military have the ability to authorize the usage of such force.

The international context
The power to use deadly force is often granted to police forces when the person or persons in question are believed to be an immediate danger to people around them. The use of deadly force is also authorized when a person poses a significant threat to a law enforcement officer, usually when the officer is at risk of serious bodily injury or death.  In fact, Australia has gone “ahead of the curve” and recently proposed that police officers should have this power when a person might in the future pose a threat to others.

Now, don't tell me that the pursuit of criminals by our police in the dark of night does not put their lives in serious danger. We have had cases where our police have been shot at and murdered by those criminals.

In the United States, even a civilian may legally use deadly force when the civilian feels that his own life, the lives of their family, or those around them are in legitimate and imminent danger. Why therefore criminalise our police force by accusing them of extra-judicial killings when what they are actually doing is to put their lives at risk to maintain peace and security for us?

Having said this, I also understand that deadly force may not be used unless it is necessary to prevent the escape and the officer has probable cause to believe that the suspect poses a significant threat of death or serious physical injury to the officer or others. Now only a court can make that decision, not a human right advocate!

Let the police do their work
I’m never afraid of the police! Are you? They are among my best friends. I feel safer and more secure when I’m in their company.

Mary and Martinus, let the police do their work! What you call extra-judicial killings has brought order from the chaos that gripped St. Lucia a few months ago! The police must hunt down the criminals and drive them "out of civilization" and if force is necessary to do so, then let the police use it.

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