(SNO) — The police officers, who arrested a man for insulting one of their own, among other charges, over the weekend, should not have immediately approached the suspect or the crowd brandishing firearms, according to a senior police officer.
The incident, which was captured on amateur video and posted on Facebook, has since gone viral.
According to reports, police officers were investigating the illegality of a motorbike in Dennery, when the crowd became boisterous. One man stood out in the video, as he was more vocal when he cursed, and hurled insults and expletives at the officers who arrested him shortly but not before a struggle. One of the officers was allegedly assaulted in the incident.
However, a veteran cop, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told St. Lucia News Online that the officers, having already seen the situation getting out of control, should have never approached the suspect with their firearms drawn.
According to the cop, law enforcement officers are not trained to act in the manner in which they did when approaching the suspect, based on the video.
“The officers approached with a firearm, was not what is taught though. The officers had to be more professional,” the officer said.
The cop, like several others interviewed for this story, agreed that despite showing firearms, the officers exercised great restraint with the suspect, when he refused to be arrested and appeared to physically assault one of the officers.
The veteran cop said the “primary offence” was “insulting words” towards the police.
“And when he was being arrested he should have gone,” the cop said, noting that the man is now charged for both insulting/cursing, and resisting arrest.
Another officer told St. Lucia News Online that the video is “vague and I don’t know why the police was there in the first place, but his attitude (the defendant) of cursing and using obscenities goes against the law, and [he] should be arrested”.
A former police officer said he thinks the “officer exercised extreme restraint” though “he was clearly outnumbered and did the right thing in getting assistance”.
“This just goes to prove the discipline of our citizens,” the former officer said. “They were wrong for addressing the officer in that manner. There should have been many more arrests in the situation. The charges he can face are obstruction, insulting words, threats, inciting, resisting arrest, disorderly behaviour, to name a few”.