POLICE OFFICERS MADE SCAPEGOATS

Dr. Andre R. L. Matthew MD, a candidate hopeful for the next general elections, this week added his voice to the issues facing the police. The full press release issued on Friday Dr. Matthew is as follows: “The Royal St. Lucia Police Force has been the recipient of generous US support for a number of years. As recent as May 20 to June 6, 2013, Police Commissioner Vernon Francois successfully hosted close to 300 officers and officials from 14 regional territories. The officers participated in US funded exercises focused on improving cooperation and security in the region.

The following month, on July 31, 2013, St. Lucia officially joined ALBA. Two weeks after joining ALBA, on August 16, 2013, the LEAHY LAW was swiftly applied, ending all US assistance for St. Lucia’s police officers.

It has been suggested that the LEAHY LAW was applied to St. Lucia as a result of the 12 alleged unlawful police killings during Operation Restore Confidence in 2010/2011. However, the 2014 U.S. Human Rights Report for Jamaica states, “there were 103 killings involving police.” The same report for Jamaica for 2013 states, “there were 211 killings involving police.”

The LEAHY LAW has not been applied to Jamaica, despite hundreds of alleged police killings. Their police officers continue to benefit from US funded training. Unlike St. Lucia, Jamaica is not a member of ALBA.”

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