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Fri, 25 Apr 2014

‘Vieux Fort Five’ Inquest Underway: Police yet to produce gun

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 Initially police had said they were intercepting a robbery at this place in Vieux Fort before they shot and killed five young men.

Initially police had said they were intercepting a robbery at this place in Vieux Fort before they shot
and killed five young men.

Not since 2011 has anything as tragically unexpected unfolded in the southern town of Vieux Fort. On Thursday May 5, 2011 at around 2:30am five men lost their lives at the hands of the police and since then families of the victims have been on a mission to seek justice. Here’s a recap on the goings on with this case over the last year.

March 30 2012: Dead men tell no tales:

The Vieux Fort shooting left five men dead including John Baptiste Mc Farlan, Mitchel Cadette, Allan Lenny Louisy, Myron Dupal and Kevin Ferdinand. While police reports stated the death of the men was as a result of an intercepted robbery, their families had a different tale to tell. Mitchel Cadette’s relatives said it was his twentieth birthday and he along with the other men rented a vehicle to go out.

May 5, 2012: Anniversary of Vieux Fort Five Killing

Allan Louisy’s family recalls that they were not allowed into the autopsy as they were told it was a “police case”. In 2011, they were only allowed to identify him. Families of the other victims share similar sentiments. Louisy’s family says the 23-year-old who lived with them never had any run-ins with the law.

May 22, 2012:  STAR online readers urge families of Vieux Fort five to keep fighting for justice

“Everyone seems to be missing the point it’s not a matter of who was or wasn’t a criminal at the time of their death. When five people are murdered at the hands or cops or crooks in one day this is a serious cause for concern. We cannot wash our hands on the matter and say they were guilty and got what they deserved. I for one would love to have all evidence presented so I can then arrive at my own conclusion on this and other matters of excessive force.” – No BS

“When it comes to civilians being accused or arrested, we welcome the saying that one is innocent until proven guilty. When it’s a police officer, the reverse will do for us. To listen to the people who campaign for human rights accuse people of all kinds of things outside of a trial, makes you wonder if they are really concerned about human rights or being anti police.” – Kentry Charles

Where’s the Justice?:

Families of the victims have not given up their quest for justice as has been demonstrated by their consistent appearances at the Inquest now underway in Vieux Fort.
In 2011 John Baptiste Mac Farlane’s girlfriend Heelula recalled the way she’d presented the notorious ‘police list,” which her boyfriend’s name was part of to the media prior to the incident. Heelula told the STAR: “Now they’re all gone and no one left to tell the story, but I know for sure the bodies will tell the stories, how they brutalized them.”
Allan Louisy’s sister Merlisa Charlemagne added: “I only attended one funeral and it looked like those guys were beaten before they shot them. Aparchie was missing an eye—you could have seen one was hollow like it went in and the other was normal. I know these guys. His face was not looking the same. It looked like someone else. There was a huge bruise on his forehead that looked like he was hit in the head as well. Those guys were from the ghetto. They were not perfect, they didn’t kill anyone, why would you shoot and kill all five? You don’t kill for stealing, you arrest. We just want the government to set things straight. Get rid of those corrupt cops, that’s ridiculous. We just want justice. We know we can’t get our brother back, but we just want justice, that’s it.”
Heelula also told the STAR: “I don’t understand. You said this man [Mac Farlane] was doing so many things, you want to get him, you think the best way to get him is to kill him and kill four other people? I can verify the young people who died, their record is clean; I don’t like the way the police went about killing the people children like that.”

January 14, 2013: The Significance of Advocacy

“The persistent calls for Inquests to be held into the 12 police killings of 2011 has resulted in the authorities responding to the calls and Inquests are presently ongoing,” human rights activist Mary Francis told the STAR. “In effect it means police can no longer push police killings under the carpet and that instead, as the law requires, every police killing has to be justified through the judicial process i.e. the Coroner’s Inquest and the Court.”
The human rights activist says more speedy investigation into police killings is vital—so inquests would be held within six months at most.
“This should be specified in the Coroner’s Act,” she said. “There is too much delay resulting in a denial of justice to deceased relatives. In that regard, the law which limits a six month period for suing the State must be amended to increase the period to at least one year in the interest of justice for citizens.”
She added: “There is need for professional policy by that I mean an end to police brutality. Law enforcement should not include police brutality. We as citizens must ensure that police act within the law at all times.”
Francis called for a Commission of Inquiry into 12 police killings.
“Only a Commission of Inquiry will bring out the truth because given the police records for police killing for the years 2007 – 2012, 2011 was an abnormal year; imagine five men killed in one night alone. The truth must come out.”

Update: Inquest gets underway at Vieux Fort District Court in November. Adjourned until Wednesday, January 16. At the end of Wednesday’s proceedings the matter is adjourned to February 6, 2013 for continuation. Three police officers give evidence. Thus far, no evidence of the gun police officers claimed was used by the men in the alleged ‘shoot out’ has been provided. It is not clear whether family members will make statements at the next proceeding. The matter is being presided over by Magistrate Robert Innocent. Pathologist Dr Stephen king is expected to give evidence in February.

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11 Responses to ‘Vieux Fort Five’ Inquest Underway: Police yet to produce gun

  1. Botox says:

    Can’t sue the state after six months says it all, why would you even waste your time? Just what do you expect to gain from this exercise? There are so many versions of the so called “TRUTH” that you are simply giving the illusion of living in a civilized state.

  2. mlj says:

    “Some day, justice will be given; lets hope it is not visited on the innocent. ” (Steve Biko).

  3. Great White says:

    Is Dr. Stephen King the lone Pathologist on the island? i think St.Lucuia needs another pathologist so that there can be more than one opininon when it comes to dealing with corrupt police officers.

  4. Botox says:

    This I see as a very dangerous situation, that the police in a way are actually immune from prosecution of murder based on this 6 month statue of limitations. So I have a question, lets suppose a for argument sake, that someone visiting the island as a tourist was for some unfortunate reason, killed by the police. Would this same six months BS still stand? Nobody is above the law, and also just because someone is an excon does not mean that they have less rights. There are so many part of the St. Lucian legal system that actually encourages corruption. we need to fix these backwardness now.

    To those who lost loved ones in this sad doing, you can get justice another way…

  5. Botox says:

    Let the world see what the real St. Lucia is about, broadcast this to all in the world. Yes tourism will suffer and the islands image will take a beating but at least something will be done to correct this stupidity.

  6. rick james says:

    Where are these young men from, from what I read they were not from the VF area. Correct me if I am wrong, the island was in a crisis police took action, illegal or not and there were casualities. My general rule is what are you doing on private property at 2 in the AM you not there to say hello, as much as corrupt the police is at times, I do believe there was a motive to act, illegal or not, we may never know.

  7. Botox says:

    Rick James, point taken.

  8. humble says:

    there is no statute of limitation on murder.that being said no one is above the law, police or other wise.whoever commits a crime should face the consequences but we must also have faith in the justice system and remember that a man is innocent until proven guilty

    • Botox says:

      I am not into faith because it is a blinding device, a hope of what you wish for. You see, law has to be straight forward and very blind in it’s implementation, by having faith you remove this quality of fairness and openness because in a way faith is a for gone conclusion of a non reality, or for better words fantasy.

  9. Silburn J. Callender says:

    Good law abiding Citizens should be at home or at work at 2am. Usually, young people who are on private property not belonging to their families at that time of day are involved in something sinister. When I grew up in SLU 35 yrs ago these things were unheard of. The young people have gotton worst, due to a lack of proper parenting, among other things, and so has the police. Really bad things happen between 10pm and 4am. Those are prime sleeping hours, got to bed St.Lucia, get a good night’s rest, and live to enjoy another day. My condolences to the families of these young men, if there was police brutality, hopefully it will come to the surface and the guilty parties will be brought to…

  10. Mal says:

    I recall a situation i was in a few years ago in the cap-estate area. 4 of us were heading home after doing some over-time on a pool we were tiling one Friday night. On our way down appeared bright lights accompanied by erratic and reckless driving. Naturally, one would figure this maybe some kind of robbery attempt, so instinctively the driver drove faster. Fortunately for us one of my co-workers recognized that this was a police van. so we stopped only to find ourselves staring down the barrels of about 6 short guns, and was told if we did’t stop when we did we would have been fired upon.

    Now i have no problem with the police doing their job because i was told there were a string of…

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