Submitted by Nathan J Green
We Should Not Assume Gonsalves Knew About Police Raids Before They Happened
Is PM Ralph E Gonsalves a Marxist-Stalinist? I do not think so! Despite some people voicing that opinion over the years.
A search warrant is a written authorisation that allows an official police investigator to enter premises to search for material or individuals. A court usually issues search warrants following an application by a police officer or other investigator to a Magistrate or Justice of the Peace. Most search warrants authorise the investigator to seize and retain relevant material named in the warrant found during the search.
In the UK, a 2016 review by the National Crime Agency found that 79% of investigations had defective, perhaps illegally applied for warrants (of which 8% had significant deficiencies). Is that mirrored in SVG?
It certainly looks like the police raids on people after the demonstrations were politically orchestrated. Because many of the demonstrators were ULP members but only particular well known NDP members were raided. People seem to assume PM Gonsalves instructed the police to carry out those searches of the NDP members’ homes, but there is no evidence, nor should we assume such.
People think that because Gonsalves told them he oversees every square inch of SVG, he is involved in just about every branch of everything. However, he told us he sometimes tells lies which must create doubts in people’s minds about anything he says or denies. Therefore, telling us he is a liar must put the responsibility of doubt in him by some citizens squarely on his shoulders.
We know PM Gonsalves is the minister in charge of the police, yet I have never personally or publicly heard him say to the police not to harass, intimidate, or beat people up; that made me wonder if the harassment was under his direct instruction. After considering that position, I concluded, of course not, and we should not assume that. We have no direct evidence or proof he gave those instructions; we really must not believe that without such proof or evidence. We must certainly not say that or repeat that because that is hurtful to a man’s feelings, the last thing I want to do is hurt his feelings.
Here is what I think. The police have got into a pattern of supplying the magistrates or ULP appointed JPs with false evidence in obtaining search warrants. I further believe the police have no suspicion that the people they get search warrants against have’ firearms, ammunition, or drugs’ in their possession. Because if they had that suspicion and it was a reasonable suspicion, or from the information they received and was believed by them to be accurate, they would not need a search warrant. They can raid someone’s place of abode or work without a search warrant on those reasonable suspicions or received reliable information about the possession of ‘firearms, ammunition, or drugs.’ Suppose you don’t open the door to them after they have voiced their suspicions or reasons of ‘firearms, ammunition, or drugs’ being on your premises or person. They can kick the door down and enter, using reasonable force in doing so [only kicking with the left foot]. I feel that the police believe PM Gonsalves will be pleased, even elated by their actions in searching with falsely worded search warrants the homes of NDP members and confiscating their electronic devices. In doing so, trying to find evidence and make charges of illegality to bring against those people. But perhaps worse than that, I think they act spitefully and maliciously and do not expect to find anything; I believe it is a matter of putting political frighteners on people.
Without any public comments from PM Gonsalves against the police never-ending fishing trip behaviour [obviously he is unaware], the public rightly or wrongly assume he, as PM and minister in charge of the police force, approves of these actions. As the minister in charge of the police, surely he has the right to all the information and actions taken by the police as he has the right, perhaps the duty, to discuss and opine with the police. He says he does not instruct the police what to do. But as the minister in charge of them, I believe he can and should instruct and guide them if those instructions are legal. He is a great friend of the chief of police. Do they not have the occasional chin wag about policy and direct police actions?
So, suppose the PM as minister in charge of the police is now informed of what the police are allegedly doing by the publication of this very letter. In that case, he should be seen to take the appropriate action to bring the police under proper control. Or to launch a formal enquiry into why and how I believe every warrant ever obtained by the police against NDP people during the last twenty years contains the words’ possession of “firearms, ammunition, or drugs.”
If the comrade speaks out, I believe the people will stop thinking he has some hand in the whole process of illegality in obtaining search warrants.
Now in writing this, I am in no way accusing PM Gonsalves of committing any illegal act. On the contrary, I love him like a brother, he is a sweet, misunderstood man, and as he once told us, he is “the blackest PM in the Caribbean, because being black is an attitude.” Therefore, no one should falsely accuse him of being part of any unlawful act or behaviour.
But now, comrade, please step up to the plate in condemning the police action in what I believe is illegally obtaining search warrants or launching an inquiry to disprove my thoughts written here. I have warrants going back years, all worded the same.
If you cannot do either of these things, do not complain if the citizens believe the worst of you. We all must help ourselves in protecting our good names, and that includes you, Comrade. If you cannot take these simple steps, the blame for what people think about you must clearly be laid at your very own door.
In writing this, I have purposely not named or defamed any person herein. I have not expressly or implied any illegal or immoral act by any individual unless they have confirmed any such behaviour to the people. This piece is none political and non-discriminatory.
This is not a statement of fact against any individual.
At law, this is not a published statement accusing anyone of a misdemeanour, nor is it meant to be.
The words contained in this letter are not designed or meant to cause injury to any individual named herein.
The content is not false.
If anything in this letter is an irritant or causes annoyance due to political party alliance or family connection, I apologise in advance.
Everything, every word, is based on my own opinions, and are exactly that, opinions. They are not the opinion of the publisher who took no part in the composition of this letter and may run contrary to the publishers’ own opinions. But they are essential for publication because opinions should be seen, heard, and read to allow the public free speech and written word that is not defamatory.