KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent – The Caribbean Consular Corps at the United Nations says there may be “a pattern of conflict” developing between New York Police Department (NYPD) and Caribbean community in that North American city, culminating with the arrest of Ambassador Camillo Gonsalves last Wednesday.
An NYPD officer arrested and handcuffed Gonsalves, St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ permanent representative to the United Nations, in the lobby of his office.
The cop cited disorderly conduct after Gonsalves removed a barrier to enter his office, which he said he has been doing for the past five years.
The Caribbean Consular Corps in a statement after an emergency meeting on Monday said that the arrest of the diplomat “sets a dangerous precedent by the NYPD and does not augur well for good relations between the NYPD, the Caribbean diplomatic community, and all Caribbean nationals”.
The Corps, in response to the incident, had decided to put on hold all joint activities with the NYPD “until and amicable solution can be reached on the matter,” according to the statement.
The grouping will also write to NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and the U.S. State Department, and the Society of Foreign Consuls in New York outlining the Corp’s position.
“Corps is hoping for an amicable and speedy resolution to this matter so that we can continue to work towards good relations between the NYPD and the entire Caribbean Community,” said the statement, which was signed by Rhonda Chipman-Johnson, consulate-general for the Bahamas.