KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent – Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace said on Tuesday that it is ironic that the government is criticising “the reported assault” of one of the nation’s diplomat by a foreign police officer when it has “sanctioned” the abuse of local politicians by Vincentian police.
The Unity Labour Party administration, led by Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, has launched diplomatic and legal attempts to seek redress for the arrest of hs eldest son, Ambassador to the United Nations Camillo Gonsalves by a New York Police Department cop last Wednesday.
Eustace, in his first public statement on the development, said at a press conference, that the government “sanctioned, whether expressly or tacitly, the battery and assault of its elected politicians by local police officers on Vincentian soil on the 3rd of March 2011”.
He was referring to the physical removal of some opposition Members of Parliament from the assembly chambers on the instruction of House Speaker Frederick Alexander.
Opposition lawmaker and West Kingstown representative Daniel Cummings has said that he suffered a back injury during the ordeal.
Cummings said at the press conference Tuesday that during a demonstration outside the Port Authority several years ago, “police officers and Port officers brutalised an elderly woman.
“The government of this country, up to today, has not made a single condemnation of that heinous act and it is in common with its action. It only seems to speak out when its own person is inflicted, not a Vincentian who is excluded from the ULP fold. And that is not a way to govern a country,” Cummings said.
Eustace further noted that three cops convicted of the assault of a teenaged boy and who lost their appeal in court, were reinstated.
“I therefore call on the Prime Minister and the government of St. Vincent ad the Grenadines to deal evenly with all instances of abuse of power and excessive force, keeping in the foreground at all times, the best interest of all Vincentians, at home and in the diaspora,” Eustace said.