Commissioner of Police, Michael Charles. (IWN photo)

Commissioner of Police, Michael Charles, says that like his predecessor, Keith Miller, he would have rehired the three cops who a court convicted of assault in relation to the beating of a 15-year-old boy, who went into a coma for one week after the beating.

Charles told journalists in an interview on Tuesday that the three detectives are hard-working officers but erred when, on Nov. 18, 2008, they assaulted then 15-year-old Jemark Jackson.

On Feb. 2, 2010, the court convicted Corporal Kasanki Quow and Constables Hadley Ballantyne and Osrick James of assault, but they returned to duty on April 20 2011, when Miller was commissioner of police.

“If I was the Commissioner of Police [then], I would have done exactly what Mr. Miller did. That’s the power of the Commissioner and if I was Mr. Miller at the time, I would have done exactly what Mr. Miller did,” Charles told journalists.

“Based on what he (Miller) stated, the officers are hardworking officers, they erred on that instance and in his view, putting them out of the Police Force was too harsh a punishment for their offence,” Charles said.

During Miller’s tenure, several police officers were charged with criminal offences, while another, suspected of infecting his daughter with a sexually transmitted disease, fled the country while a police investigation was underway.

Miller also dismissed several officers, some of whom successfully appealed his decision.

Charles, who was confirmed as police chief on Jan. 15, said he will be strict but fair with officers who run break the law.

Asked what he will do to reduce the incidences of members of the Force running afoul of the law, Charles said:

“It’s what I have been always saying: If a policeman commits himself, the matter will be properly investigated and he will be dealt with, whether internally or taken before the court. We will not be tolerating any misconduct by police officers.”

Charles said that under his leadership, some officers suspended or dismissed by Miller have been reinstated.

He said that so far four constables have been reinstated, after a discussion with assistant commissioners of police and taking into account the advice of the Attorney General.

One officer was charged with rape, the matter was taken to court, but the charge was dismissed and he was “out of the system getting half salary for up to two years,” Charles said.

“We had to bring closure to it; so, with that he’s back,” he further said.

Charles said that two other officer were allegedly involved in the disappearance of funds from a police station.

They were taken to the court and that matter was also dismissed and they were also brought back into the Police Force.

Another constable was suspended for three months then discharged. “The commissioners sat and we thought that the punishment was too harsh for his offence. So we reconsidered that and he is back in the force,” Charles said.

“There are a lot of other officers, but they appealed and we have to wait until the appeals are heard,” the Commissioner of Police said.

8 replies on “Top cop defends predecessor’s decision to rehire detectives convicted of assaulting teen”

  1. hey Mr Charles why stop there, why not take some of the residents in her majesty’s prison and add them to the force. You seem to have a love affair with putting criminals on your police force, yes i know they were not convicted but i am guessing someone got paid off so these guys wont go to jail.

  2. It would be funny if it wasn’t so sad. These men abused a 15 year old child, they should be in jail themselves, yet this fool don’t want to fire them? it’s the least that could happen to them, they should be in the big house with the rest of the other prisoners.

    That’s why I always tell my friends to not go to Vincy to spend any tourist money. A police force that is partial is not a police force at all, and they are more like thugs in uniforms. Everytime some news comes out of Vincy these days it’s always things that make Vincentians abroad ashamed.

    This is child abuse by goons in the police force and the least they could do is get fired for it.

  3. What a disgraceful statement from the new chief of police. Those men who were re-employed almost beat the boy to death. It was decided to charge them with a much lesser crime than what they deserved to of been charged with, ‘assault’. They should of been charged with at the very least ‘gross bodily harm’, may I also suggest that if it was anyone else other than cops had carried out this crime, those persons would of been charged with attempted murder.

    The officers pleaded not guilty, when they were clearly guilty and were found so by a judge and jury. Sentenced and treated lightly because it was the lesser crime conviction ‘assault’, that they were found guilty of.

    They then appealed and the conviction at appeal was upheld.

    Having heard and read the evidence it is quite clear to me that these men lied to the courts, they denied the charges and fought the case claiming innocence. I believe they deserved more than they got, and I believe the true course of justice was perverted by charging them with a crime which did not match what they did to that boy. I think they were only charged at all because of public outcry, and then for a lesser charge than warranted or deserved, if the matter could of been hushed down its quite possible they would of never been charged at all.

    Now COP Charles knows they were guilty, yet he said: “If I was the Commissioner of Police [then], I would have done exactly what Mr. Miller did. That’s the power of the Commissioner and if I was Mr. Miller at the time, I would have done exactly what Mr. Miller did. … Based on what he (Miller) stated, the officers are hardworking officers, they erred on that instance and in his view, putting them out of the Police Force was too harsh a punishment for their offence.”

    Nowhere else in the world would these men of been reinstated, they belong in prison, not in our police force.

    What a disgrace, I actually think Charles was acting on instructions when giving this statement during an interview with I-Witness. I cannot believe that any right thinking decent member of our police force or Vincentian society would ever make such a statement.

  4. Patrick Ferrari says:

    I have a lot of hopes on Commissioner Charles but I am disappointed with him on this one.

    The cops “erred,” yes. If you call it an error when three hard-back policemen gang up (herd mentality) and beat a cornered 15-year-old boy half to death, then by the same scale, so too, to murder is to err.

    The child abusers should have been fired. Fired by moral obligation and professional commitment (if there were those). And then for other reasons down the line.

    Had they been fired, Gol Teet would not be sucking his teet at a magistrate – in court. He would not dare because he would have known what the consequences would be. And police would not be giving the f-k you finger to journalists; and to the public, in public. Especially while the journalist is taking his picture. They would not show utter disrespect to the low-down, common public man, or to the high-up respectable (clearly not to Gol Teet) members of the Court and to all in-between if the child abusers were fired.

    They re-hired the child abusers and they could not identify the policeman we all know. The message is clear; the boys in blue look out for their own.

  5. COP Miller brings disgrace and shame to the police force, the government and the people, then COP Charles compounds and expands that disgarce and shame by upholding and making what can only be considered a stupid and ignorant statement about the subject.

    Shame on you COP Charles.

    Wake up people and smell the sulphur.

  6. I came across an article where the writer has indicated that the UN blames the politicians and the corrupt police in the Caribbean for the increase in the crime rate. No wonder, when you have this head mongoose claiming the cops were right to beat a 15 years old. How can there be respect for such people who behave in such manner. Where is the PM; the minister of justice, in all this – probably at the head of the table?

  7. Carlos Walcott says:

    The Commish is out to lunch. What a dumb statement to make at such at volatile time! A lot of hard working people have done bad things. Unfortunately, losing their jobs and status comes with the penalty they pay for breaking the law. The Policemen should not have been rehired under any circumstances. For the new commissioner to remark that hiring them was a good move, shows he is incapable of being good at his job also.

  8. That’s why I don’t like the police or even trust them, They think they above the law can do whateve they want and get away with it, but then again cant really blame, look who is the head of national security.

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