Head of the Major Crime Unit, detective Inspector Atland Browne, left, and prosecutor, Station Sergeant Elgin Richards. (IWN photos)

An inspector of police who was the subject of an intense and forceful cross-examination cited his rank to a police prosecutor at the Serious Offences Court in Kingstown on Monday.

Defence counsel Grant Connell was grilling head of the Major Crime Unit, detective Inspector Atland Browne, when the senior investigator sought to circumvent a question.

“Answer the question!” said Station Sergeant Elgin Richards, who shared the prosecution bench with fellow National Prosecution Service member, Senior Prosecutor Adolphus Delplesche.

“You are a station sergeant. You relax,” Browne responded to Richards, who is also a member of the National Prosecution Service.

Richards, who was in his police uniform, did not respond, but Connell cited the development and asked Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne-Matthias, who was presiding, if she had heard Browne’s comment.

The magistrate noted to Connell that it was also unacceptable that his voice was raised during the section of the cross-examination leading up to Browne’s comments.

With tension thick in the courtroom, the Chief Magistrate told the parties that she could rise for a few minutes and allow them to calm themselves or they could volunteer to take things down a notch.

But later, as Israel Bruce, also a defence counsel, was cross-examining the detective, Browne again cited his police rank when Richards instructed him to answer the defence counsel’s question.

Bruce told Browne to stop citing his rank to the prosecutor, noting that Browne was in court as an officer of the court and not as a station sergeant of police.

Richards also pointed out that fact, telling his senior officer, “I am here as an officer of the court and not as a station sergeant.”

Browne, responding to Bruce’s comments, said, “You don’t know the rules of our organisation,” — and apparent reference to the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force.

The exchange took place during the preliminary inquiry into a murder charge against Union Island residents, Derrol Small, Kemroy Craigg and Ekron Thomas.

They were charged with the Aug. 1, 2015 murder in Union Island of Allington Cain of Byera.

The magistrate discharged the accused after hearing evidence from some six witnesses.

Union Island trio freed of murder charge

10 replies on “Detective pulls rank on police prosecutor in court”

  1. Kenton I hope you closely watch to see if the sergeant is victimised.

    The officer was so out of order I am surprised he was not reprimanded by the magistrate.

      1. Jeannine James says:

        This whole thing is past disgusting; it is scary. What sort of confidence can the ordinary man have in a system that rolls like this? Not one man is in a position to help the other in this situation. All made men, mafia-style.

  2. Jeannine James says:

    Nice, nice. Going good. On the way to anarchy via ungovernable. Everything cool and easy-peasy. Sweet.

  3. The whole force needs to be professionalised. I suggest an impartial assessment by an independent body of the feasibility of privatizing the whole institution except for its two or three highest ranking persons who would be answerable to an agency independent of political interference.

    Nothing less than a root and branch restructuring of the force would make any difference to its competence.

    1. C. ben-David says:

      Further to my comment on privatizing the police force, at the very least the traffic functions should be contracted out to one of our security companies which would be partly paid by a commission based on their ticketing of people for various violations: speeding; illegal parking; license and insurance lapses; carrying too many passengers; drunk driving; etc.

      The monies collected would benefit both the government and private sector financially while making the general pedestrian and driving public much safer.

      Don’t hold your breath on this socialist command-and-control government surrendering any control to the private sector.

    2. Patrick Ferrari says:

      Whoa, C. ben. Whoa, lad. You’re getting ahead of yourself. Great idea, but who is going to implement your utopian-esque scheme?

      A Ralph Gonsalves jurisdiction? Think again.

      Professionalize a force that has a commissioner who campaigns for the party, dressed in his red uniform, from head to toe, stars et al? (It is okay for him to dress in red but it is not, God forbid, okay for me to say he dressed in red. What a cuntry.)

      There is not an iota of difference between ULP and Government and you are asking the government to chop off the ULP at its knees and level-up the force.

      Ah toll you b4, right here, and you promised me too, right here, I want some of what you smoking.

      Can you imagine the 15 minutes of euphoria: a professional police force? I’d beg you, pay you even, to gimme a next one to extend the spliff induced dream.

  4. Brown Boy USA says:

    Is this for real? I guess the laws of my country does not apply to certain people. No wonder the NDP government is having such a difficult time taking power. This is corruption and a complete lock of respect for the judicial system on the part of a police officer. I have seen a bunch of high ranking officers behaving in a manner as if they are above the law, no one can talk to them and tell them what to do. But what you officers do not realize is that nothing last forever. So enjoy your power while you can! But the police really need to do better and lead by example.
    And the poor judge, perhaps scared to say anything because you never know when it come to this police force in this country. What a shame and disgrace to the badge. Vincentians can’t we really do better? It’s time to standup against this nonsense and take back our country, 2019, my people wake up!

  5. Brown Boy USA says:

    Officer Atland Browne, you not a true Browne, you are a clown. We Browne do not behave like that. Shame on you!

  6. Just a question is Inspector Browne an ex Gonsalves protection squad is is he a political appointment. To behave so badly he must have some connection to the ULP skank dancing team.

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