Commissioner of Police Michael Charles pays his respects to slain officer Police Constable Giovanni Charles at his funeral in Kingstown on Saturday. (IWN photo)

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Giovanni Charles, the police constable who was killed while on duty on May 2, was buried in Kingstown on Saturday after a funeral service in which Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, Ralph Gonsalves said that his death is “a wake up call”.

Charles, 25, was stabbed while working at the gate of the Belmont Primary School fair.

Police Constable 602 Giovanni Charles died May 2 after being stabbed while on duty.
Police Constable 602 Giovanni Charles died May 2 after being stabbed while on duty.

Maverick Joseph, an 18-year-old resident of that community has been caused with causing Charles’ death.

Speaking at the funeral at the New Testament Church of God at Wilson Hill, Kingstown, Gonsalves said that the police are the front line of citizens’ civil protection.

Giovanni Charles funeral 4

“And there is a climate among some sections of the community, including sections who should be very responsible, to see the police as Babylon and as our enemies. Well, if the Police Force is not in existence, life would be nasty, brutish and short,” he told mourners while delivering a tribute.

He said that in the absence of a police force, the “law of the jungle would prevail.

The casket was draped in the National Flag of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. (IWN photo)
The casket was draped in the National Flag of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. (IWN photo)

“… only the strongest and those possessed of the resources to provide themselves with abundant security would feel moderately safe.

“ So, it is our duty to support the first line of defence for civil order and citizen security: the brave police men and women who, in this case, he gave his life for civil order and security.”

https://youtu.be/m4GiCCRq-Vo

Gonsalves said he knows that some persons would be saying that at times, in interfacing with civilians, police officers operate outside of the law.

“Yes, but there are provisions, disciplinary provisions, in the Police Force and in the law to address those matters. But we know that we are blessed overwhelmingly with a group of men and women in the Police Force who are among the best in the Caribbean,” he said to applause.

“If you want to see in this Caribbean how, by and large, police treat people, go to Jamaica; go next door to Trinidad. And we are bringing into this country some habits out of Trinidad. And, as we see ourselves more and more in a dangerous neighbourhood, more and more we must give support to the Police Force and to the men and women of the constabulary.”

Police officers console each other at Charles' funeral. (IWN photo)
Police officers console each other at Charles’ funeral. (IWN photo)

Gonsalves said it is when things like the death of the police officer happens that “we get our wake up call.

“Talk is cheap. Going on social media and cuss Babylon, calling in on this and that talk radio and run off your mouth with no sense of responsibility, professionals of one kind or another chasing the police, creating a climate where you feel you can do them anything.”

Charles' relatives, including his mother, Susan Charles (in black hat) and father, Douglas Pompey (standing right) at his funeral in Kingstown on Saturday. (IWN photo)
Charles’ relatives, including his mother, Susan Charles (in black hat) and father, Douglas Pompey (standing right) at his funeral in Kingstown on Saturday. (IWN photo)

Gonsalves however said that police officers are not perfect.

“But which one of us is? But what we do know that Giovanni Charles exhibited the best and the highest standards of the Police Force,” he said to applause.

“And the best tribute we can give to him, in his death, he gave his life for order and security, for you yourselves to — I’m not asking you to give your life for it, because you are not a police man or woman, but understand it, give it respect — the Force respect, and give them support.”

Giovanni Charles funeral 7

Meanwhile, Commissioner of Police Michael Charles, said while the death of the officer is a loss to the constabulary, it is a personal lost to the officer’s family.

“Words have little meaning in the shadow of this officer’s death… Constable Charles’ true testimony would not be in the world we speak today, but in the way he led his life and the way he lost his life, providing security, helping a community in a time of need and ensuring that peace, stability and justice are upheld…”

Giovanni Charles funeral

The police chief said that a senseless act of violence against any police officer is an act of violence against all police officers.

“We all recognise the inherent dangers of our profession and make a conscientious decision to pursue a career in policing with a sense of duty, honour, passion, just like Constable Charles did. We share the common emotion of anger and sorry resulting from his tragic death. We must not let, however, selfish and cowardly act of a criminal contaminate the wonderful memory of Constable Charles’ life…. Please note that Constable Charles died doing what he loved: being a member of the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force, protecting life and property, and preserving public peace,” the police chief said.

An envelope with handwritten messages was placed in Charles' casket at his funeral on Saturday. (IWN photo)
An envelope with handwritten messages was placed in Charles’ casket at his funeral on Saturday. (IWN photo)

The eulogy was delivered by Charles’ cousin, Elisha Charles and the sermon by Pastor Chesley Ferdinand.

Charles was the only child of each of his parents, Susan Charles and Douglas Pompey.

Teen charged with cop’s murder (+Video)

5 replies on “Killing of cop a ‘wake up call,’ PM says (+Video)”

  1. If this 18 year old man had a job he would never of been there, the government must shoulder some of the blame in failing to create employment and putting thousands of youngsters on the scrap heap every year.

    As the leader of the Government Ralph Gonsalves must take the blame for this.

  2. PM, be the first example to uphold the law in St.Vincent and the Grenadines.
    Changes can be done, make that attempt to do so.
    Thank God for some of our officers who in good faith walking in the they were taught.
    Rest in peace Giovanni.
    My deepest condolences to the family and the RSTVGPF.

  3. Two 18 year old students robbed and murdered our son, it saddened me to read a comment like this. For me this is not news, it is personal. Family and friends as a parent of a murded child I pray that will continue to give you the strength to go through this difficult time. Each individual is responsible for his or her behaviour, we make choices. Criminals and victims live in the same society and begin the same at birth. Remember, behaviours are learnt. PC Charles valued what our Vincy society offered, may he rest in peace and his family be comforted.

  4. Patrick Ferrari says:

    Speak for yourself, Gonsalves, old chap. We’ve been awake all along. It’s the blogs stupid. (I am not calling anybody stupid, just twisting Bill Clinton’s, “It’s the economy, stupid,” a little, who did not think that his staff was stupid when he said it.)

    “A wake up call” under the circumstances, especially under the circumstances of charged emotions and a vulnerable audience, wanting and willing to accept verbal hand-outs of assurances, is a politically expedient cliché. That’s it is going to be. Talk.

    “Expedient; (Of an action) convenient and practical although possibly improper or immoral” – OED.

    Fifteen years ago, the politically expedient cliché was: ‘tough on crime and the causes of crime.” From that to a call to wake up, clearly, absolutely clearly it is a tacit understanding that in between was a period of slumber.

  5. Brown Boy USA says:

    I can’t believe that the Prime minister will use this forum to carrying on with his insensitive rumbling about people cussing police on social media and all that none-sense. So you want to tell us that is what is causing the current climate in the country? You are the minister of national security and I’m surprised that it took you PM until now to address this matter. This matter should have been addressed the very next day after the incident, ensuring the public and the police that this matter will be seriously dealt with and that any such action against the police will not be tolerated. I agree with one thing you said: Talk is cheap! But that is all you seem to be doing. What measures are going to put in place to ensure the safety of our police officers? Blaming others is not going to solve the problem. Furthermore, the police and the community such be a united force to uphold law and other rather than a you against me, or as long as you are not “red” you better off dead mentally. It’s a sad state of affairs that we are facing in our world today with crime and disorder, but in a small island like ours, we should be able to at least manage this situation of violence because we are not a violent people. However, when the current environment makes it easy to commit such crimes then it will happen more than we expected. So PM its time we take a serious look at the relationship between the police and the community and bring them both together because the police should not be looked at as being separated from the community they protect. They are not an army but rather our brothers and sisters we placed there to maintain law and order. All is will help tremendously if we find jobs and training programs for these youths, but nothing seem to be happening in the country and only focus seem to be the international airport and poor youth can’t even get a job there.
    Rest in peace my brother, and my condolences to the family.

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