Kenson King, left, reminded persons of police inaction ahead of the January 2020 killing of nurse Arianna Taylor-Israel, allegedly by her husband with his licensed firearm.

In January, St. Vincent and the Grenadines was shocked when it learned that a man who had allegedly gunned down his wife at their son’s school still had his licensed firearm after she had repeatedly told police that he had threatened to kill her with it.

However, last week, when a prison officer, citing that incident, said on Facebook that a politician had allegedly ordered the return of licenced firearms to a man who had threatened to kill his relatives, the prison officer was arrested and kept in custody for more than 30 hours.

The prison officer, Kenson King, 33, of Park Hill, was kept in custody while police told him they were conducting an investigation that he had incited public fear and alarm.

The man who King claimed had made the threats, however, was not arrested and retained his firearms, after a politician reportedly ordered that they be returned to him.

King, who has been a prison officer for 15 years, told iWitness News on Monday, that he was going to take the advice of his lawyer, Jomo Thomas, and bring a false imprisonment suit against the government.

King said he was arrested at his workplace at Her Majesty’s Prisons in Kingstown sometime between 11:30 and11:45 a.m. on Friday.

He said that his chief had summoned him to his office and when he got there, he met three men, who identified themselves as police officers.

He said that Sergeant Biorn Duncan — a detective assigned to the Major Crimes Unit — introduced himself by use of his police ID card and, in turn, introduced his colleagues, one Sergeant James and a corporal.

King said that Duncan had a paper and said it was a copy of a Facebook post that they were investigating because it was liable to cause public fear and alarm. 

“He showed it to me and I read it and I asked the question where in the post was anything liable to cause public fear or alarm.”

King said that Duncan said that the part that jumped out at him (Duncan) was where the post said that something like what happened with Nurse Taylor would not happen again.

Nurse Arianna Taylor-Israel died on Jan. 30 after she was allegedly shot by her husband, Mitch Israel, at St. Martins Secondary School, where one of their two sons is a student.

After her death, it emerged that Taylor-Israel had gone to the Questelles Police Station at least three times in the five days before she was killed, alleging that her husband had threatened to kill her.

Israel is alleged to have shot and killed his wife using his licensed firearm, even as a warrant had been issued for his arrest.

The warrant was never executed and a source told iWitness News that police might have chosen not to act as they were convinced that even if they had confiscated his weapon, they would have received call within minutes ordering that it be returned.

King said that after his arrest, he was taken to the MCU office then to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), both located at the police headquarters in Kingstown.

He said he remained in custody until about 8:30 p.m. Saturday when police told him he was free to go — without any charge being brought against him. 

King said that the incident that the Facebook post addressed was part of a “longstanding, long-running something that has been going on”.

He said that he had a relative who has two licenced firearms – a shotgun and a pistol – and who had repeatedly threatened to use the weapon to kill his (King’s) father and other relatives.

“The police have cautioned him before pertaining to discharging the firearm over my father,” King said.

“There have been numerous times that my father had gone to the Colonarie police and made reports pertaining to his brother threatening to shoot him and all of them.”

He said that a report was made to the police in Colonarie last Wednesday regarding the firearm holder and the police responded by taking the man and his guns into custody.

The man was released but police kept the firearms.

King, however, said that on Friday, the man came to the road with the guns and was bragging that he went to a politician who called the Colonarie Police Station “and asked them if Colonarie gave [the man] gun licence so [if they had not] they must ‘give him back he gun’.

“So he got back the guns. Those are his words,” King told iWitness News.

“This is what the post was saying,” he added.

Asked if he had made the post, King said:

“Out of frustration and of nothing being done by the powers that be, meaning the police, I think it was necessary that the public knew what was going on.

“And in my estimation, if there is any fear and alarm, there must be fear and alarm that someone is allowed to keep on threatening people with licensed firearms even after being reported to the police so many times and nothing is being done.

“But what should even cause more fear and alarm is the fact that when the police does their job, someone can come and brag that they can call a politician and get things done. It is sad that somebody could make those kinds of allegations; that they could just call a politician and get things done.”

Regarding the Nurse Taylor case, King said that based on what has been reported by the media, she had made many reports to the police regarding alleged threats her husband had make to use his licenced firearm to kill her.

“… and then allegedly being shot by her husband with the same licenced firearm,” King said.

King told iWitness News that he is very vocal on social media, “politically, socially” and that his detention was quite possibly linked to that.

He said he was “deterred in no way” by his arrest.

“You just made me stronger, man. I am not going to stop commenting. I have a constitutional right, just like everybody else, to speak,” he said, adding that he has left it up to his lawyer to deal with the legal aspect of his detention.

“But it is sad, at the end of the day, things can be done in the way it is done, all willy-nilly sometimes, simply because, sometimes there are those who believe that there are people who do not know what their rights are,” King told iWitness News.  

22 replies on “Man detained over evoking memories of police inaction ahead of nurse’s killing”

  1. Political now..
    If he keep instill fear into others what u call that ?
    If he use it..u will hear what should have bein done
    These ppl showing of there weapon..something need to be done about it …
    But it svg..what u expect

    1. Please read your comments before you post them. It is very time consuming when you have to decipher what you are trying to say. Bloody hell!!!.

    2. This is a straight forward case of political corruption. Politicians interfering in police procedures, even instructing the police in how to act.

      This has to stop, and the persons involved should be named and shamed. There is international protection for whistle blowers.

    1. They never said who the politicians was it could be any politician. Wait for the facts or else you’ll get yourself in trouble. There is no need to call names

  2. I hope this story is not true! I.e. both the arrest and the return of the firearm…and the discharging of the weapon! Please let this not be true.

  3. Rawlston Pompey says:

    GROSS NEGLIGENCE v CALLOUS RECKLESS

    Sure the Editor got the story right.
    What is read here speaks inter alia to, ‘Gross Negligence and Callous Reckless’ on the part of law enforcement.

    From a professional perspective, if a ‘…danger exists or is imminent,’ not only are the citizens right to know, but also the Police’s duty to ‘remove such danger.’

    The most effective way of doing so, is not by arresting or detaining the person who has brought ‘…awareness of such danger,’ but to relieve the holder of the means to ‘…terrorize; …injure; …hurt or kill others.’

    If the police become estranged to their primary responsibility ‘…Protect and Serve,’ then citizens can ‘expect the expected- (a) ‘…sorrow; (b) …mourning; (c) …grieving; and (d) …funerals.’

    Might be time to avert tragedy ‘Commissioner Colin Williams.’

  4. Monica Rosa says:

    Mr king having read your issues you had with the police department there in saint vincent , I think those police men and the whole department needs to be retrained the right way and by more forceful police training group. Those police men down there is a lot of cunumonu. Fool. Fool and laughable policemen. The department dont know their rear end to the front end. They only believed in they say and he say. You stand up for your rights and dont make no one stop you from saying how you feels on media.

  5. We need political changes in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Corruption is getting too stark now. People need to fear.

  6. There are so many young and aspiring lawyers in SVG. I am tired of saying to put them in places such as the police station so these nonsensical charges will not be made.

    How in heaven’s name are they going to prove any of the elements of the “charge” if it ever gets to that stage?

    Please get the needed guidance on charging people properly. Some of us lawyers, hate the easy jobs you give us when these charges never make it pass the police station!!!

  7. Can(just about)anyone get a gun-license? A license to kill in SVG.

    The Judges and the royal SVG Police are to most blame for these gun incidents. They didn’t pull the trigger themselves but are issuing licenses to people who have no justified reason to have a high powered gun. And, the cops are not policing the community properly from the looks of it.

    A bank director might need a gun but if the cops doing their jobs right he would need to. A security guard, A cop, might need a gun. If you live on a remote estate you might need a gun. If you own a yacht or a ship, you might need a gun for protection.

    The situation in the village is as such that the village electrician needs to have a gun ( for protection?). If that is so, that means it is time to outlaw all guns(stricter gun-controls). The price for the license might be too cheap.

    People don’t feel safe because the cops are a bunch of idiots; The minister of Justice is brain dead. The case of the deceased Arianna Taylor-Israel, is a tragedy of biblical proportions. The stupidity of the Judiciary and the cops is mind-numbing.

  8. If this man’s story is right then the opposition should demand an investigation and name the politician who demanded the gun be returned to the owner. Don’t leave out names because it would appear you are covering up something. The rules about issuing gun permit should be re-examined, especially after the nurse was killed [allegedly] by the jealous husband.
    Don’t depend on Ralph to do anything. His comment on men abusing women did not help and will not help. He should be warning these criminals they would be sent to jail for abusing women and children. His fear may be that it will involve Camillo and many of his supporters. The woman senator, who is also a lawyer should make this one of her election issues.
    Give voters the reasons they should support you. Don’t wait until after the election to make promises you can’t keep. I find NDP don’t want to tell voters what they intend to change once in power. Try to convince voters there has to be changes and don’t be afraid if Ralph seals your ideas.

  9. Jomo should go after the policemen who arrested the man whose wrote on Facebook. This reminds me of the teacher who was also arrested for publishing her views. Jomo, this has to stop and you can start the ball rolling.

  10. Hashtag Prince says:

    Seriously? ???

    Sue the Attorney General or whoever is responsible for the Police Force and the Government.

    You can’t go on a man’s job and arrest him. You may question him, but you can’t arrest him. If you want to arrest him, you have to wait until he has left the premises of the workplace.

    Sue them Mr King. ..all the way!

  11. Hashtag Prince says:

    …. And it was unlawful to hold you for more than 24 hours without charging you Mr King. The Police just sh..t on themselves. …LOL!!!!

  12. I cant understand how could a politician instruct a police officer to return a firearm to a civilian. Something is wrong with that scenario. I thought that the only minister who might have a say in this is through the minister of national security. I will think that he would then go through the Commissioner of Police and with recommendation from the committee who oversees firearm licence will make a decision based on an investigation into why the licenses were revoked in the first place and on the findings from the investigation a decision should then be made.

  13. Then you know that that politician had powers, and is abusing same.
    Enough of that INTIMIDATION.
    The investigating officer could not have released the firearm unless he was given instruction to do so.
    WHAT A SHAME! NO WONDER THE OUTSIDERS CONTINUE TO USE THEIR WEAPONS WITHOUT REGARDS TO HUMAN LIVES.
    THIS IS NOTORIOUS . . . VERY UGLY .
    WAKE UP AUTHORITIES.

  14. The man should call the name of the politician who alledgedly call the police station and commanding them to give the weapon back to him. These policemen must open their mouths and do their work without fear or favour. What are the churches saying about these things? To see evil and refused to call it evil is evil. God will not hold us guiltless.

Comments are closed.