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John Ballah 2 230626

A magistrate who spent more than 20 years as a police officer says he will not tolerate police brutality and would dismiss matters in which there is evidence of police excesses. 

John Ballah, stated his position at the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court, on Thursday, as he presided over a case in which Chauncey resident, Carl Quow, 22, pleaded guilty to possession of 4.5 gramme of cocaine in his community one day earlier.

In mitigation, Quow’s lawyer, Carl Williams, told the court that it was disturbing the way that police officers “keep beating and injuring people in custody. 

“I would say that this must stop but the police should know that this will have legal consequences and apart from legal consequences, it may trigger vigilante action,” Williams said.

After handing down an EC$800 fine on Quow, Ballah, addressing Williams, said:

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“I will make it clear to all police officers that this court will not condone any sort of police brutality meted out to any member of the public. 

“And if police action … is highlighted in any matter that is before this court where police brutality is meted out to any member of the public who is a defendant and this court has to dismiss the matter because of that, that will happen.”

Ballah said that he spoke out against police brutality when he was a police officer and would not condone it as a magistrate.

Ballah rose to the rank of assistant superintendent of police before resigning from the force earlier this year ahead of being appointed as a magistrate.  

“I love our Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force. I served there and because of the organisation, I am better for it. And I hope that members there realise how blessed they are to be in the service of the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and give their best,” the magistrate said. 

“So, while I sit here, I will ensure that every police officer who comes before my court gives the best possible service to the people we serve.”

He told Williams that if Quow suffered injuries he should report the matter to the  Police Public Relations and Complaints Department.

“I know the recently promoted Superintendent of Police Simmons is a diligent officer and would ensure that the wheels of justice are in motion. Other than that, if a civil suit can be brought, bring the civil suit. I will deal with it,” Ballah said.   

6 replies on “Zero tolerance for police brutality says magistrate who is former cop ”

  1. The magistrate statement is correct and I believe a lot of people feel the same way about police brutality, it’s been taking place for a long time,too long.

  2. Rawlston Pompey says:

    POLICE BRUTALITY?: CASE TO BE DISMISSED ON POLICE EXCESSES?

    One shall admire the Magisterial Position of this rather new and inexperienced magistrate.

    He shall know the difference between: (i) Criminal Law: and (ii) CIVIL LAW
    The latter is concerned only with INFRINGEMENTS OF CONSTITUTIONAL FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS: FREEDOMS: and LIBERTIES OF THE INDIVIDUAL.

    The former, ONLY with CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

    He must understand the demarcation line between:

    (a) Crime and offences: and

    (b) Matters of civil Litigation

    He will never see the charge police brutality on any complaint without oath against any police officer from constable to commissioner.

    Thus, he may deal only with the merit of the Criminal offence against the alleged victim of police brutality.

    He would be in order to: (I) Speak out against it: and (ii) Render public ADVICE to victims in Filing Civil Law Suits against any officer so alleged to have been BRUTAL irrespective of degree.

  3. At least we have someone who finally understands and see the light, and will act against the cowboys police in our country, many of them think they are over the law, when not on duty they must remember they are as one of us, they must ask themselves would I like this to happen to one of my family,

  4. Thank you magistrate Ballah,They too aggressive when dealing with civilians out there.Longest rope have an end.

  5. I was a former law enforcement officer myself in the USA. At first I thought police beating were exaggerated, until I myself was a victim of It. In my case it was at the Grenadines wharf, from a brother and sister pair who had relatives high in the force. Soon after my beating, getting threats and all-day detainment, without any charge of a crime, I was later allowed to go. the sister got promoted and was named “officer of the year”. To get rewarded for bad behavior is wrong in so many ways. The force in SVG really needs to change.

  6. This appears to be an ongoing problem in this society but evil will only continue if good men and women say nothing and do nothing. It’s better to be late than never, and to those evil officers, what goes around, comes around.

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