Questions grow over police killing of five suspected bandits

Every Human Has Rights

Every Human Has Rights

A fifth suspected bandit in a shoot-out with St Lucia police died on Wednesday intensifying pressure on Castries over concerns about possible extra-judicial killings.

The St Lucia Star reported that Kevin Ferdinand of La Clery, Castries died at the St Jude Hospital on Wednesday May 11.

The newspaper reported that Ferdinand was one of the men shot in the leg by police around 2:30 am on May 5 following what is said to be a botched robbery at the Kitch Restaurant and Bar in Vieux Fort.

Police say they intervened in what appeared to be a robbery in progress. During the process, there was an exchange of gun fire which resulted in five individuals from La Clery being shot.

The St Lucia Star said that four were mortally wounded on the day in question namely: John Baptiste Mc Farlan alias Epic, Mitchel Cadette, alias Aparchie, Allan Lenny Louisy alias Alcapone and Myron Dupal.

The paper said that post mortem examinations are to be performed on the five bodies on May 17.

The matter is being investigated by the Major Crime Unit of the Criminal Investigations Department.

Police Commissioner Vernon Francois, who has denied that law enforcement officials were engaged in extra-judicial killings, has reiterated a warning to criminals that the police will not allow crime to get out of hand, according to the Caribbean Media Corporation.

“Rest assured that my department is not letting up in the fight to restore confidence to law abiding citizens of this country by making it safe for them to live,” he said, according to CMC.

However, St Lucian Minister for Commerce, Tessa Mangal, has called on law enforcement officials to set the record straight regarding the killings.

According to CMC, she warned that the police could lose the goodwill of the public if these matters were not resolved.

“We cannot allow the police or anyone else to usurp the authority of any arm of the judiciary because that would be sowing the seeds of anarchy and a more and more aggressive brand of criminality,” she said.

Human rights advocate, Martinus Francois, a brother of the Police Commissioner, has repeated calls for due process as well as an inquest to determine the circumstances surrounding the deaths of the five bandits, CMC reported.


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