Was Chakadan on hit list ex­am­ined by prime min­is­ter?

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

By Toni Ni­cholas

Wteams, this week act­ing po­lice com­mis­sioner Er­rol Alexan­der and Po­lice Wel­fare As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent Camron Laure seemed to be bat­ting for the same side as they spoke out in re­sponse to last Fri­day’s news that Robert In­no­cent, who presided over an in­quest into the death of Chakadan Daniel, had ruled Daniel’s death an “un­law­ful killing.”

At the time of his demise Daniel was in a Mi­coud po­lice cell. The in­ci­dent oc­curred some time dur­ing the night of Oc­to­ber 22 and the morn­ing of Oc­to­ber 23, 2013—when his fam­ily was in­formed by po­lice that Daniel had com­mit­ted sui­cide. A post-mortem later re­vealed that Daniel had died “as a re­sult of as­phyxia.”

On Mon­day Laure said the PWA would lend sup­port to the po­lice of­fi­cers in­volved, de­spite that no one had yet been charged and “the as­sump­tion of in­no­cence un­til proven guilty should pre­vail.”

“I have spo­ken to one mem­ber who was at the sta­tion at the time,” Laure went on, “and we are mak­ing an ef­fort to speak to ev­ery­one else who was at the sta­tion at the time.” He added that the PWA dis­ap­proves of un­law­ful po­lice con­duct in any form and un­til such time as some­one has been de­clared guilty of crim­inalty there should be no rush to judg­ment.

On Tues­day, July 28, the act­ing po­lice com­mis­sioner Er­rol Alexan­der ad­dressed the media, also in re­sponse to In­no­cent’s find­ing. He re­minded at­ten­dees that “the Di­rec­tor of Public Pros­e­cu­tions deals with the next step” stress­ing that the in­quest had de­ter­mined “un­law­ful killing.” More­over: “One is in­no­cent un­til proven guilty. Of­fi­cers are to stay strong and ren­der sup­port to fel­low of­fi­cers be­cause they are our col­leagues and are in­no­cent un­til a court of law says oth­er­wise. We will await the de­ci­sion of the court.”

As for po­lice morale at this time Alexan­der said he did not have “a yard­stick by which to mea­sure po­lice morale.” He re­minded the press gath­er­ing that “we are still into law en­force­ment, we are suc­cess­ful in curb­ing crime de­spite the is­sues presently sur­round­ing us. We have sworn to law en­force­ment and we are pro­vid­ing that ser­vice.”

Daniel’s mother this week ex­pressed fears for her own life. She told re­porters that she ex­pects the court process will be, as usual, long and drawn out, with who­ever has killed her son on the loose. “I could be the next tar­get,” she told re­porters. What­ever the risks, she added, she and her fam­ily are de­ter­mined to seek jus­tice for her son.

Mean­while, with the IMPACS re­port yet to be de­clas­si­fied, oth­ers are won­der­ing if per­chance Chakadan Daniel’s name was on the hit list the prime min­is­ter claimed he had seen in 2011, the ex­is­tence of which he re­cently claimed the IMPACS re­port has con­firmed! Chakadan Daniel’s “un­law­ful killing” and the IMPACS re­port are among a heap of files re­port­edly in the hands of the DPP who is yet to make public what is the next step in any of these mat­ters.

Act­ing po­lice com­mis­sioner Er­rol Alexan­der and PWA pres­i­dent Camron Laure at Ch­ester­field fol­low­ing a press con­fer­ence ear­lier this year to dis­cuss the

prime min­is­ter’s ad­dress on the IMPACS find­ings.

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