October 20, 2019

St Vincent police sued over woman’s death

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images-Caribbean-Charles_st_vincent_police_343611478From Caribbean360

said an investigation would be launched into the death of Thomas after telling reporters that she had fainted when law enforcement officials found and showed her a “substance resembling cannabis” during the raid.

, St Vincent, Monday March 31, 2014, CMC – The family of a 49-year-old woman, who died at hospital one day after law enforcement officials raided her home in search of drugs, has filed a lawsuit against the Royal St Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force.

Attorney Kay Bacchus Browne told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) that the relatives are seeking half a million dollars (One EC dollar = US$0.37 cents) in damages.

Sylma “Codo” Thomas died on February 28, a day after police raided her home in the town of  Chateaubelair.

“I’m going to ask for compensation in the sum of half a million, plus special damages, for the wrongful death due to police negligence,” the attorney said.

She said that the pre-action civil lawsuit letter has been sent to Attorney General Judith Jones-Morgan and Commissioner of Police Michael Charles.

“To my mind, it (Thomas’s death) amounted to gross negligence and apparent disregard for human life,” said Bacchus, lamenting the absence of a female police officer during the raid of Thomas’ home.

“They (police) did not know what to do,” she added.

Last month, Commissioner Charles said an investigation would be launched into the death of Thomas after telling reporters that she had fainted when law enforcement officials found and showed her a “substance resembling cannabis” during the raid.

But neighbours and relatives have accused the police of not acting promptly to provide her with medical attention when she suffered what later was diagnosed as a stroke after the raid.

Thomas’ younger brother Alfred Howe, a veteran of the British Army who has served in Germany, England, Poland and Iraq, said he was among persons looking on as members of the armed Rapid Response Unit (“Black Squad”) conducted the raid.

Ronald “Patel” Mathews, the Member of Parliament for North Leeward, said while he was not against the police carrying out their responsibility “in a situation like this, the police might have acted improperly in terms of the way the search was done and the fact that they continued even after the woman took sick”.

He has called for an immediate investigation into the incident. C

For more on this story go to: http://www.caribbean360.com/index.php/news/st_vincent_news/1107378.html#ixzz2xam0R85O

 

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