National Security Minister, Rayburn Blackmoore, and Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit, have condemned attacks on two policemen during the just concluded two days of Carnival street jump up.
Blackmoore said he hopes the police leave no stone unturned in finding and bringing those responsible to justice while Skerrit called on witnesses to come forward to assist in prosecuting the matter.
“I strongly condemn the attacks on police officers Wilburton Jules and Patrickson Esprit during the Carnival celebration,” Blackmoore stated.
On Carnival Monday, Jules was severely beaten on Church Street in Roseau by several men who inflicted numerous and serious injuries to his upper body using a hammer and a rock weighing over 15 pounds, Police PRO, Acting Inspector, Pellam Jno Baptiste, revealed.
Esprit was assaulted by what Blackmoore described as “bandits.”
“According to the information received, three persons have been charged with attempted murder in the matter involving police officer Jules,” he disclosed. “It is my hope that the Police will leave no stone unturned in the finding and bringing to justice, the bandit or bandits who inflicted the injury to Patrickson Esprit. Police officers have the dangerous and difficult task in keeping us safe, and such a task will not and cannot be tolerated.”
Neverthless, the Minister stated that the “generally peaceful” conduct of the public during the Carnival celebration highlights the true spirit of Dominicans.
“These acts of violence by some do not define us as a people, there is a fundamental goodness about the Dominican people,” he noted.
Meantime, Skerrit is calling for witnesses to support the Police Force, and to come forward in assisting the Prosecution in bringing the attackers to justice.
“We have to stand in absolute solidarity with the Police because if they’re attacked and we do not stand in solidarity with them, and if they get themselves into difficulties, we are quick to condemn. There has to be fairness in the application of criticism and support,” he articulated.
He explained that due to the number of people in the bands, there must have been witnesses to the crime.
“There were many people in the band, so, they would have seen who these people were; and I’m hoping that they will come forward and be witnesses of the State, to this crime, and ensure that those who were involved are first brought to justice and are able to be successfully prosecuted…” Skerrit said.
Skerrit emphasized that while the Police are charged with certain responsibilities, they remain citizens of Dominica, and are afforded the same rights as other citizens. He stressed that these rights must be respected.
“We have to send a message to people, that we have to respect each other’s rights, and we have to respect the laws of the country,” he noted. “And, clearly, an attack of any citizen is unacceptable and the police officers are part of our citizenry, and while they are told to enforce the laws, people must also respect their rights and their responsibilities.”