COMMENTARY: Donette Simon And Shenel Williams Victims Of Perjury And Inefficiency

The content originally appeared on: Antigua News Room

RAWLSTON POMPEY

Consciously, unsuspectingly or innocently, it is incumbent upon ‘District Magistrates’ not to be facilitators of ‘Perjury,’ through unsuspected roguish and corrupt behavior in law enforcers. Such, however, is avoidable, only when ‘Warrant -issuing Magistrates’ become more circumspect. Specific to the issuance of ‘Warrants to Search’ premises, they may wish to pay more attention to details and that issuance, shall pass the ‘Litmus Test of reputational credibility, probability and veracity.’

LETTER AND SPIRIT OF LAW

Half of the citizens troubles and half of Police difficulties, could be attributed to the State agents and citizens that seems not to have familiarity with this ‘Principle.’ Invariably, when the ‘Attitudes and Actions’ of law enforcers were seen or perceived to have been  influenced by the environment, this appeared evident in courses of action. Some have constantly showed lack of sensitivity.’ The rigid enforcement of the Law, often reflects the ‘Letter of Law.’ This was in contrast to tempering their actions with discretion that shall reflect the ‘Spirit of Law.’

BENEFIT OF KNOWLEDGE

That, which this category officers care not to know is the ‘Founding Constitutional Principle (FCP)’ that speaks to the ‘Law.’ For the benefit of knowledge, that principle states; ‘Whereas the people of Antigua and Barbuda recognizes that the Law; (a) ‘Symbolizes the public conscience; (b) That every citizen owes to it an undivided allegiance; (c) It shall not to be limited to any private views of justice or expediency; and (d) The State is subject to the Law’ [FCP: ‘D’].

UNLAWFUL ARREST

In criminal prosecutions under the ‘Public Order Act,’ these constitute ‘Prima Facie Evidence.’ The prosecution of the two Defendants, ‘Donette Simon and Shenel Williams’ reportedly emanated from ‘Police’ allegations and evidence.’ For the defendants, ‘Donette Simon and Shenel Williams,’ it all started with the apparent ‘Unlawful Arrest’ by ‘an Arresting officer’ who was reportedly; (a) ‘Never ‘On-Scene; (b) Had not witnessed that which may have transpired; (c) Could not have been of evidential value to the Prosecution; nor (d) Of assistance to Court.’

PERSPECTIVE

This may have been evident at Lower Market Street, in the vicinity of the ‘Sir Vere Cornwall Bird Bust’ on ‘Teargas and Rubber Bullets Sunday’ [August 8, 2021]. That was the ‘Smoky Sunday.’ It has been the unfolding events that this commentary, now reflects upon. It speaks to the discharge of teargas and rubber bullets upon that which was claimed to have been a ‘Peaceful Protestation’ by man, woman and child. It looks at (a) ‘The ‘Public Order Act; (b) Ensuing, suggestive; (a) ‘Discriminatory arrests of only two females Donette Simon and Shenel Williams’ reasonably suspected ‘Selected’ criminal prosecutions.’

PROCEDURES AND RESTRICTIONS

The nation of ‘Antigua and Barbuda,’ founded, and administrated upon the “Principles of Democracy’ makes it no exception for the citizenry to express dissent or exhibit dissatisfaction with governance. The ‘Lasses’ were neither an organized group, nor an organization of militancy. They have done what obtains in most civil societies. Inspired to move at what may have been considered a ‘Noble Cause,’ they chose to challenge ‘Health’ authorities on the ‘Corona Virus-19 Vaccine Mandate.’

LASSES OF SOCIAL ACTIVISM

Seen as the ‘Lasses of Social Activism,’ two females, ‘Donette Simon and Shenel Williams,’ had found themselves defending their ‘Freedoms and Liberties.’ Called the ‘Freedom Fighters of Antigua and Barbuda (FFAB),’ they became the ‘Female Atlases.’ They had not taken on the universe, but of  the small space within its vast expanse of land. They took on, and carried upon their shoulders the heart-filled and burdensome grievances of those opposing to be Vaccinated.’

COMMONALITY OF INTERESTS

Moved by ‘Commonality of Interests,’ the ‘Defendants’ influentially caused others to wend their way to, and converged upon the ‘Sir Cornwall Bird Bust.’ Such was said to have been for a protestation against the ‘Mandatory-made Vaccine Regime.’ Such mandate required civil servants working at, and other citizens wishing to access services at offices conducting public administration. Likened to many other citizens, both believed that their freedom to choose or not to choose had been seriously curtailed. There were legal ‘Statutory Instruments’ that contained both ‘Procedures and Restrictions.’

RISKING LIBERTIES

Though they were not ‘Civil Servants,’ they knew that they were ‘Risking their Liberties’ for ‘Public Service Employees.’ They were not only restricted, but also criminalized.’ They were restricted to set even one foot upon the premises of their workplaces, unvaccinated. In an attempt to force submission, ‘Health’ authorities stipulated; ‘An employee who is required by these regulations to remain at home, commits an offence if; (a) ‘He/she attends the workplace in breach of these regulations’ [SI: No. 85 of 2021].

CRIMINAL LIBILITY

The ‘Interpretation Act (IA),’ makes it clear that; ‘Whenever in any law a penalty is provided for an offence against that Law, such provision shall, unless the contrary intention appears, be construed as fixing the maximum penalty for that offence’ [IA:  Chapter 224: Section 48]. The ‘COVID-19 Regulations’ provided a ‘Fixed Penalty. It states; ‘After an employee being requested to leave the premises, fails or refuses, he/she commits an offence. There can be no offence without consequence.

LEGAL DURESS

The penalty then to be imposed was; ‘EC$ 500. 00.’ In default of payment, to be imprisoned up to one month’ [OG: 67: SI: No. 85  of 2021]. Employees placed under rigid restrictions and ‘Legal Duress,’ became distraught, In the wider society, their grievances and concerns were similar. Law enforcers had made enforcement both ‘Indiscreetly rigid and mercilessly brutal. Not infrequently, they had shown that they were starved for ‘Reason and Conscience. Invariably, a small minority has shown that ‘Crab has eaten their consciences.’

TREMENDOUS CHALLENGES

The framers of the ‘Constitution Order’ knew that some citizens will be ‘non-conforming; non-compliant; and disobedient.’ Left to the citizenry themselves. Thus, as far as the protection of these ‘Freedoms’ were concerned, these were likely to pose tremendous challenges to all a sundry. For instance, those that shall have full enjoyment may encounter difficulties, as well as those with responsibility for ‘Public Safety and Public Order.’

PROTECTIVE PROVISIONS

Consequently, they inserted this provision; ‘Nothing contained in, or done under the authority of any law shall be held to be inconsistent with, or in contravention of this Section to the extent that the law makes provisions. Most prudently, these ‘Protective Provisions’ were then inserted to be in the interest of; (i) ‘Defence; (a) Public order; (b) Public morality; or (c) Public health; (ii) for the purpose of protecting the rights and freedoms of other persons.’

DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY

That which some people appeared not to have properly grasp, has been this insertion: ‘Except that provision, or as the case may be, the thing done under the authority thereof, is shown not to be reasonably justifiable in a ‘Democratic Society’ [CO: 1981: Section 13 (2) (b)]. Parliament had long anticipated that there will be dissatisfied citizens. They anticipated that unhappy with public administration, some citizens might be compelled to mobilize others into protestations.

PUBLIC MEETINGS – PUBLIC MARCHES

The Parliament also anticipated that members of the society might be compelled to; (a) ‘Call together Public Meetings; and (b) Organize Public Marches.’ Such might be said for the purposes of showing disapproval of that which might be experienced financial miseries. Some might be for reasons of rising crimes and ineffective policing. These will have been seen as having negative impact on their safety and protection and generally the quality of life.

FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS

Mindful of that which negatively impact, inter alia; (i) ‘…Social Justice: (ii) Freedom of Speech; (iii) Association; and (iii) Freedom of Assembly,’ The citizens know of certain; (a) ‘Fundamental Rights; (b) Freedoms; and (c) Liberties,’ enshrined and guaranteed by the ‘Constitution Order’ for every individual [CO: No.1106: 1981]. These are not only to be protected, but also respected by; (i) ‘Every citizen; (ii) Public administrators; and (iii) State agencies.’

CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISION

One such ‘Freedom’ is that of ‘Assembly.’ The ‘Constitutional Provision’ states; ‘Except with his own consent, no person shall be hindered in the enjoyment of; (a) ‘His freedom of peaceful assembly and association; and (b) Providing clarity of understanding, that is to say;  (i) ‘His/her right peacefully to assemble freely; and (ii) Associate with other persons for the promotion and protection of his/her interests’ [CO: 1981: Section 13 (1)].

PUBLIC JUSTICE

There appears to be little justice for the common and indigent citizens. Their only crime has been chronic poverty. People positioned to enforce criminal law, as well as those charged with responsibility for the administration and dispensation of ‘Public Justice,’ shall have some familiarity of the ‘Interpretations of Law,’ above and beyond that of lay persons. For equally as much it has been said of the citizenry that; ‘Ignorance of the Law is no excuse,’ so too, it shall be said of law enforcers, Police Court Prosecutors and Adjudicators.’

MEETINGS AND MARCHES

Respecting; (i) ‘Organizing: (ii) Leading: or Taking Part’ in unauthorized-Meetings and Marches; and  (iii) Dispersing persons participating in such activities, the law provides for the ‘Knowledge’ of the Barbudan ‘Land Turtles.’ These turtles shall know that they shall not ‘March’ from ‘Two-Foot Bay to Codrington,’ lest they fall into cooking pots.

APPLICATION TO CITIZENS

In any enactment, that may impact these, ‘Adjudicators’ are duty-bound to look at the ‘Mischief Aimed by Parliament.’ The ‘Public Order Act,’ might just be one such enactment. The ‘Public Order Act’ in its ‘Application to the Citizens,’ the law states; ‘Any member of the Police Force not below the rank of a Corporal may, in relation to any ‘Meeting’ being held in contravention contained in the law,  shall act appropriately.

PHYSICAL PRESENCE

From professional knowledge and practical experience, the law requires the ‘Physical Presence’ of a Police officer not below the ‘Rank of Corporal’ to take appropriate action, if necessary.  For clarity of understanding,’ those likely to make; (a) ‘Enforcement blunders; and (b) Travesties of Justice,’  are usually those with little, or no familiarity and/or working knowledge of the provisions contained in the ‘Public Order Act (POA)’ [POA: Chapter 357]. These are usually; (i) ‘Law enforcers; and (ii) Adjudicators.’

IMPOSED DUTY TO DISPERSE

Given these assertions, ‘Adjudicators’ shall be mindful of this, as it constitutes the ‘Imposed Statutory Duty’ upon law enforcers of, and above the rank of Corporal.’ Such ranks include that of: (i) ‘Corporal to the Commissioner of Police.’ In the instant case among the ranks reportedly present were; (a) ‘Three Assistant Superintendents.’ These are personnel expected to appear, if any, instituted criminal proceedings against person viewed committing breaches against the ‘Public Order Act.’

POLICY AND PRACTICE

As a matter of administrative ‘Policy and Practice,’ the ‘On-Scene- Commanders’ are placed into the hands of a responsible ‘Gazetted Police officer.’ These are the ones known for their leadership capacity. He/she is, knowledgeable, competent and firm and decisive, yet rational in his/her actions.’ Though not necessarily angrily, confusion reigned in the ‘Mind of the Nation.’ Such came as a result of an apparent ‘Questionable Conviction.’ Research has revealed that the ‘Police Tactical Unit (PTU),’ then under the ‘On-Scene Command and control of an Assistant Superintendent of Police

ASSEMBLED AT ‘PAPA’S BUST’

Either misunderstanding or unlawful enforcement of law; or misinterpretation of  provisions contained in the ‘Public Order Act.’ At the center of these, had been two females; (i) ‘Donette Simon and Shenel Williams: (ii) The Police; and (iii) The Magistracy.’ Then reportedly being ‘Assembled at the Bust’ of National Hero, Sir Cornwall Bird,’ the ‘Police Tactical Unit’ gave the would-be protestors no time to  march one foot away from the ‘Market Square’ [August 8, 2021].

SINGLED-OUT DEFENDANTS

When the two lasses recently appeared before ‘His Worship, Magistrate Conliffe Clarke,’ seemingly as ‘Singled-out Defendants,’ the Court appeared not to have made such an observation. They had been charged, not with a crime, but with several Summary ‘Offences Against Lawful Authority.’ The offences were those criminally classified as: (i) ‘Organizing; and (ii) Taking Part in an Unauthorized Public March.’ Law enforcers, ensuring that one of the charges won the ‘Court’s’ Consideration,’ reportedly dropped a third charge on the duo.

MINDBOGGLING CONVICTION

The apparent brutal approach by the ‘PTU,’ had provoked angry reactions by every freedom and peace-loving and law-abiding citizen. That which had triggered public discussions, was when it was reported that the Defendants were not convicted for; (i) ‘Organizing; or (ii) Taking Part’ in an unauthorized ‘Public March; but ‘Mindbogglingly,’ for ‘Unlawfully ‘Taking Part’ in a ‘Public Meeting’ [August 8, 2021]. These offences fall under the notorious ‘1972 Public Order Act’ [POA: Chapter 357].

SELF-CORROBORATION

Incidentally, at trial, that which appeared to have captured and captivated magisterial attention, had been evidence of an unauthorized ‘Public Meeting’ in which the Defendants allegedly took part. However, safe or unsafe, or ‘Justice or Travesty,’ by the time evidence was taken from two senior Police officers and a subordinate Police officer, that reported ‘Corroborated’ only themselves,’ the Defendants were ‘Found Guilty.’

LOGICALLY AND EVIDENTIALLY

Respecting the ‘Conviction,’ the questions that may be ‘Logically and Evidentially’  posed are; (i) ‘What may have prompted the Unit’ to go into ‘Tactical Action; (ii) What informed the decision to disperse the people assembled with teargas and rubber bullets? (iii) Who or what may have impressed the Court’s mind, with ‘Evidence of Fact? and (iv) Was public order or Public Safety under threat? And (v) What may have informed the decision to convict the Defendants?’

INTERPRETATION

As it a ‘Public Meeting,’ the ‘Interpretation,’ states; ‘Meeting means; (a) ‘Any assembly; or (b) Gathering of persons for the purpose of the transaction of matters of public interest; or (b) For the discussion of such matters; or (c) For the purpose of the expression of views on such matters’ [POA: Chapter 357: Section 2]. In the case that had been the subject of criminal prosecutions and convictions, the Court may have heard evidence that hundreds of people were in attendance.

COURT PROSECUTORS

Parliament was very clear that should citizens be prosecuted and convicted for ‘Taking Part’ in an Unauthorized Public Meeting,’  Court Prosecutors, shall evidentially substantiate the charge with the interpretation contained in the ‘Public Order Act.’ Such Interpretation’ was intended, even for clarity of understanding by the ‘10-year-old grandson, Devon Benjamin’ of  Police and Public Safety Minister, Steadroy ‘Cutie’ Benjamin.‘

QUESTIONS

While there may have been many, it begs these ‘Questions;’ (i) ‘Were the Defendants the only  two persons participating in the ‘Public Meeting? (ii) Were they only people known to the ‘On-Scene Commanders and their subordinates? And (iv) Who, if anyone, were they addressing?’ Undoubtedly, these apparent grave ‘Evidential Omissions,’ must prompt adjudicating questions to the Magistracy.

EVIDENTIAL ASSISTANCE

That which reportedly had not failed to generate internal discussions among rank-and-file members, over the omission of the ‘Police Tactical Unit Commander’ from the criminal proceedings. Most were wondering whether or not he was a ‘Court Dodger’ or prosecutorial decision to hide him from rigid ‘Cross Examination. Given his omission from the criminal proceedings, it begs the Adjudicating Question;’ ‘What may have informed the Adjudicator not to require this vital witness to render ‘Evidential Assistance’ to the Court?’

EVIDENCE: ON-SCENE-COMMANDERS

The instant conviction of the two female defendants shall have required ‘Evidence’ from at least two ‘On-Scene-Commanders,’ namely; (i) ‘Crowd Control Commander: and (ii) The Police Tactical Unit.’ These are the ones charged with ‘Operational Commands,’ and empowered with statutory authority to call for ‘Meetings or Marches’ to be dispersed.

COURT’S NOTES OF EVIDENCE

That which shall not be disputed, is the ‘Court’s Notes of Evidence or Written Decision’ will reflect no ‘Independent Corroborative Evidence.’ Additionally, none will be shown as given by the ‘On-Scene-Commander of the ‘Police Tactical Unit (PTU)’ Assistant Superintendent of Police, James Tonge.’ Neither would the ‘Notes of Evidence or Written Decision,’ reflect ‘Evidence’ by any non-participating member of the public.

FAVORABLE FINDINGS

The ‘Police Court Prosecutor’ appeared to have relied upon ‘Favorable Findings’ of the ‘Court.’ The Court was to have found as ‘Fact;’ (i) ‘That no ‘Permits’ were issued to the Defendants by the Commissioner of Police; (ii) That due to the application being refused: (iii). That the Defendants had so organized it; and (iv) That that the evidence sufficiently established a prima facie case against them.’

ABUSE OF POLICE POWERS

Seemingly the product of ‘Poor Training; Lack of Supervision; or simply Misguided,’ some law enforcement personnel continue to exercise ‘Powers of Arrest,’ that do not reside in them. The cases for; (i) ‘Donette Simon and ‘Shenel Williams’ make the point.  These two females shall be remembered as the ‘Victims of seemingly ‘Abuse of Police Powers.’ Such abuse will have occurred when a ‘Law enforcer’ reasonably suspected to have committed the criminal act of ‘Perjury.’ Hence the ‘Concocted Act of Perjury.’

SHAM SEACHES

Consequent upon the issuance of a ‘Warrant to Search,’ they were reported to have ‘Indignities’ as those of the common criminals. The ‘Magistracy’ shall know of the ‘Atrocities’ reportedly perpetrated against them. It shall also know that upon the issuance of such Warrant;’ (i) ‘Sham Searches’ were conducted at their respective premises; and (ii) That those searches reportedly yielded or revealed no concealment of that which was apparently falsely or perjuriously sworn.’

WARRANT TO SEARCH

The law enforcer would have knowingly falsely sworn to information on ‘Oath’ to obtain a ‘Warrant to Search,’ to a trustworthy an unsuspecting Magistrate. This not only speaks to an egregious and corruptible act, but also has the potential to taint the reputation of other personnel. The act in, and of itself egregiously unlawful, since the personnel concerned; (i) ‘Had not viewed neither acting individually, nor as accomplices in the commission of a felonious act; and (ii) The personnel had no ‘Reasonable grounds‘ to suspect that both had committed, or were about to commit a felony’ [CO: 1981: Section 5 (1) (f)].

ISSUING MAGISTRATE

Likened to the unsuspecting fraudster, only the ‘Crooked and Corrupt’ law enforcer could influence belief’ in a ‘Warrant-Issuing ‘Magistrate.’ The case of  two females, support this assertion. A ‘Perjurer’ had reportedly falsely sworn to information that both had concealed upon their respective premises; (i) ‘Firearms and ammunition: and (ii) Certain controlled drugs.’ That which the ‘Warrant-issuing Magistrate’ appeared not to have known, was that he/she had facilitated  a ‘Perjurer’ to access premises through a criminal act, to effect two ‘Unlawful Arrests.’

FACTUAL SEQUENCE OF EVENTS

That which the ‘Magistracy’ shall be alerted to, is the subsequent ‘Factual Sequence of Events;’ (a) Both females then suffered the ‘Indignities’ of being; (a) ‘Unlawfully arrested; (b) Charged with; (i) ‘Organizing: (ii) Taking Part in an unauthorized Public March; and (iii) Taking Part in an unauthorized Public Meeting’ [August 10, 2021]. If these have not the capability of bringing Law enforcement and the Magistracy’ into disrepute, then what will?

FIREARMS -AMMUNITION AND DRUGS

Among the most vexing question is; ‘How does the ‘Magistracy’ justify or reconcile the issuance of a ‘Warrant to Search’ their premises for ‘Firearms; Ammunition and Drugs,’ and two innocent females, deprived of their liberties, subsequently ended up as Defendants before a Magistrate Court to answer ‘Public Order’ offences?’ Now, if these atrocities do not require ‘Public Inquiry’ into (a) ‘The behavior of Law enforcement; and (b) The behavior of the Magistracy,’ then what may?’

DAY’S EVENTS

The ‘Day’s Event’ reportedly saw scores of people converging upon the ‘Papa Bird Bust Square),’ at Lower Market Street’ in the capital city, St. Johns. Some, undoubtedly, clearly to be active participants, while others, merely curious onlookers and/or ‘moral supporters.’ The adults may have been ‘Saints and Sinners,’ while those still at the stage of infancy, were innocent to what was being about to be protested.

PEACEMAKING ROLE

Before the ‘Police Tactical Unit (PTU) arrived at the ‘Sir Cornwall Bird Market Square Bus,’ though there may have been a ‘Streak of Defiance’ in the people that had gathered or gathering, the environment was described as comparatively peaceful. The two ‘On-Scene-Commanders’ along with assigned crowd-control officers, were said to have been present. As prospective protestors arrived, the officers were said to have displayed attitude representing their ‘Peacemaking Role.’

NON-COMBATIVE ATTITUDE

Though not necessarily supportive, they reportedly remained tolerantly calm, with a ‘Non-Combative Attitude.’ The curious and care-free uncontrolled juveniles, and those under parental control, tagged along to the planned event. The relatively stable situation was soon to be changed. All found themselves in an environment that was to become shockingly hostile and fiercely rubbery combative. Yet those that had gathered, either to participate or observe, knew not were to be ‘trucked’ in, descend upon them and ‘Papa Bust.’

POISED TO DESCEND

Parliament anticipated that persons may not show obedience to the Rule of Law.’ Hence, the ‘Act’ provides prosecutorial consequences to such persons so identified and so called upon to disperse the Meeting or March.’ Taking no diversions, with engines at frighteningly high revolution, the ‘Police Tactical Unit (PTU)’ was reportedly ‘trucked-in.’ Moving south-ward down ‘Market Street’ to ‘Papa Bust,’ they knew not what was ‘Poised to Descend’ upon man, woman and child.

MEETING TO DISPERSE

Following adequate warnings of the ‘PTU’s’ intentions, the On-Scene-Commander, Assistant Superintendent of Police, James Tonge,’ reportedly ordered ‘Skipping’ of the ‘Baton/Shield Section.’ The ‘Unit’ then swiftly moved to the ‘Teargas Section’ to disperse the gathering. The ‘Act’ states; ‘Any person required to call on any ‘Meeting to Disperse,’ who; ‘Refuses; Fails; or Neglects immediately to call on such meeting is guilty of an offence’ [POA: Section 7 (2)].

DOSE OF SMOKE

In seconds, those then assembled reportedly ran past ‘Papa’s Bust,’ so fast, that the ‘Father of the Nation’ got not even a fleeting glance of his ‘Grandchildren.’ The protestors and observers were not alone. The peaceful, unarmed and non-combative ‘Crowd Control Police officers,’ were reportedly given a ‘Dose of their own Smoke.’ Incidentally, the physically-fit among the peace-making officers reportedly ran faster than hares.

GASPING FOR OXYGENATED AIR

The ‘Half-Fit Law Enforcers,’ reportedly ran for cover, while the apparent physically-unfit,’ could only manage a ‘trek.’ Likened to the people gathered for the planned event, other law enforcers were said to have breathlessly panted. Gasping for oxygenated air, they wended their way further up on ‘Market Street. That which transpired then, might be observed through video footage that showed those either too slow, or could not move, squeezing their nostrils, starving their lungs of inhalation of the convulsive choking smoke.

ESSENTIALITY OF TIME

Parliament knew that some people within the environment may corrupt the mind of docile ‘Commissioners of Police.’ Parliament also anticipated that such ‘Commissioner’ might be influenced to act contrary to the public’s interest. Contingent on the granting of a ‘Permit’ and considering the ‘Essentiality of Time,’ Parliament made provisions that the ‘Commissioner of Police’ shall have adequate time to make arrangements for deployment. The ‘Public Order Act,’ stipulates; (a) ‘Time application’ shall be sent to the Commissioner; and (b) Time that shall be given to the applicant, in the event of ‘Refusal of a Permit.’

COMPLIANT APPLICANT

The ‘Act’ states; ‘Any person who desires to organize any public march shall, ‘…at least 3 days’ before the day on which such public is to take place, shall apply to the Commissioner of Police for a permit’ [POA: Section 11]. It has been the experience that the docile ‘Commissioners’ have acted contrarily against those then desire of hold ‘Public Meetings and Marches.’ Consequent upon such anticipation, it  provides an avenue for a ‘Compliant Applicant’ that has been refused permission, to ‘Appeal’ the refusal.

PROMPT ADMINISTRATIVE RESPONSE

That which has some significance to the applicant has always been a ‘Prompt Administrative Response.’ This has been a duty statutorily-imposed upon the Commissioner. The provision states; ‘Any person who is dissatisfied with the ‘Refusal’ of the Commissioner of Police to grant a permit, may within ‘…7-days of being notified of the decision,’ appeal in writing to the Minister.’ Ironically, such appeal may be made to the ‘Police Minister.’ Such could be likened to a person running from an ant’s mound straight into a swarm or hive  of bees.

COMPLIANT OBLIGATIONS

This may have been observed from the ‘Administrative Provisions’ contained in the ‘Public Order Act (POA).’ Respecting ‘Public Meetings and Marches,’ the ‘Compliant Obligations’ imposed upon the citizen, the ‘Act’ states; ‘No person may ‘Organize; Lead; or Take part in any ‘Public March’ unless a permit has been issued in respect by the Commissioner of Police.’ [POA: Chapter 357: Sections 10]. As it affects a ‘Timely Response,’ a Commissioner who decides not to grant permission, shall be compliant with ‘Section 40’ of the ‘Public Order Act.’

ENVIRONMENTALLY USEFULNESS

Not infrequently, some regional ‘Commissioners of Police’ were found wanting in attending to ‘Matters of Administration.’ Some ‘Acts’ or ‘Omissions’ were reasonably suspected to have been exploitatively calculated. These are the ‘Commissioners that were kept in ‘Good Graces’ for their ‘Environmental Usefulness.’ Now, when an activity, as in the instant case was planned weeks ahead; (i) ‘Desirous of holding a ‘Public March on ‘Sunday;’ (ii) An organizer being ‘Compliant with Law in sending an application ‘3-days’ as stipulated in the legal provisions.

ADMINISTRATIVE GLITCH

That which was said to have provoked defiance was believed to have resulted from possible ‘Administrative Glitch.’ Respecting ‘Public Meetings and Public Marches,’ the ‘Public Order Act,’ provisionally imposed certain duties upon; (a) The citizen; and (b) The Commissioner of Police.’ A Commissioner that is not seen as ‘Service-oriented unfriendly or grossly negligent,’ runs the risk of provoking discontent, intolerance, defiance and disobedience in the law-abiding citizens.

DENIAL OF PERMISSION

Clearly, that which may dissatisfaction in an applicant desirous of calling together a ‘Public Meeting’ or organizing a ‘Public March,’ and has been fully-compliant with requirements of the law, is the ‘Denial of Permission.’ Thus, irrespective of penal consequences, the law-abiding applicant would most likely be inclined to show defiance. This was so, particularly when a ‘Commissioner of Police,’ could show no justification, for his/her apparent administrative negligence.

WRITTEN APPEAL

A Commissioner of Police, whether; (a) ‘By ‘Negligence; or (b) Calculation,’ replied on a Friday afternoon, know that only ‘1- day’ before the planned ‘Public March,’ such speaks to nothing, but serious administrative omission. Though not necessarily legal, still such appeared to have been the ‘Cause of Disobedience.’ Should an ‘early response was dispatched, such will have well-positioned ‘Police and Public Safety Minister, Steadroy ‘Cutie’ Benjamin’ to give ‘Appellate Consideration’ to a dispatch to a ‘Written Appeal’[POA: Chapter 357: Section 40].

MINISTER’S CONSIDERATIONS

Consequent upon the ‘Considerations’ residing with the ‘Minister,’ he may either have; (a) ‘Confirm the Commissioner’s refusal; or (b) Reverse the decision’  [POA: Section 40 (2)]. Some adjudicators within the ‘Magistracy,’ appeared not to be concerned with that which provokes citizen disobedience, but that which has been filed in the Magistrate’s Courts for adjudication.

CONCLUSION

Specific to the ‘Public Order Act,’ those that enforce this enactment shall be seen to have familiarity and operational understanding of; (a) ‘The administrative; and (b) Procedural provisions.’ Such familiarity, undoubtedly, will not only lend to the proper and lawful execution of duty, but generally provides for the effective enforcement and ‘Rule of Law.’ For reasons of their ‘Physical Presence,’ it appeared that the Defendants became ‘Victims of Prosecution.’ From professional prosecutorial experience, not only has the evidence seemed suspect, but also the conviction. These have prompted further questions; (i) ‘Authorized or unauthorized, was there in ‘Fact’ a Public Meeting? (ii) If so, who may have been the organizers? (iii) Were there other participants in the meeting; (iv) Who allowed their active participation? and (v) What subjects or issues, if any, were being presented or discussed? (vi) Evidence of estimate of persons in attendance?’

Advertise with the mоѕt vіѕіtеd nеwѕ ѕіtе іn Antigua! We offer fully customizable and flexible digital marketing packages.Contact us at [email protected]