Freedom Party concerned about policing- statement
The Dominica Freedom Party (DFP) says it is "deeply concerned" with the nature of policing that has been witnessed in recent times, more particularly on Thursday, March 4, 2021 in response to protests by citizens, who were expressing their concerns about the well-being of two young men who had been taken into custody.
"We witnessed a manner of policing that escalated the confrontation, and believe that the police should seek to deescalate these situations and attempt to foster a dialogue of peace with citizens," the DFP said in a statement.
The DFP statement added: "The constitution of the Commonwealth of Dominica guarantees citizens the "right to freedom of conscience, of expressions, and of assembly and association". In dealing with protesters, the police should respect and protect the constitutional and democratic rights of citizens to demonstrate their dissatisfaction with decisions and actions of the government.
"The Party encourages the Dominica Police Service to carry out its functions in the best interest of the nation by treating everyone equally, upholding the laws of the country, and carrying out investigations professionally, with persons who have been arrested either being released or brought before the court "without undue delay" as provided in the Constitution. Citizens should not be subjected to brutality or any assault whatsoever from the police, while they are exercising their constitutional rights.
"The Dominica Freedom Party calls on the Commissioner of police and his management team to take control of this downward spiral and to return the police service to the professional and disciplined force that it once was. We recommend that programmes be put in place including the appropriate training so as to help officers to conduct themselves in accordance with the rules and regulations that govern the operation of the service while staying clear from party political rancour.
It is our belief that these professional approaches will go a long way to restoring trust and respect between the public and the police, while ensuring the continued peaceful existence of all Dominicans regardless of political affiliation".