Commissioner of Police, Willan Thompson has confirmed reports that he was allegedly assaulted by one of the officers under his command during the recent Police Sports Day held at the Sir Roy St. John playing field at Tanteen, St. George’s.
The Commissioner has been at home for over three months ever since he was forced to take leave following the February 19 victory at the polls of the New National Party (NNP) of Dr. Keith Mitchell.
In his first encounter with Dr. Mitchell, the newly elected Prime Minister expressed concerns with Thompson’s leadership of the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) and raised some specific issues including the COP’s failure to provide him with personal security as Leader of the Opposition.
In speaking to THE NEW TODAY newspaper on Monday, COP Thompson told this newspaper that he has sent in a written report on the incident to the man now acting as Commissioner, Winston James for him to deal with the matter.
He declined to give specific details about the confrontation since he would like to treat it as “sub-judice” in order to allow James to do his own investigation without prejudice.
However, he identified the police officer who accosted him two weeks ago at Tanteen as #526 Rickel Hosten who is attached to the Drug Squad.
Police sources told this newspaper that Hosten allegedly pointed his finger repeatedly and in a menacing manner in Thompson’s face.
No one could ascertain if there was any bodily contact between the Commissioner and the low-ranking officer.
In commenting on the incident, a senior Police Officer with over 30 years experience as a member of the force said that Thompson should have arrested Hosten on the spot.
“Mr. Thompson is still the Commissioner of Police and should be so treated by all police officers. It is wrong for anyone in the force to try and disrespect him. He (Thompson) should have arrested the man”, he remarked.
Commissioner Thompson identified #526 Hosten as someone who was brought before him in the past for disciplinary action on allegations of misbehaviour as a police officer.
He spoke of the officer being tried and found guilty by a senior member of the Police High Command for using insulting and filthy language to a top ranking officer.
According to COP Thompson, he was inclined to dismiss Hosten from the force but decided to give him a second chance based on representation made on his behalf by his divisional Head, Superintendent Roderiques James.
He said that initially he was not fully aware of the police officer who had approached him at the sports.
“It was after the incident that someone reminded me that the officer (Hosten) was brought before me sometime ago on a disciplinary charge. It was then that I remembered everything about him and the case”, he added.
Under the police regulations, the Commissioner of Police is empowered to bring internal disciplinary charges against members and institute punishment against those found guilty of an offense.
Commissioner Thompson said that he is looking forward to see how James would handle the Hosten matter.