Police Officers take court action against their Chief

Another batch of police officers have taken Acting Commissioner of Police, Winston James and the Public Service Commission (PSC) to court to challenge the recent promotions in the organisation.

Attorney Alban John

However, when the matter came up for hearing before High Court No. 4 on the Carenage last week Wednesday, an application by attorney-at-law, Alban John for leave to file judicial review proceedings on behalf of the eight (8) police officers was withdrawn.

The officers involved in the case are Sergeants Roy Henry, Merrit Jones, Donald Gilbert, Anthony Calliste, Dominic Daniel, Laslyn Williams, Jason Hagley and Corporal  Jude Francis.

Attorney John was requesting leave from female high court judge, Justice Adrien Wynante-Roberts to challenge the Commissioner of Police and the PSC on the recent promotions within the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF).

The officers are claiming that they are more qualified for promotions than some of the officers who were elevated in January to higher ranks above them.

John later told reporters that he withdrew the application, which was filed with the Supreme Court Registry on April 7, because the high court judge felt that it was not necessary as it is not needed in order to proceed with the matter.

The lawyer also indicated his intention to continue with legal proceedings against Acting Commissioner of Police for what is considered discriminating acts against the eight police officers.

“This is an application that was not necessary, the court held and we will proceed with the substantive claim (that) people of like standing should not be treated differently and if you are, then you are being discriminated against,” he said.

Solicitor General, Dwight Horsford, who is leading the defense for the respondents labeled Attorney John’s application as being “stillborn”, adding, that “it (the application) could not get off the ground because there were a number of procedural deficiencies.”

Horsford said he expected the officers to come back to the court with a “constitutional claim that a provision in the Constitution that protects against discrimination has been infringed”.

Some of the officers engaged in the high court legal battle were caught on camera as they exited the court compound on the Carenage last week Wednesday

“That is what they alleged (and) when we look at the papers and what they are saying…we anticipate and we expect that they would come with a constitutional motion and we are prepared for that,” he added.

Earlier this year, Acting Commissioner James distanced himself from being engaged in corrupt practices in the selection process of police officers for promotion within the ranks and file of RGPF.

Addressing the second phase of promotions in January at the conference room of the Special Services Unit at Camp Salines, St. George’s, CoP James alluded to a list of names that were read out in a certain newscast by a local media entity that he knew nothing about.

He said:  “I understand that a certain Police Officer listened to the news and he listened to a list of names in that news and said that he would be promoted, according to the list.

“(A) couple days after, I understand that some persons were called by the Public Service Commission, and that Police Officer did not get a call so he started to make queries as to why he was not called to the extent of saying that his name was removed from the list.

“It was brought to my attention and all I had to tell him is that this… Acting Commissioner of Police did not provide any list to anyone outside of the Police Force, neither to any news media.”

James also noted that under the Grenada Constitution, the PSC is responsible for the promotion of Inspector of Police upward, and not the Commissioner of Police.

He declared that the Commissioner of Police is only responsible for promoting persons within the ranks of Corporals and Sergeant.

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