Citizen accuses police officer of smashing his cellphone

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Citizen accuses police officer of smashing his cellphone
* This is not the actual cell phone
* This is not the actual cell phone
* This is not the actual cell phone

The tensions continue between citizens who choose to film the police in action and law enforcement officers who prefer not to be filmed in action, with the most recent case taking place here in St. Lucia.

A caller on Police Insight aired on Sunday (Nov.8) claims that he was filming a recent accident, when a police officer walked up to him, took his cellphone and “smashed” it.

The caller claims that the phone does not belong to him, but rather it is company property. The unknown caller said he will now have to pay the full cost to replace the cellphone.

“Why did the police take my phone by twisting my hand? What I am saying they could have told me not to record, but they took my cellphone and destroyed it,” he remarked.

However, his complaint was met with concern by the police panel.

Police Press Officer Zachary Hippolyte told the caller that the police officer was wrong to do that and questioned if he ever reported the matter to the station.

The man responded in the negative stating: “What could I do. Nah. Come on, make a report for what, nothing? I cannot take any recourse…But you and I know if I make a report it will go nowhere.”

But Hippolyte defended the force stating that once a report is made, the police will seek to have the matter investigated and not because it was a police officer who wronged him he shouldn’t report it.

“We do not, caller, condone those actions. Every time we tell individuals if a member of the organization in your opinion has done something wrong to you, you have a right to make a report to any station. It is your right,” Hippolyte told the caller.

The police press officer went on to state that it is unfortunate that he has experienced such an incident. “It was a wrong action of the police. In my opinion you can still make a report,” Hippolyte said.

The unidentified man asked Hippolyte if he can assist him, which he agreed to. The caller said he will meet with Hippolyte on Monday and  so he could be directed to the right department, where he can lodge a formal report.

Another caller criticized the action of the police, stating that no police officer have to right to stop someone from filming, but believes that the only concern should be what the film is used for.

On the other hand, persons also said it would be understandable in special circumstances where there is a serious crime and a police request persons not to engage in filming.

But they said to forcefully take someone’s cellphone and damage it, and in some cases threaten the individual, is taking it a step too far and should not be allowed to continue.

This is not the first time law enforcement has forcibly objected to being filmed.

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26 COMMENTS

  1. It is for Parliament to legislate laws against such. The police cannot enforce laws that are not present. It's not the police job to enforce morality.
    Now he is facing criminal damage, civil liability.

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  2. These bloody dunces they call police in St Lucia that probably couldn't get a job outside the police force needs to understand that you can't destroy someone's private property no matter what. Destroying someone's cell phone just makes you look like a bloody idiot and an imbecile. Learn you laws you idiots, not because you see it in the movies don't make it acceptable.

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  3. How and what the film is used for is what really matters. In this case , if this actually happened, the officer has acted outside the boundaries of the law. Again not many officers really know the laws far less understand them. You be the judge and tell me whether the RSLPF uses intelligence and education or primarily FORCE. They are the FORCE is what I see. I look foward to the day RSLPF becomes RSLPI (royal st lucia police intelligence )

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  4. Totally ridiculous. The police is not above. He should be charged for assault and damaged to property. That's his own law? Make him pay.

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  5. Officers we must respect every body even de jumbie on the street .what possible reason could you have to destroy a man phone .they should make you pay for it.you must learn to control that agression brewing inside of you Mr. Officer.no one is above the law not even the police ,not even the police

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  6. its about Lucians stop,,,,,,,,,, seriously everything is being recorded even a few days ago a man is drowning rather than finding a rope or a call to someone to save him instead he is being recorded they are so heartless I supporting the officer . An accident happen why not see if no one is hurt ? they should break his arm too ....

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    • um gwen sal didnt you take your time to look at the whole video didnt u see that after the man was swept away they eventually found the rope, if the camera was fixed on the man alone how can you and others assume and say that the people didnt look for the rope to help him when none of yall were there to first hand see the actions of the other people that helped the man that was drowning

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  7. The reason the police do that is because they ill treat people and abuse their authority and power so when you film them it can be used as evidence against them so they don't want that I believe this guy should report the matter and even have his lawyer on this matter because what this officer did was a case of assault and damage of ones property

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  8. The company didn't give you a phone to record police affairs. It's for company use not personal use. All ppl like to do these days is record everything and put it on social media. That said the officer had no right to destroy the person phone.

    (4)(7)

    • and that said you`re a jackass.... really if you see something criminal happening which in these days you need evidence I damn well think you should be recording it ... not all the rubbbish thats going on but in a time when its necessary i say record it papi because later on it can be used as your proof in a case

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  9. And a word of advice...its better to take ur personal phone to do these things at least u no if it damage u can buy a cheap ting or get one frm somebody...ppl like to use company things for their personal bizness to much...we need to stop that...now maybe dat man had da last few dollars to feed his kids or do important things n is company fne u hav to replace?? Aa doe talk for if d fne expensive... Hmmm....worse yet...or if u dnt hav fne let ur eyes do da filming....

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    • THE POLICE OFFICER RIGHT.. BEFORE ANYTHING IS PULL OUT CELL PHONE.. A MAN WAS DROWNING IN ALL THAT RAIN N ATTEMPTS TO SAVE HIM SOMEONE STILL HAD THEIR PHONE TAPING IT..

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  10. Wait a minute... U mean to say ppl who must uphold the law that's how they behave?? Goodness me...unbelievable... U mean a word of caution could not suffice...?? U c we hav educated ppl in this country n yes lots of them...but awa weee..with our attitudes and ignorance and pride, education wash down d drain...I mean after all da governor general n them dnt behave so if u film dem...our police here need a complete reshuffle n vacuuming...trust me...its no joke...there are good ones I must add...but the behave of these wana be officers need to be strictly done away with...masiay we hav children growing up e...after some parents nt even good models farless for our societal models...aa we in deep trouble mun?

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  11. Take him to court and sue him for damage to self and property with all the negative publicity they creating for themselves those jackasses of police officers refuse to act professional

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  12. The caller was right,nothing will be done...You mean to tell me you guys haven't charged one of your own for RAPE but you will do something for a smashed phone? ...Choops,Tricks are for kids.

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  13. Hippolyte is an idiot & he knows damn well that even if a report is made that this situation will not go anywhere,police are for police..The law is for the law,so don't make people believe otherwise,nonsense, kaka,poop,bullshit.Police just feel like they could do as they please & nothing for that hmm

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    • Am a police officer and it saddens me how some of my fellow men treat the public. As I have always said respect is not bought it's earned.

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      • when you make a report to the police officers at head office especially the traffic department, they turn and twist you to make it look as if you are as fault. and no action is taken.

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