A family is accusing the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force (RSLPF) of crossing the line when one of its officers allegedly dealt several blows to a man’s head and face during a search for drugs on their property.
Diana Tamphile of Desruisseaux, Micoud told St. Lucia News Online (SNO) in an exclusive interview yesterday, August 12 that a group of men in two van loads came to her mother’s home yesterday, and without identifying who they were, entered the home and started searching and tumbling stuff.
The 38-year-old woman said her mother, father and brother were all sitting in the living room watching television when the men barged in and started searching.
Diana said while she was in a bedroom changing, she could hear that her brother, Conrad Tamphile, 36, inquiring from the men, who they were and what they are doing.
Diana claims that they refused to answer. When Conrad started to hurl indecent language at the men, they allegedly use a gun to lash him in the head.
While all of this was happening, Diana told SNO that her mother was screaming and shouting at the top of her lungs, “Who are you? What is going on?” Even then, the men refused to answer.
Diana recalled running out of her room in her bath towel and inquired for herself. The men responded saying they are police officers and that they had a search warrant for a woman and called her name.
When she asked under what grounds they are searching the house, they said for suspicious drugs. Diana told SNO that she returned only Sunday night from Martinique after spending 18 days there for a seminar.
Diana said she recalled telling the police, “So do you think if I was into to drugs, I would be everywhere trying to do nails and hair, no, I would be out selling my drugs and doing who I have to do.”
According to her, the police responded saying, “Lucians when you living overseas y’all think y’all above the law.” And she responded, “I am not above the law, but I know it. When you come to somebody’s house you identify yourself and present a search warrant in my hands.”
To worsen the situation, Diana said while searching her bedroom a female police officer saw her boyfriend’s passport and identification card and asked her “who is he?”
She responded in the negative and the officer allegedly went on to say: “How am I sure that you have one man’s property and yet you have another man in the house.”
The Desruisseaux woman said she was shocked and surprised by the comment. She told the officer: “Are you trying to insult me and disrespect me in my house. You all come for one reason, but you in my boyfriend’s passport asking me those questions.”
Diana said her brother was arrested, even though the police came up empty-handed. When she visited him, she was told that an officer allegedly bit him on his hand, placed a knife to his throat and dealt him a few more punches to his chest and face, which is now swollen. He was not charged and remains at the station.
“Honestly I think they did the thing wrong. I am not pleased with the way they handled the situation. I mean these are mature officers, who know how to go about this. They are all big men that came to search,” she added.
Diana said her mother is still in a state of shock based on yesterday’s experience. A report was made with the Micoud Police Station.
St. Lucia News Online contacted the police station as recent as today but was told that relatives of the alleged victim were meeting with a senior police officer.
Diana told SNO that the sergeant of the Micoud Police Station met with her this morning. During that meeting Diana said the sergeant admitted that the matter wasn’t dealt with properly and apologised.
According to her, the sergeant explained that the search was conducted by the RSLPF Drug Unit and not police officers at Micoud. Her brother who remains in police custody is expected to be released sometime today.