The Saint Lucia Police Welfare Association (PWA) has said it is seeking legal advice on the constitutionality of the IMPACS investigation.
The PWA noted that it may have contravened section 19 of the Police Complaints Act which empowers that body to investigate complaints against police officers.
Quoting the act, President of the PWA Camron Laure argued that Police Commissioner Vernon Francois had not administered the oath of office to the Jamaican investigators and is questioning who did.
Laure said based on investigations carried out by the PWA, there was no so-called “police hit list of criminals”.
“If such a list existed, the Police Welfare Association would have been the first to condemn it,” Laure stated.
According to him, Francois had instructed that criminal profiles be prepared for some notorious criminals who were being held at the Anse La Raye Police station and who were unknown to officers at the station.
Laure said that several copies of the document were made available to gazetted officers.
He said since parts of the report were made public, officers who were part of the Special Task Force and implicated in the report, have been marginalised and victimised.
The Police Welfare head said these officers have been overlooked for promotions and appointments for which they are qualified, and certain officers were being asked to retire.
Between 2010 and 2011, 12 persons were killed during encounters with officers of the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force. The alleged extra-judicial killings occurred during “Operation Restore Confidence” – an initiative then Prime Minister Stephenson King announced on May 30, 2010 in an address to the nation.
The police operation was in response to an unprecedented wave of homicides and violent crimes between 2008 and 2010, particularly in the northern half of the island.
However the shootings resulted in a backlash for St. Lucia. The United States (US), citing human rights concerns, took action against the St. Lucia police force and the government.