Friday, 04 May 2012 02:30
By Alex Holder
Antigua St John's - The words “epic” and “fail” can be used to adequately describe an apparent operational blunder that resulted in the police approved demonstration by Eugene “Minister of Help” Humphries on Thursday as a crowd of approximately six people waited in vain for uniformed police officers to show to begin the protest.
Present at the starting point in an open area in the vicinity of the Mount St. John’s Medical Center was spokesperson of the Antigua Labour Party Lionel ‘Max’ Hurst, Commentator Colin Sampson and several others, including two undercover police officers.
But the march could not commence because, according to Humphries, if he began without the direction of uniformed officers he would be “breaking the law.”
Speaking with Caribarena.com, an irate Humphries said he was beyond annoyed in the fact that he was finally granted permission to stage his demonstration only to be stood up by the police, who have seemingly been against him from the beginning.
And he vowed that the next letter requesting a march in the city that would be submitted to the police, would be a march against the sitting Commissioner Vere Brown himself.
Humphries has staged marches against the sitting of two previous commissioners, including Delana Christopher and Elton Martin.
“It's a sad, sad, sad thing. I don't know what to say. But the last time I was gong to have the march the people didn’t even know they were wasn’t going to be a march. Nothing was said to them that the march was cancelled,” Humphries said.
He showed Caribarena.com several letters of correspondence he had sent to the Commissioner of Police Vere Brown since early 2011 with requests and initiations to several initiatives that were all rejected.
Humphries pointed having invited the Commissioner to a gathering in Browns Avenue following a severe assault against himself.
“I invited him when he met me after I won my case of the beating I received IN April. He said he wants to meet me and I invited him and that man turned me down twice. I have the facts here. He turned me down. Even with what was happening in the community I was bringing him. With all the crime that is happening, he turned he down. He said he doesn’t have enough officers…”
The “approved” march came weeks after Humphreys received clearance to re-apply to the police commissioner, since the initial march request was denied to facilitate investigations into an alleged death threat against the self-proclaimed "Minister of Help" by Mr. Kemoy Williams.
Humphreys and his followers were looking to depart Michael’s Mount and travel south onto Independence Drive. They will then take a left onto Vivian Richards Street; right onto Market Street; right onto New Gate Street; left onto Cross Street; right at the traffic lights and onto the round about; down Independence Drive and into the St. John’s Cricket Grounds.
Feature speakers include Mr. Colin Sampson, Ms. Romaneta Francis and Eugene Humphreys.
When Caribarena news writer spoke with former Police Commissioner Rawlston Pompey, he said that with the approval of the Commissioner Humphries actually had a right to proceed with his March, but his decision to cancel could well have been a wise move considering the lack of protection in the event of an altercation. He also said that he was taken aback at the absence of the police which may be seen as a serious dereliction of duty".
Corporal Frankie Thomas of the Strategic Communications department of the police force, said during a meeting on Thursday morning the acting Police Commissioner had indicated everything was in place for the march.
He suggested however that it could have been an issue where the march did not move at the time intended. But whatever the case was, he would look into it and inform accordingly.
But as of 5:20pm there were no uniformed officers in place. A senior officer did however turn up at the location and expressed surprise at the fact that the staging was botched.