Since my return to the country today from a working visit to Washington, I have been fully updated on the events that resulted in the tragic loss of innocent lives and personal injury in Flankers, St. James over the weekend.
As Prime Minister, I must add my own sincere words of condolence to the families of Mr. David Bacchas and Mr. Cecil Brown, who died in the incident as well as offer my best wishes for the speedy recovery of Ms. Audrey Stephens, who sustained serious injury. I share with the bereaved families their feeling of pain and understand the anger felt by the community.
The Police have a special obligation to ensure the restoration of healthy relations with the residents and the steps already announced by the Commissioner of Police indicate the direction I expect them to pursue.
The remit of Superintendent Brown-Getton, appointed as the Public Liaison, will enable the Government to respond to the immediate needs of the families, including funeral expenses.
The Minister of National Security and the Police Commissioner will visit the community tomorrow, Tuesday the 28th to continue the process of dialogue, support and healing that is necessary.
The Cabinet today confirmed the assurances given by the Police High Command and the Minister of National Security that the investigations which are already fully underway into this tragic incident, will be professionally done. In this matter justice must be done in a transparent manner and without delay.
The Police undoubtedly have a difficult job in helping us to fight criminal elements but the Government that I lead cannot condone the wanton and excessive use of force against law abiding citizens of this country whom we must protect, even as we seek to control crime and violence.
I call on all the residents of the area and colleagues of the taxi drivers to show restraint. Let us work together to ensure justice, peace and harmony for all.