Woman recounts bad experience with RRU officer
May 29, 2009
Woman recounts bad experience with RRU officer

Weslyn Samuel is having second thoughts about returning to her homeland St. Vincent after she said she was “scared and embarrassed” by the actions of one member of the Rapid Response Unit (RRU) of the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force.{{more}}

Samuel, a New York resident, told Searchlight that on Friday, May 22, 2009, she was on a bus, heading into town from North Leeward when it was stopped by RRU (Black Squad) police officers. The officers, she said, told everyone to come off the bus.

One of the officers then approached the bus and spoke to Samuel, who was sitting at the back of the bus at the time. According to her, the officer shouted: “You, where you from?” Samuel, scared by the officer’s harsh tone of voice, said she did not reply at first, but was called out of the bus by the officer.

“He said: You don’t sound like a Vincentian and you don’t look like a Vincentian, where is your ID? Can I have your ID?” Samuel recounted. Samuel said she then gave the officer the only Identification Card that she had, a New York State ID, which according to her, the officer did not want. “I gave him my ID and he said, ‘I don’t want this. You can’t do any business with this in St. Vincent,” she claims the officer said.

Samuel said she then told the officer that she did not appreciate the way he was talking to her. “I said: ‘I don’t have to answer your questions because you are not dealing with me on a professional level’.” The officer she said, then told her that she would be arrested and taken to where she can produce a Vincentian Identification Card. However, Samuel was not arrested.

The 36-year-old, originally from Rose Hall, has lived in New York for about fourteen years, and said that she has never been treated in such a rude and unprofessional manner. She said she feels that the situation was not handled in the best way. “It’s not fair; they need to respect other people. They are professionals, and how can they gain respect if they are disrespecting us in this way?” she questioned.

The officer’s action, she said, left her feeling scared and disoriented. “This is my first time back in St. Vincent in fourteen years and I’m not sure I want to come back,” she said. Samuel filed a complaint last week Friday and was told that the police would investigate the matter. (OS)