UN envoy not optimistic, but ‘hopeful’ about outcome of NY police investigation
September 14, 2012
UN envoy not optimistic, but ‘hopeful’ about outcome of NY police investigation

This country’s envoy to the United Nations says he is still not optimistic, but remains “hopeful” about the outcome of a New York Police Department (NYPD) internal probe of his arrest by a cop in that North American city on March 28.{{more}}

“I don’t want to prejudge, but the NYPD has a history in New York, both in their culture how they interact with people, between police officers and non-officers, and also in the culture in the way they respond to complaints against their conduct,” Camillo Gonsalves told SEARCHLIGHT last Friday.

“The NYPD has a long history of sort of battening down the hatches and taking a very defensive posture, but a defensive posture that is sometimes even aggressive, where they blame the victim and that sort of thing.

“I made that comment against a backdrop of a history and a culture of the NYPD, which led me to be not optimistic. I am still not optimistic, but I am hopeful that there will be a good response,” he further said.

Gonsalves was arrested in the lobby of his office building after he crossed a police barrier and ignored a cop, who he said addressed him rudely outside

He told SEARCHLIGHT that the NYPD was yet to report on the findings of their internal review.

“… but they have on the surface shown that they have taken it seriously and began investigative processes,” Gonsalves said.

He said there have been informal conversations with representatives of various arms of the NYPD and they have “indicated that they continue to take it seriously”.

Gonsalves further noted the case of New York councilman Jumaane Williams, who was arrested on Labour Day 2011, after police said he crossed a barrier he should not have; but the councilman had clearance to cross.

Gonsalves said that Williams, who is of Grenadian descent, has told him that he is yet to hear from the police formally.

“So, he is waiting as well. So, I don’t know what their time frame is,” Gonsalves said.

“We are trying to be as accommodating and diplomatic as possible in our relations with them, but if it went on indefinitely, we would have to consider next steps. … We are satisfied very much with the deferral government and there is an internal UN process that is in train,” he said.

Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves, who is Camillo’s father, has said that his government would consider suing the over the incident.

The prime minister has said that the incident is an assault on the nation’s sovereignty. (kentonchance@searchlight.vc)