March 7, 2014
Family refused police transport for ill woman – COP

Commissioner of Police Michael Charles has disputed claims that the police refused to transport Silma Thomas to the hospital after she fainted during the search of her house.{{more}}

Commissioner Charles also said the search had turned up what appears to be an illegal substance.

Thomas died on February 28, 24 hours after she collapsed at her home. And since then, family members and villagers of Chateaubelair have expressed dissatisfaction with the manner in which the police handled requests for them to seek medical attention for her at the time.

“The reports that I heard on the street is actually the same thing I am hearing from the police officers. What is different is the time that the lady moved from the home to the hospital,” Charles told reporters on Wednesday at the police conference room.

Charles explained that members of the RRU went to Chateaubelair to carry out a search warrant in respect of controlled drugs at Thomas’ home on Thursday, February 28, shortly after 3 p.m.

During the search, he noted that a substance resembling cannabis was found and shown to Thomas.

According to what RRU officers told him, Charles said after the substance was shown to Thomas, she immediately fainted.

He said steps were taken to revive her when relatives of Thomas brought rubbing alcohol to rub her down, and she was later assisted into a private vehicle.The Commissioner said he was informed that the police transport was readily available, but members of the family refused to have Thomas transported in a police vehicle.

Earlier reports had indicated that Thomas’ younger brother Christopher and other relatives began shouting to the police to call a doctor to take his sister to the hospital, but, after not getting help, he soon gave up and made some calls himself.

“It is a most unfortunate incident and on behalf of the Commissioner of Police and other members of the Royal St Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force, I extend condolences to the family,” Charles said.

When SEARCHLIGHT spoke to Thomas’ sister, Roseanne, at the time of the incident, she indicated that when she got to her sister’s home she met her sitting on her bed and leaning to one side with a Corporal fanning her with a pillow.

She further stated that she asked her sister what had happened to her and her mumbled reply was that they (police) were harassing her.

The Commissioner said the police will do anything in their power to assist the family of the deceased.

Furthermore, he said no formal report about the matter has been filed with the police.