33 year-old Kenson King of Park Hill was arrested on last Friday evening for what he said was ultimately described by one leading police detective as a Facebook post made via his account that was “liable to cause fear and alarm to the public.” Sometime after 8 p.m. on Saturday evening he was released from police custody with no formal charges filed against him.
King is employed as a prison officer since 2005 and told Asbert News Network on Wednesday, “we have decided to go forward with litigation, yes. We are going to bring a case technically against the entire system.”
Jomo Thomas, King’s lawyer, also confirmed that legal action was imminent. “A notice of intent would be served on the police and the Attorney General,” the veteran lawyer explained as being the next step in what he is confident would be another legal victory for human rights here.
He added, “the Court would decide. I will never encourage a client to sue if I don’t think he has a relatively good chance of a favorable outcome.”
Such victories are not foreign to Thomas’ firm as, “you may recall that in 2009 our chambers filed a Habeas Corpus application so as to free two African men who had been wrongfully imprisoned for over 1,500 days.
We won their release and compensation for both men.”
Asbert News Network reported Thomas as saying, “the police have a legal responsibility to tell the accused person why he is detained as soon as possible by 24 hours of the arrest.
They law also requires the authorities to take the accused and charged person before a legal tribunal within 48 hours or as soon as is responsibly possible. Sadly, until now the police mock the law and hold suspects for up to 48 hours and then release them with now charge. It must be remembered that someone can only be arrested on the basis of probably cause of having committed an offense. We know of no crime Kenson King has committed and he has not been charged.”
King’s legal troubles sprouted because he allegedly took to Facebook to vent about an ongoing domestic dispute that revolves around an uncle and the uncle’s other siblings.
That May 15 post protested the alleged interference in Police procedure when dealing with threats made against human lives by licensed gun holders. It read, “see when I speak about Ralph allyo does vex. Now, I have an uncle named Mohammed King. Some know him as Hanniffe. He has two licensed firearms. He keeps on terrorizing his brothers. I had to personally give him a warning in 2015.
“Numerous reports have been made against him by my father and now Archie his younger brother. He keeps on threatening my uncle to shoot him. They both live in the family house. Now, my uncle went to the Colonaire Police Station to make a report against Haniffe just in the week.
“The police came and confiscated the guns. Now this morning, Haniffe can have the guns, firing shots in the air and bragging that he called Ralph and Ralph called the Colonaire Police Station and threatened them, asking them if they gave license for guns to Hanniffe.
“Now you remember what happened with the nurse that Mitch killed? I know this is not gonna be a repeat of that. When I decide to take matters into my own hands, I wanna see who is gonna come tell me something.”
Although the post did not officially name Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, the inference to be drawn was quite clear.
Nonetheless we asked King whether or not the post was intended to name the Prime Minister who has occupied that substantive post for the most recent 4 consecutive terms. King said, “I never admitted to making the post, but the post that is there obviously alleges that is Ralph Gonsalves the post is talking about because who other Ralph would have the kind of clout to call the Station to tell the police to give back the guns to someone else.”
On Wednesday King told us, Haniffe “was still behaving with his nonsense brandishing guns and all of that” as of Saturday morning while he, Kenson King, was being held at the Criminal Investigations Department. Up to press time no other legal remedies to the potential threat posed by Haniffe have been forthcoming.
“One of the things I want to highlight is the fact that in order to get a [licensed] shotgun you are supposed to be a property owner and my uncle has nothing. Not even an ounce of property to his name. Go to the records and see what kind of property he owns – none. So I can’t understand how he got – I could understand a pistol for personal protection – but I can’t see how he got a shotgun.”
Although no charges were laid against Kenson King he was also given reason to believe he had violated unspecified elements of the local Cyber Crime Act of 2016. The State of St. Vincent and the Grenadines is expected to be the defendant in this pending ‘unlawful detention’ legal battle.