Pompey: Police statement on “Burga’s” capture is a ‘travesty’

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Former Commissioner of Police Rawlston Pompey is calling out the police for failing to give credit “to whom it is due”, noting that a police press statement issued on Sunday failed to acknowledge an ex-cop as the person who reportedly captured wanted double-murder suspect Calvin “Burga” James.
Even before the media published/broadcast the information about Colbert “Gaddafi” Francis’s alleged involvement, former top cop Pompey took to social media to congratulate the man who provides security services at Hermitage Bay – the same area where James was caught in the wee hours of Sunday. Initially, in a Facebook post on Sunday under a story that simply indicated James had been caught, Pompey wrote, “CONGRATULATIONS Superintendent Francis ‘Gaddafi.’
Even on retirement, you have deepened your commitment to law enforcement. The apprehension of this ‘…Most Wanted Fugitive’ has brought respite to many citizens, while allaying the fears of family, loved ones and friends. Equally as much, your recovery of the ‘…suspected murder weapon.’ These are manifestations of the practical use of the specialised advanced training in ‘…Crime and Security’ [RSS]. Notable feats that shall never be overlooked.”
At that time, lawmen had not yet issued any statement, and it was the first time the public was being informed that a weapon was also recovered. When residents sought to question how or why Francis was there in the first place, Pompey further congratulated the retired cop, saying, “COMMENDABLE: A very highly commendable act of bravery by a very clearly devoted ex-police officer; using good powers of observation, and taking upon himself, a very dangerous task, yet performing a civic duty in a single-handed capture of a ‘…very dangerous fugitive from justice.’
He evades no more and the police search no more. Time’s up for my friend ‘…Burger.’” Pompey was keen to note it was a “single-handed capture.” Soon after that, a post labelled “PRESS STATEMENT” was published on the Facebook page of the Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda indicating, “Based on information received, an operation was mounted by the Police in the Hermitage Bay area and the suspect was captured about 12:35 a.m. today (13.1.19).
He had in his possession one firearm and one knife. The Commissioner of Police wishes to thank the general public for their support and patience during the past months. He also extends thanks to the officers who exhibited great courage, perseverance and commitment during the operation. Investigation is ongoing.” This statement prompted Pompey and other officers to make their displeasure known, with Pompey calling it a “Travesty.”
In his response, underthe news story quoting the aforementioned portion of the police press statement, Pompey wrote, “TRAVESTY TO GADDAFI: As had been reliably informed, and to public knowledge, this was clearly not a case where informants had given information. Thus, no one would be placed at risk, while there would be no ‘…Breach of Confidentiality.’ Credit therefore, shall always be given to whom it is due. This was where a professionally and highly-trained retired Superintendent Colbert ‘Gaddafi’ Francis,’ skilfully and fearlessly trained his firearm on the ‘…evasive dangerous fugitive Calvin ‘…Burger James;’ subdued and disarmed him and simply and commendably called his former colleagues.”
Pompey added, “From professional knowledge and experience, people who had given evidence on Oath and veered away from the concept called ‘…Truth,’ they were cited for the criminal act of ‘…Perjury.’ In organisations, as in the wider society, those that ‘…Wandered From Truth’ were often called liars.” He further indicated that if the story reflecting the same statement from the police were to be described, then it is clear the “‘Truth’ [is] manifestly seen to have been aborted.” Referencing himself, he further wrote, “Rawlston Pompey would be bold and candid enough to call it a ‘…Travesty to Gaddafi.’ This is the phrase of the day.”
Pompey, who in the past confirmed his social media presence, and who has spoken candidly about a range of police matters over the years, was also joined by former police officer Wilbur Purcell in congratulating their former colleague. On Sunday Purcell wrote, “Well done Ex-Superintendent Francis; still very committed.” James was wanted by police on two murder cases after he allegedly gunned down his niece, Tahisha Thomas, and his nephew’s fiancée, Sanchezca Charles, on October 5 at their home in Donovans.
He was also wanted on an attempted murder allegation in relation to his nephew, Lawrence James, who was shot in the face in the same attack. After news of the suspect’s capture reached OBSERVER media, efforts were made to contact the police public relations unit and the acting top cop, Atlee Rodney. While the former said he could not provide details, the latter could not be reached. OBSERVER media later turned to Attorney General Steadroy “Cutie” Benjamin to ask whether he had been briefed about Francis’ involvement in the alleged assailant being caught.
Benjamin said he said he had not been fully informed as to what happened, but he congratulated the police for their work. By then several senior police officers had already confirmed that Francis, who retired as an assistant superintendent in 2014, was the one who called two officers, identified as Stowe and Tonge, and told them of the suspect’s location and that he had him in custody. Reports from several sources are that the retired cop who reportedly caught “Burga,” and the two policemen who responded to arrest him, still work together in providing security services, but they were not there when he initiated the first detention of the suspect.
The sources, who are not authorised to speak to the media, are questioning why the information about Francis’ involvement was never officially made public by the police and was excluded from the congratulatory messages that the police and attorney general delivered

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