Saturday, March 8, 2014

Editorial: Police need to explain why they failed Knolly Hudlin

Knolly Hudlin
Knolly Hudline was murdered on Carnival Tuesday and the police did nothing to try to prevent his murder. 

A media report on the incident said it happened within 300 metres of the Penal Police station. The killer did his deed, walked away and remains free although he is known to the family.

How can this happen when we have a rapid Response unit (RRU), police have hundreds of new vehicles and there is also a new fully equipped Highway Patrol? Police vehicles are also equipped with the latest communication technology.

Yet we are hearing that the excuse the police gave for their failure to act on a complaint until Hudlin was murdered was that they did not have a vehicle.

That's unbelievable and officers at that station should be made to answer or even be charged with complicity in Hudlin's death. 

The family told local media the police station is within sight of Hudlin's home. An officer could have walked over in five minutes to investigate but apparently decided to hide behind the age-old excuse of not having a vehicle.

Even if all vehicles were out and the officers were too "busy" to take a short walk to investigate what was going on one of them could have called fellow officers in the RRU or Highway Patrol for help.

They would likely say there was no imminent danger based on the nature of the case. Well that's not good enough and the facts show there was a clear and present danger and that police failed to act.

Citizens call and tell you that a man who had been threatening to kill members of the family is standing at the gate in breach of a court order and you continue to sit in your station for three hours without doing anything to help. And because of that a man is dead. And it's business as usual. Well it cannot be that way.

If an officer had taken his/her job seriously and walked 300 metres to the family home this tragedy might have been avoided; Knolly Hudlin might still be alive and a man who posed a threat to Hudlin and his family would be behind bars.
What is even worse - worse that the lame excuse of not having a vehicle - is that the attacker was clearly identified and police failed to track and capture him.

But you need to hear the rest of the story from the family. The killer apparently casually walked down the street after fatally stabbing Hudlin. "We were begging them (the police) to go back and arrest him. When they left the house, they went in the opposite direction," one relative told the Express newspaper.

This kind of police behaviour is unacceptable and demands immediate action by the Police Commissioner and the Police Service Commission. Someone must take responsibility for this.

The government of the day has invested millions providing police with every resource they need to do their jobs - hundreds of new vehicles, GPS tracking systems, equipment and much more.

Police refused to respond to a legitimate concern of citizens but turned up only after the man was fatally stabbed. How did they find a way to get there when the murderer had committed his act? Did they walk, run, fly or miraculously find a vehicle?

Police are sworn to protect and serve. Their failure to do that resulted in the murder of a citizen and their subsequent failure to apprehend a suspect who was clearly identified, means a killer is walking free among us.

This kind of police behaviour is not new. In January 2008 a woman went to the Sangre Grande police station to report that her son's life was in danger. Media reports said the officers claimed they had no vehicle to go to the woman's home to investigate and made her wait for three hours.

When the woman returned home she found her 15-year-old dead. Police arrived at the murder scene shortly afterwards in three cars.

Police must not be allowed to act in this manner. JYOTI is calling on the minister, the police chief and the police commission to investigate and take action now. No citizen deserves this kind of treatment from the police.

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Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai