OFFICIAL R.B.P.F STATEMENT CONCERNING INVESTIGATIONS OF DAILY NATION SENIOR PERSONNEL & INVESTIGATION INTO THE MURDER OF KALIFA DOWNES

The Assistant Commissioner of Police (ag) Crime Lionel M. Thompson‘s statement regarding the investigations into the Nation Newspaper dated October 26, 2013 regarding item ‘Sex Scene‘, and the Kalifa Downes murder investigation. Below is his prepared statement;-

Let me commence by contextualising how the Royal Barbados Police Force (R.B.P.F) postulates. In this regard, it is important to begin by acknowledging the critical role the press plays in a liberal democratic society like ours.

With specific reference to the Criminal Justice System, the press by its transmission of the information helps to ensure that the integrity of the system is not robustly called into question.

In the context of information sharing, some persons believe that freedom of the press and the rights to freedom of expressions are sacrosanct constitutional rights that can be abridged in very limited circumstances.

Those who posit this view fortify their assertions by cautioning that the constitution and not the state is supreme. These notions and the need for transparency have compelled the R.B.P.F to offer an explanation for the charges that were brought against officials of the Nation Newspaper, namely, Ms. Vivian-Anne Lanora Gittens, Publisher, Mr. Sanka Louis Price, Journalist, and Roy Ricardo Morris, Editor-In-Chief for breaches of the Protection of Children Act.

Those who posit this view fortify their assertions by cautioning that the constitution and not the state is supreme. These notions and the need for transparency have compelled the R.B.P.F to offer an explanation for the charges that were brought against officials of the Nation Newspaper, namely, Ms. Vivian-Anne Lanora Gittens, Publisher, Mr. Sanka Louis Price, Journalist, and
Roy Ricardo Morris, Editor-In-Chief for breaches of the Protection of Children Act.

As to be expected, I am constrained to speak in general terms as the matters are sub judice.

As I stated previously, the R.B.P.F commenced three parallel and simultaneous investigations into the story that was carried in the Nation Newspaper dated October 26, 2013 captioned Sex Scene.

The charging of the three persons whose names were mentioned earlier represents the conclusion of one of the three investigations.

A second investigation has also been concluded, which resulted in the charging of two children. The other investigation remains open.

Of course, in considering the charges against the members of the press the R.B.P.F took full cognisance of the debates on the issues as the public saw them.

Obviously, as individuals, members of the R.B.P.F have their own views and as a collective body, the members are agreed that the article forced us as a people to have a conversation as to how we should order our society.

Notwithstanding these views, as a Law Enforcement institution the R.B.P.F is legally bound to impartially enforce the criminal law, albeit humanely.

In pursuing the three investigations, the R.B.P.F came to the conclusion that there was a sufficiency of evidence to support the charges that were brought. However, in the circumstances of this matter, were the R.B.P.F to lean to its own understanding some persons would claim and rightfully so that the RBPF is an institution steep in hubris and with a perverse sense of its public obligation.

In pursuing the three investigations, the R.B.P.F came to the conclusion that there was a sufficiency of evidence to support the charges that were brought. However, in the circumstances of this matter, were the R.B.P.F to lean to its own understanding some persons would claim and rightfully so that the RBPF is an institution steep in hubris and with a perverse sense of its public obligation.

Consequently, the R.B.P.F sought the advice of the Director of Public Prosecutions on the utility of preferring charges against named individuals and the advice he gave was followed.

Despite these outputs and the desired outcomes, it would be very disingenuous of me if I concluded this segment without expressly stating that the members of the media have been a tremendous ally of the R.B.P.F in its fight against crime and other anti-social or deviant behaviour, and I remain confidence that this relation will continue.

Because of this confidence I wish to announce that the R.B.P.F has made a tremendous breakthrough in the cold murder case of Kalifa Downes, 14 years, late of Lower Burney, Mapp Hill, St. Michael who was found dead at Mount Friendship, St. Michael on the 20th April 2007.

On today’s date a joint investigative team arrested and charged Ryan Andrew Bullen, 35 years of 1st Avenue Maxwell Hill, Christ Church for that murder.

Aware that on a previous occasion when such an announcement was made, some commentators questioned the legitimacy of the charge, the R.B.P.F wishes to restate it’s in a perpetual state of self improvement.

As a corollary, it has considerably increased its investigative capacity in the six (6) years subsequent to the murder. Notably, it has adjusted its investigative model to ensure that there is enhanced synergy between all players and activities along its value chain.

As a corollary, it has considerably increased its investigative capacity in the six (6) years subsequent to the murder. Notably, it has adjusted its investigative model to ensure that there is enhanced synergy between all players and activities along its value chain.

In closing, I wish to emphasize that the value added by the joint efforts of the detectives from the Cold Case Unit, Major Crime Unit and the Crime Analyst Unit cannot be overstated and for their efforts I extend sincere gratitude.

  • Office of Assistant Commissioner of Police (Ag) – Crime

L. Mark Thompson

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