CID Head Cabral accused of inserting his ‘red politics’ into Tuesday’s peaceful picket outside the Prime Minister’s Office

Members of the Police Force must perform their duties without malice, fear or favour, says George Wehner, mobilization officer of the United Progressive Party (UPP).

Wehner’s comment follows a picket that was staged outside the Prime Minister’s Office on Tuesday, February 7, during which a senior police officer sought to interject himself into the peaceful action.

The picket, organized by the UPP, called on the Government to implement a public inquiry into the Antigua Airways/suspected migrant-trafficking scandal that left hundreds of West Africans stranded here.

Reportedly, the picket commenced at 9 a.m., with hundreds of citizens and residents lining the sidewalk on Queen Elizabeth Highway.

Wehner reports that everything was going fine until Assistant Commissioner Clifton Cabral, head of the Criminal Investigations Department, arrived on the scene.  

He demanded that the picket line be moved to another location, several yards across the street – apparently not wanting the picketers on the northern side of the road, which is closer to the Prime Minister’s Office.

Cabral’s interjection into the peaceful protest was soundly rebuffed by the hundreds of protesters, says Wehner, who suspects the officer was acting on an agenda that came from the political authorities.

According to mobilization officer, Cabral inserted “his red politics” into the picket, much to the chagrin of the crowd, which included UPP Political Leader Jamale Pringle, former Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer and other members of the Party.

Some of the picketers, including attorney-at-law Leon Chaku Symister, shouted, “We have the right!” in objection to the police officer’s instructions.

Further, reports say the protesters asked why Assistant Commissioner Cabral was concerning himself with the peaceful picketers – rather than investigating the criminal elements and their respective roles in the sordid migrant-trafficking scandal that has embroiled the Gaston Browne Administration.