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‘Officers don’t go out with intent to cause problems’- CoP Matthews

- RVIPF head defends police conduct in face of ‘excessive force’ criticisms
Outgoing Commissioner of the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF), Mr Michael B. Matthews has defended the conduct of his officers in the fields, following some public criticisms that the police on occasion, have been employing excessive force in the execution of duties. Photo: VINO/File
Two officers of the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force wrestle the young man to the ground before handcuffing him on September 27, 2020. Photo: VINO/File
Two officers of the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force wrestle the young man to the ground before handcuffing him on September 27, 2020. Photo: VINO/File
 A young man from Long Look, Tortola, had accused officers of the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) of using a stun gun on him 'for no reason' on Wednesday, April 8, 2020. Photo: VINO/File
A young man from Long Look, Tortola, had accused officers of the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) of using a stun gun on him 'for no reason' on Wednesday, April 8, 2020. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – Outgoing Commissioner of the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF), Mr Michael B. Matthews has defended the conduct of his officers in the fields, following some public criticisms that the police on occasion, have been employing excessive force in the execution of duties.

“We are, after all, your police and we police democratically here, we do it by consent we don't do it by force,” Mr Matthews told Journalist Cathy O. Richards during an October 7, 2020 interview on JTV’s The Big Story.

No intent to cause problems – CoP Matthews

CoP Matthews continued, “And whilst you know every now and again I will get challenged about the use of force and… whether my officers are polite or not and so forth, I'll always maintain that we don't go out there with intent to cause problems to the public,” he said.

Over the course of the 2020 year particularly during the onset of the COVID-19 lockdowns and after, the Force has come under heavy public criticisms for its use of force, tasing and arrest of VI youths.

The most recent lambasting of the actions of police came following a video showing police struggling with a young man and subsequently throwing a man to the ground before handcuffing him on September 27, 2020.

Use of excessive force?

The video, which was widely circulated on social media, had seen persons agreeing that the young man was resisting arrest; however, some also felt the use of such force was not necessary, especially since the man was initially stopped for a traffic violation.

Speaking to JTV, Mr Matthews said at the end of the day, the force is only trying to protect the VI community, “We go out there every single day to try and protect the public and I'm just grateful for the continued support that we receive,” he said.

The Top Cop had previously remarked that by law, officers are still entitled to use reasonable force as is necessary in any given circumstances and that social media videos alone cannot tell the full story.

 

22 Responses to “‘Officers don’t go out with intent to cause problems’- CoP Matthews”

  • Stop Defending Wrong (10/10/2020, 13:26) Like (30) Dislike (3) Reply
    With all due respect Commissioner, you do not know the mentality of your officers.

    You could put nun attire on a wicked person and they’ll still be vindictive.

  • Really (10/10/2020, 13:51) Like (7) Dislike (3) Reply
    Noe even a mother would swear for their children like this lololllloll
  • old (10/10/2020, 14:00) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply
    Some young people you cannot say nothing to them.,they ready to kill you..Y we like this man.
    • Young (10/10/2020, 15:48) Like (8) Dislike (9) Reply
      He want stand behind he gang no matter when they right or wrong ,well we the streets goin stand behind ours too . You say we young people you cant say nothing to cause we ready to kill "its because these down island PIGS u cant say NOTHING TO THEM because them ready to kill and lock us up bet let them friends go wid a warnin !!!!!
  • jokes (10/10/2020, 14:09) Like (21) Dislike (3) Reply
    Please train and educate your officers they need it
  • careful (10/10/2020, 15:04) Like (21) Dislike (2) Reply
    Some of the officers are really pleasant but others have a attitude problem against tolan
  • K (10/10/2020, 15:07) Like (5) Dislike (2) Reply
    U put a pig in your pouch for a day when it came outside it's still a pig thay. always ready to buy pamper for those rude a**
  • y (10/10/2020, 15:16) Like (11) Dislike (1) Reply
    As far as I can see them getting school children treatment form police officer here let them go somewhere else and show off their rudeness let them officer show them what police officer can do
  • So sadly (10/10/2020, 15:18) Like (11) Dislike (2) Reply
    Our people especially the younger people got a extra bravery to be unruly to our officer’s due to the encouragement from the host of C** D**P. Her Mentality is “police just harassing”
  • K (10/10/2020, 15:38) Like (14) Dislike (2) Reply
    @ careful d most disrespectful nation in the region is tolan no one can tell them how and what to do it's a sham
    • So sad (10/10/2020, 17:14) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
      So sad! I agreed with you. Them under the hype of the host of C** D**P “ according to HER that’s what I think.... like anyone asked
  • no way (10/10/2020, 15:42) Like (10) Dislike (4) Reply
    Wish i could agree with you commissioner
    Its a set of pigs you have.
  • hi (10/10/2020, 15:49) Like (0) Dislike (3) Reply
    @ joke s u right to say that need training I could tell u if thay put d full thing on your a** u will know what time it is so go ahead and talk shit
  • Big things popping. (10/10/2020, 16:07) Like (3) Dislike (5) Reply
    Comics please take away the tasers. Because there is no penalty after the police use them on people children like it’s a joke for them to just go around using this thing. One day someone will retaliate and get lucky with one of your officers
  • @blm (10/10/2020, 17:42) Like (2) Dislike (6) Reply
    Then just stop given info of any crime period..dont surport them let them do there job.simple ..but all u want go run tell
  • lol (10/10/2020, 18:42) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
    What an absolute farce, is this guy blind? Probably spends more time dealing with dirty and unprofessional officers that he does ‘bad guys ‘
  • Hmmmm (10/10/2020, 21:05) Like (6) Dislike (2) Reply
    They better becareful with those tasers they don’t know who have steel in their hand/leg or who have pacemakers they better think on that
  • from buckingham palace (10/10/2020, 21:06) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
    Hey COP, while I accept what you said that police officers do not go out with intent t cause problems, I still believe that there are individual police officers who needs to learn to respect people as human beings and respect the fundamental rights and freedoms of all individuals they come in contact with during any investigation or offence.
    Every case must be treated on its own merit. when some persons in the public become aggressive and violent toward other persons or toward the police, the police must use necessary force to restrain that person, if and only if that person is resisting a command of under-arrest.
    There are, however, circumstances, where a person chose to give a little "back-chart" during a traffic stop which does not amount to an offence, because back-chart without threats is not a crime, but an ignorant police officer may respond with verbal aggression or even an arrest for this "back-chart".
    Police officers must be trained to focus on the law and the breaches of the law, and not on personal emotions because some member of the public give a little "back-chart".
    The laws of the BVI are not the personal law of any police officer, so when a person breaches the law of the BVI, a police officer must not respond or react aggressively to the alleged offender.
    The police should not behave like the complainant, investigator, magistrate, judge and jury, with personal emotions. People have a fundamental right to talk-back, and if the talk-back is not threats, so what?
    The Constitution declared that any person charged with a criminal offence, is innocent until proved guilty in a court of law, so all police officers must deal with offenders as not guilty of the offence, until the matter goes to court.
    What you want to promote is better public-police relationship, and the only way to achieve that is for the police to respect the fundamental rights and freedoms of all individuals in the BVI.
    Most offenders are adults, so they must spoken to as adults.
    Without the presence of the public, there will be no need for police, so public and police must work together.
  • Lead by example (11/10/2020, 03:42) Like (3) Dislike (4) Reply

    But you’re not leading by example, are you m***?

    Taking selfies with your buddy g***, flaunting your lifestyle and wealth at our expense as you’re both on our necks as we starve.

    What kind of so called ‘leaders’ are you?

    You are both the worst we’ve ever had & you both need to go ASAP.

    We will definitely NOT miss either of you. Enjoy your friendship & selfie taking. You are both fit for each other.

  • Hmmm (11/10/2020, 09:21) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Well...I guess he’s being supportive of his team in the public eye. However, I don’t know if I support the way his statement came across about whether his officers are polite or not etc...Yes, I know respect should be given to police officers, but i have experienced it first hand where you are treated as if you’re guilty of something and there’s no respect given to you (and trust me the last thing on my mind is to go out there to disrespect anybody much less the police. I just try to mind my own business). The approach could be improved sometimes. So, please instill in your officers (not all because there are pleasant ones) that respect is important. Especially using their discretion in some matters which can be handled a lot differently.
  • @ Bucking ham fool (11/10/2020, 22:52) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    George Floyd
  • Matthews (12/10/2020, 06:52) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    YOU DO NOT KNOW THAT MR. MATTHEWS. YOU DO NOT KNOW THAT. THERE ARE SOME EVIL OFFICERS IN YOUR DAM POLICE FORCE.


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