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Police accused of 'terrifying' children with 'laser guns'

- CoP Michael B. Matthews said family told to file official complaint @ Police HQ
Photo not of alleged incident. A mother has claimed that RVIPF officers illegally ransacked her family’s boat and property all while pointing laser equipped guns at her children. Photo: VINO/File
Distraught mother Natasha Chalwell in a social media post on Friday, October 9, 2020, further alleged that the incident occurred although no adult was present. Photo: Facebook
Distraught mother Natasha Chalwell in a social media post on Friday, October 9, 2020, further alleged that the incident occurred although no adult was present. Photo: Facebook
 While the incident was loosely confirmed by Commissioner of Police Michael B. Matthews, he told VINO that the family was told to file an official complain with the RVIPF. Photo: VINO/File
While the incident was loosely confirmed by Commissioner of Police Michael B. Matthews, he told VINO that the family was told to file an official complain with the RVIPF. Photo: VINO/File
Over the past weeks and months, the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) has come in for harsh public criticisms over its alleged use of excessive force in addition to poor conduct in the field. Photo: VINO/File
Over the past weeks and months, the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) has come in for harsh public criticisms over its alleged use of excessive force in addition to poor conduct in the field. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, TORTOLA, VI – The Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) and its Commissioner of Police, Mr Michael B. Matthews are once again facing heat, after a mother claimed RVIPF officers illegally ransacked her family’s boat and property all while pointing 'laser guns' at her children.

Distraught mother Natasha Chalwell, in a social media post on Friday, October 9, 2020, further alleged that the incident occurred although no adult was present.

Boat & property ransacked – Chalwell

“This evening my children, on our family property whilst rigging their boat for a planned fishing trip, were approached by two armed police officers who proceeded to ask them a few questions whilst one was pointing a laser at their heads!,” she posted in Facebook's BVI Community Board.

The mother further related that without any permission or notification, the officers boarded the children’s dinghy where they ransacked items, jumped onto other boats belonging to family members and continued their alleged unauthorised forage into a family-owned building.

“My husband had just left the property as they’d forgotten gear at our house just up the hill and my 14-year-old and 9-year old were alone when this took place. Why wouldn’t the officers wait until he had returned or asked to call a parent?” she questioned.

“My kids are absolutely beside themselves. My 9-year-old was hysterical and my 14-year-old tried to ring his dad for help [but] could not get through but luckily reached his uncle but the police had already left. They felt threatened, violated, confused and ultimately terrified by the officers' very abrasive behaviours.”

“How does this happen? How did the ADULT property owners not get called or even me as a parent? Where was the warrant? How do the officers feel justified terrifying children??” the mother went on to question.

Person told to file complaint – CoP Matthews

Meanwhile, Commissioner Matthews told VINO that the mother was told to file an official complaint with the RVIPF.

“I am advised an adult was, in fact, present throughout the search…. The person who complained has been advised how to make a complaint against police if they wish to do so,” the commissioner further said.

When questioned on how official complaints can be made, Mr Matthews said they are made at the Professional Standards team based at Police Headquarters and can be done in person or writing.

“The team conduct internal investigation if required, and present findings/make any recommendations for further action to the Deputy Commissioner. Complainant is updated at conclusion of any complaint as to the findings.”

Officers will provide duty statements – CoP Matthews

Over the past weeks and months, the RVIPF has come in for harsh public criticisms over its alleged use of excessive force in addition to poor conduct in the field.

CoP Matthews said; however, even if the family do not make an official complaint, officers are required as standard procedure to provide duty statements once concerns arise.

“The officers involved in the alleged incident are required to provide duty statements as a standard procedure once we become aware of any concerns through any medium, including your outlet. That is the case whether a formal complaint is received or not. Those involved in this allegation have already been required to do this.”

28 Responses to “Police accused of 'terrifying' children with 'laser guns'”

  • juice (14/10/2020, 14:32) Like (5) Dislike (12) Reply
    So many BVIslanders drives and love right hand drive vehicles, and it is easier to maneuver on the roads . Even some of the car dealers are selling right drive vehicles. I do think i understand why they are lot fo left hand vehicles here; the reason is because St. Thomas and Puerto Rico is nearby so accessibility to car parts is easier but right hand drive vehicles parts can be source from other Caribbean countries as well.
    • lol (14/10/2020, 15:00) Like (28) Dislike (3) Reply
      Wrong post fool
    • oh really (14/10/2020, 15:10) Like (13) Dislike (8) Reply
      That is your opinion and NOT a fact. The drivers of the right hand vehicles need to learn to drive on their side of the road and not in the middle of the road.
    • facts (15/10/2020, 09:42) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      We don't want your right hand vehicle. We respect your country and it's ways. Stop coming here trying to change our culture and ways to suit you I a sick of this. If you all can't come here and respect us then none of you have good intentions for us. Go back where you come from leave us with our left hand drive ms
  • Mark (14/10/2020, 14:46) Like (14) Dislike (8) Reply
    This matter was already dealt with and the family is satisfied. Y’all just like publishing things to create a negative outlook.
    • how? (14/10/2020, 15:21) Like (12) Dislike (5) Reply
      The family said it was not yet resolved but they appreciated that one inspector had reached out ...we all know it wouldn’t be the commissioner reaching out to locals in this community
    • Why (14/10/2020, 15:37) Like (9) Dislike (5) Reply
      You must be a police. Its news, so its reported. It doesn't matter that the family has been satisfied already. It is news worthy. If the police stop doing crap, they would not make the news. They done roll on me funny twice. All they are going to do is cause the government purse to be drained. They going to be sued left and right. They need to be trained. If they not trainable, release them.
  • Ask Commissioner (14/10/2020, 15:06) Like (13) Dislike (4) Reply
    Wow he never asked about the children ? How are they commissioner?? They don’t matter to him
  • Hmm (14/10/2020, 15:09) Like (19) Dislike (8) Reply
    What I don’t like is that the commissioner is always making excuse for his un trained officers . This is the problem. When will it stop. When will you admit that your police force is lacking training and fix the problem? Will you fix the problem?when these fools of a police shoot someone’s child ? Pigs can be train... TRAIN THEM! Gosh!
  • OK Then (14/10/2020, 15:23) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    @ hmmn have you ever heard about doctors. Just so they operates. They cover onw another asses thats exactly what the mr mathews is doing
    • @ OK Then (14/10/2020, 19:51) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
      Government departments cover for each other too ...it’s a disgrace
  • sir (14/10/2020, 15:32) Like (9) Dislike (4) Reply
    So in turn he is saying that the mother of the child is making up the story. ...... Sir if there was an adult present I do not think the entire situation would have been an issue. I do believe there were no adults present. I do believe that those
  • OFF BEAT (14/10/2020, 15:40) Like (3) Dislike (25) Reply
    YES POLICE STOP MINDING ALL THE COMMENTS THE POLICE GOT TO CLEAN UP THE PLACE CHILDREN DO NOT HAVE NO CALL WITH TEASERS PARENTS DO yOUR JOB AND DO NOT ENCOURAGE SUCH BEHAVIOUR, TALK TO YOUR CHILDREN BECAUSE ONE DAY SOME DAY AS A PArENT YOU MAY BE SORRY, AND YOU WILL WANT TO BEG THE POLICE FOR MERCY REMEMBER A NEW COMMISSIONER WILL BE IN PLACE SOON YOU KNOW WHAT YOU HAVE BUT YOU WILL NOT KNOW WHAT YOU WILL GET. YES THE POLICE DOES NOT BE 100 PERCENT BUT THE LAW IS THE LAW TALK TO YOUR CHILDREN BECAUSE WHAT MIGHT HAPPEN MIGHT HAPPEN RIGHT AROUND YOU AND IT MAY BE GRATER THAN YOU THINK. PARENTS BE PARENTS AND DO NOT LET THE CHILDEN RULE YOU. IF CERTIAN THINGS ARE NOT CURVED YOU AS PARENTS MAY HAVE TO PAY MONIES YOU DO NOT HAVE FOR CHILDREN PEOPLE TAKE STOCK IF THE POLICE IS WRONG THEY ARE WRONG BUT PARENTS CUT IT WHILE YOU CAN CUT IT BECAUSE HAD A KNOW IS ALWAYS BEHIND THE DOOR/
    • PLEASE READ (14/10/2020, 16:23) Like (22) Dislike (0) Reply
      The children did not have tasers - where are you coming with this comment ??
      • actually. (15/10/2020, 06:55) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
        They didn't write they had tasers. They wrote they had teasers.
    • To Off Beat (14/10/2020, 16:28) Like (13) Dislike (1) Reply
      Scratching my head at your post. Totally lost. Did you even read the entire news report????
    • @ off beat. (14/10/2020, 16:48) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      I worried about you literacy. I’m pretty sure you read that article wrong.
  • sit down (14/10/2020, 16:02) Like (13) Dislike (4) Reply
    it’s okay to terrorize children if adults are present ?? Commissioner take a seat !
    • But.... (15/10/2020, 06:59) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
      But the Commisioner didn't say that, did he?! In fact nody has said that.
  • Popo (14/10/2020, 16:55) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    they arrested 4 minors and never notified the parents about anything and I'm one of the parents this been happening
  • Anne (14/10/2020, 16:57) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
    You all must leave the police let they do there work.We need the police..thank god for police.Some thing happen how you all will complain to. We must use wisdom.
  • Adult present (14/10/2020, 17:30) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    Clearly the adult that was present was not the parents so I don’t know how he trying justify this
  • 69 (14/10/2020, 18:37) Like (6) Dislike (3) Reply
    Them police going only make man turn against them...like them ain seeing wa does happen in trini or the states...keep it up is more problems for them
  • Well (14/10/2020, 18:40) Like (9) Dislike (9) Reply

    Goat sh*t on a hill it just want broom stick to touch it to roll the way how u people have it in for police officer it's not funny even if those children were not tirffied d parents will say so I don't care who want to agree with me that's I feel

  • Stop!!! (14/10/2020, 20:56) Like (10) Dislike (1) Reply
    Commissioner you need to make sure your officers are in the right at all times, also for the love of life protect the youths from these unnecessary act because it could be harmful to them later on in life.
  • privy council (14/10/2020, 21:44) Like (9) Dislike (5) Reply
    AH YOU BVI PEOPLE TOO RACIST.BECAUSE ITS A WHITE COP.AH YOU TOO DAAM RACIST IN BVI.
  • Bull (15/10/2020, 13:08) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    The complaints process is BS as well. They need an independent individual with brains to manage complaints, not the very bias people who will defend the incompetence of their force. Investigations for complaints are just as incompetent as the actions of the force. Premier, add this dysfunctional arm of the society, which depends on the public purse, to your review agenda for goodness sakes. If you have even an ounce of vision like you say you do, it should already be there before things get worse.


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