The events that unfolded on Saturday 7 July 2018 surrounding the tragic death of 20 year old Tau Johnson is not only heartbreaking but also very disturbing. This is an opportunity for us as a nation to take a professional response to this most unfortunate turn of events in order to improve public trust and confidence in the public services of our country. Without casting aspersions on anyone involved in the incident, it is my belief that:
1. The emergency officials involved in the incident should be suspended with pay pending a thorough investigation of the incident to ascertain if proper procedures were or were not followed.
2. ALL EMS and Police emergency response protocols must be immediately reviewed to ensure they are at industry standards.
3. ALL EMS staff should be immediately re-trained and re-certified.
4. The Police must use this as a Toolbox exercise to reinforce updated related protocols.
5. The Ministry of Health in collaboration with the Police should commission a PR campaign to sensitize and educate the general public about general emergency protocols such as, but not limited to, giving way to emergency response personnel or handling someone in an accident.
Regardless of events preceeding the accident that has left a family in tatters, with a mother and father without a son, brothers and sisters without a brother, aunts and uncles without a nephew, the Buckleys community without a friend, our main focus should always be the preservation of life. It is not up to us, whether Police, EMS or bystander, to determine how someone should be punished if we perceive them to be in breach of the laws. In St. Kitts & Nevis, we abide by the rule of law and everyone is entitled to due process whether you are a priest or a young man being chased by police.
My heartfelt prayers, sympathies, and condolences go out to Indira Fraites, Phil Johnson and all family and friends of young Tau.