Hundreds of officers from the Haitian National Police stood beside civilians protesting for the release of a fellow officer.
Police officer Jean Pascal Alexandre was arrested in May on charges of murder, vandalism, destruction of public property, and undermining state security.
And citizens and fellow officers believe Alexandre has been detained ‘illegally’ and have demanded his release since his arrest on May 8th 2020.
It is unclear how the arrest is ‘illegal’ but the group of officers – who are said to belong to the dissident police group ‘Fantom 509′ – but they said he has been incarcerated ‘without clear evidence.’
The group have set ultimatums to the Government Commissioner, Jack Lafontant, who arrested Alexandre, and say if he is not released they will set fire to more government buildings.
In addition Yanick Joseph, the former General Coordinator of the Haitian National Police Union in a recorded message announces the decision to suspend all ongoing discussions with the authorities until the release of police officer Alexandre.
Violence has already erupted in the streets with rocks thrown at the authorities and cars and buildings set alight.
— Ruptly (@Ruptly) September 15, 2020
“We are out for our request to release Pascal, who was arrested illegally,” one uniformed officer representing the protesters told reporters at the scene of the demonstration.
Fantom 509 have been designated as a terrorist organization earlier this year following attacks on several state ministries.
Other police-led protests have happened over the course of the year with officers taking to the capital’s streets in August to demand the release of five police officers arrested after the assassination of Monferrier Dorval, president of the Port-au-Prince Bar Association.
The officers were accused of abandoning their post in front of Dorval’s home, stoking a separate round of heated demonstrations, also seeing vehicles torched and clashes with authorities.
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