Posted: Thursday, May 19, 2022. 8:16 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: The United Democratic Party (UDP) has pointed to what appears to be, at the least, a double standard with regard to the treatment of Deputy Mayor Micah Goodin after the weekend shooting exchange in Newtown Barracks.
Referring to fellow councilor Albert Vaughan’s statement on television that he would not want to “prejudge” his fellow councilor, Shadow Minister of National Security and party chairman Michael Peyrefitte said the ruling party were very much quick to prejudge the public officer that got into a telephone confrontation with Prime Minister John Briceno over the Diani Chan matter a few weeks ago, but Goodin has not been so much as suspended or reprimanded.
Peyrefitte argues that “People have been charged for less than what Micah Goodin finds himself in today,” and that if Tarique James, Goodin’s passenger, was charged with discharging a firearm in public, Goodin as owner and controller of the Nissan Rogue is equally responsible, and in similar circumstances police detain, arrest and charge all persons in the vicinity and sort out the details later.
Referring to Tae Medina, who was grazed to the neck from a bullet fired during the incident, the apparent change in story from having directly taken Medina to the hospital to apparently dropping him home from which he went to hospital himself, Peyrefitte wondered if Goodin isn’t hiding something else. And it doesn’t help matters that Mayor Bernard Wagner is holding the reins of City Hall all the way from Barbados rather than handing them over to Goodin, elected just two months ago.
Peyrefitte did approve of the Commissioner of Police’s plan to potentially remove the firearm licenses if it can be found that the men were intoxicated while carrying their weapons.
With all that is going on, Peyrefitte repeated, it is no wonder people are losing respect for authority and it is time for changes starting at the very top to restore public confidence.
Fellow attorney Orson Elrington, who was retained by the family of Kenyon Tillett, said he went to Queen Street Police Station with senior attorney Sharon Pitts around nine Saturday morning and the investigating officer they spoke to directly informed them that Goodin had already been released – although members of Tillett’s family said they saw him “traversing in and out of the police station.” But according to Elrington, the officer refused to release Tillett pending instruction from his higher-ups, despite the attorneys offering an undertaking that if he was to be charged, they would return him to the station.
As to Commissioner Williams telling reporters on Monday that police had Goodin in custody for 36 hours, Elrington could only say that perhaps the Commissioner was “misinformed” by lower ranking officers at the station, but the claim to him is “an absolute and utter lie.” He also said his client had given an initial statement to police but refused a further one despite the police trying to force him to, and so he should not have been described as “not forthcoming” by the Commissioner.
But Elrington said that at the very least Goodin should have been detained and questioned and there existed “ample” evidence against him.
Leader of the Opposition Moses “Shyne” Barrow, referring to past incident reports on Goodin, appealed to him directly to get help: “This is not what we expect of young success stories from the Southside. You need to do better and you can do better – but Micah can’t do better if he is allowed to be above the law.”
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