The New York Police Department (NYPD) could face possible legal action as Caribbean governments respond to the detention and handcuffing of St. Vincent ambassador to the United Nations, Camillo Gonsalves.
According to reports, CARICOM ambassadors sent strong protest notes to the United States ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice and to Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon expressing their outrage at the situation. It is understood that Caribbean ambassadors spoke out against what they described as the blatant and aggressive conduct of the police officer who handcuffed Mr. Gonsalves.
Mr. Gonsalves, son of St. Vincent Prime Minister, Ralph Gonsalves, is also considering the possibility of suing the officer and New York, as the officer assaulted him.
The diplomat passed through a police barricade to enter the Manhattan building when he was held by the officer who also placed him in handcuffs. It was the quick intervention of the United States State Department that resulted in the release of the diplomat after he was held for 20 minutes. (Source)
Meanwhile, St. Kitts and Nevis’ Permanent Representative to the United Nations, His Excellency Delano Bart has described the New York police officer’s treatment of his St. Vincent and the Grenadines counterpart as “provocative and uncivilized” and a “very serious and flagrant violation of obligations under the United Nations Headquarters Agreement and the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.”
Under those agreements, the United States commits to recognizing diplomatic immunity from arrest and prosecution for accredited foreign diplomats. The New York Police Department, however, presented a different version of events.