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Dr. Ernest Hilaire, Tourism, Investment, Creative Industries, Culture and Information Minister, says the promotors of the just-ended Onyx concert could have to account for an open-carry firearm on stage.
He told reporters on the sidelines of a Cabinet meeting on Monday that the police took a position that they weren’t approving the concert.
The event became controversial after a person with a gun appeared on stage.
Images of the gun-toting man, identified by organisers as one among their contracted security guards from the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force (RSLPF), have been circulating on social media.
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Organisers have since apologised and said the person decided to have an open-carry weapon on stage.
Hilaire told reporters the gun was not an abnormal firearm and said he had no information regarding whether the weapon had been authorised.
But he said he knew what he saw on stage and the photos people overseas saw and sent back to Saint Lucia.
“We want to ask some serious questions. So far as I knew, the police took a position that they weren’t approving the show because the person in query is someone who has been involved in singing, and promoting music that glorifies crime and gun violence. And I do know because I used to be in discussion with the police force,” the Castries South MP stated.
“The police were very clear that they weren’t going to approve it on the grounds of national security and events security,’ he explained.
In response to Hilaire, the police saw the event as a threat to the fight against gang crime and as a threat to the event itself because they weren’t satisfied that security was fully in place.
“And that was 4 thirty on Friday,” the Deputy Prime Minister recalled.
He told reporters that after that call, any individual approved the event.
“We want to know who’s that any individual and under what circumstances they approved it,” the Minister asserted.
“What assurances got to that individual to make that call?” Hilaire told reporters.
He also asked if someone overturned the choice, whether it was due to being misled.
Hilaire declared that the police have established that when someone promotes or signs songs glorifying violence, they are going to not be allowed to perform in Saint Lucia.
As well as, he questioned who authorised the person with the firearm to be on stage and whether the promotor informed the police.
In response to Hilaire, Saint Lucia’s creative space cannot have individuals with open-carry firearms on stage.
He disclosed that Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre, as Minister of National Security, would determine to seek out out what happened.
Hilaire said if a promotor misled the police, there could be a necessity for a serious discussion regarding that promoter’s role inside Saint Lucia’s creative space.
“To say to me because the promotors did, it was incident free – so what’s incident free? You mean there was no shoot-out, and subsequently, it was a hit?” Hilaire told reporters.
And he declared that somebody on stage with an open-carry firearm constitutes an incident.
“It was pointed at the group. What if people had rushed the stage what would have happened? Would you have got shot the group?”
“Why was it crucial for an open-carry firearm on stage?” Hilaire said.
He said any individual must account for that.
“The promotors who were involved on this could have to account,” Hilaire declared.
The event on Saturday on the Daren Sammy Cricket Grounds in Beausejour, Gros Islet, featured artistes including Jamaican Dance Hall performer Skillibeng, alongside Saint Lucia’s leading stars and Dennery Segment artistes like Ezra De Fun Machine, Hollywood HP, Cooyah Fyah and Sean.
Headline photo from social media.
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