One of the topics that was also touched in the interview with Minister Elrington and Nuri Mohammed was the 2016 raid of the Ahmad Family homes, and how from since, it has led to a sense of anger and mistrust toward the police. Back in June 2016, the Ahmads were raided by the Special Branch, which was under the command of Senior Superintendent Marco Vidal. In that operation, the Special Branch rounded up 20 of the Ahmad Family members, searched 6 of their homes, and confiscated all their electronics devices.
One of the concerns that the family left with today and it was still not completely resolved is going back to their detention if you remember the entire Ahmad family was rudely picked up and detained for over 15 hours all of their personal electronic equipment taken, they’re homes searched and no, no up to today no explanation was given to the family. And the family spokesperson said today they are still waiting for the commissioner of police to say why did you raid our house, why did you take up 20 members of our family including pregnant women, grandmothers, grandfathers, why did you do that. And today all we got from the commissioner is that he is satisfied with what happened. That he, it happened under his knowledge. He’s acknowledge it happened but he could not even today explained to the family in fact why that happened. So I’m saying with all the good effort and I do not in any way question the genuine effort of Minister Elrington today. He spoke very passionately and very personally of his own experiences and he pointed out where from a legal stand point the actions from the police were unjustified and illegal but the family even though hearing that from the policy maker individuals, meaning those who are responsible of the implementation of that policy something still falls short. You don’t pick up twenty members of any family not just Muslim. No family should be picked up like that denied of their freedom and held for 15 hours, let go and there is no explanation.
Pick them up they are to have explained to them why they were being detained, they are to have allowed them to have access to a phone call so that they could phone their attorney’s and let them know what is happening so that attorneys can come to their assistance and to the extent that was denied them, to my mind that was wrong. There’s no two ways about it. You can’t have no excuse for holding people for 12 hours not explaining to them. Why you’re detaining them and not giving them a chance an opportunity to contact their legal advisers that was wrong but I went on to assure them that I will find out what transpired on that occasion. I will put it in writing to them what my understanding of it was, why they were. I will send a copy to whoever they tell me to do and I will copy to Brother Imam Nuri so that he can know as well. Let me tell you there is nothing that goes on in the police force that should be a secret. When it comes to dealing with people’s human rights you can’t have any secrets.