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Denzil Douglas: “Leon “Shabba” Powell, loyal to family, community, Police Force, country and the Movement”

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825/2018

By: Erasmus Williams

Basseterre, St. Kitts, September 18, 2018 – Police Sergeant Leon “Shabba” Powell shot to death in a daring robbery at his business place on August 18 2018 would have chosen life over death.

“That’s why I believe that if given the choice Leon would have chosen life full of its joys and happiness with his children and friends rather than death, especially such a brutal and criminal death,” Leader of the Opposition, the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas eulogised Powell at his funeral service with full military honours on Friday.

“We give thanks to the Almighty God for a life well-lived, though short, a life during which we have seen his patriotism, heroism, enterprise and self-development. And because his sojourn with us has had its ups and downs, joys and happiness, successes and failures, I find myself asking a number of questions which I am sure most of you are also asking. It is not that one is questioning God for his short life span but rather questioning ourselves for us to answer ourselves as we come to terms with the failings and failures of our society. And so a fundamental question that comes to mind is this – If Leon had a premonition of death, what choice do you think he would have made on the early morning of August 18 when he was brutally attacked?” he asked.

“I submit to you today that the answer lies in what has been his life’s journey on earth for the last 44 years, and his service and protection of our citizens as a first class officer.

Dr. Douglas said Leon enlisted as a recruit in the Royal St Christopher and Nevis Police Force in 1994 at the same time with his brother Kevin, after he had completed a successful secondary education at the Sandy Point High School (Charles E Mills Secondary). He had transferred from the Newton Ground Primary in 1986 and entered 1A3 but was soon discovered to be above average intelligence as he blazed a trail in 2A1, 3A1, 4A1 and 5A1.

“I’m told that when he completed his training in 1997 at the Police Academy he became No: 420 Constable Leon Dasent-Powell, Top Recruit, winning the Baton of Honour for his over
all excellent performance. Superintendent Isles, Insp Duncan, Sgt Sophia Henry, Sgt Wilson, Cpl Rennie Phipps and Royston Griffin of the Dept of Civil Aviation SKN are some of the men and women who trained with Leon and they all attest to his incredible capability and capacity to achieve stardom in the St Christopher and Nevis Police Force,” said Dr. Douglas.

The former prime minister noted that it was in 1997 that Leon, as an officer in the Special Services Unit (SSU) was transferred to the Strategic Intelligence Unit (SIU) and positioned as a member of the Prime Minister’s Detail as a VIP Protection Officer – during which time he became very acquainted with him.

“All that has been said about him from family and friends and colleagues I can attest to. Impeccably dressed; dark sun-glasses; soft spoken – Leon was a peculiar police officer, exuding personal confidence and charm and powers of persuasion, which he believed were necessary tools in carrying out his job as a police officer. In fact, he was highly respected as an officer, never abusing his power.

It was recalled that there was a wanted man who was seen in Newton Ground and everyone was afraid to approach him.

“Sgt Leon Powell approached him and using his powers of persuasion was able to convince the wanted-man to accompany him to the Sandy Point Police Station. What then do you think was in his mind when he realized that his patrons were being robbed and he himself was the subject of an attack? Do you think his reaction of defiant service was instinctive as a trained police officer? Do you think he believed that his powers of persuasion rather than using his service revolver could have arrested the situation and neutralise his attackers? Leon loved life and would have never chosen death over life. Let it never be that Leon’s death was in vain, because there are so many lessons that we as civilians and police officers can learn from the circumstances of his death,” the former Prime Minister told the hundreds gathered at the Newton Ground Recreation Ground as rain poured.

Dr. Douglas said Leon “Shabba” Powell was loyal to his family, his community, his Police Force, his country and the Movement to which he supported.

“It was his boundless energy, Organizational skills and Noteworthiness as an ambitious entrepreneur that drove him to build a small conglomerate of businesses including Food Crop and Livestock Farming, Real Estate, Stone Cutting and General Construction, Sports Bar and Grill (Poor Man Pocket Bar), and Public Transport – all pursued legally and not on government’s time,” Dr. Douglas pointed out.

“L – Loyal E – Energetic O – Organized N – Noteworthy. And so, going back to the question I asked earlier, with his life outlined before us this afternoon, Leon would have chosen life because before him there were boundless opportunities, but alas his life has been snuffed out, so soon, so short, so tragic,” said Dr. Douglas.

The late Leon “Shabba” Powell enlisted as a recruit in the Royal St Christopher and Nevis Police Force in 1994 at the same time with his brother Kevin, after he had completed a successful secondary education at the Sandy Point High School (Charles E Mills Secondary). He had transferred from the Newton Ground Primary in 1986 and entered 1A3 but was soon discovered to be above average intelligence as he blazed a trail in 2A1, 3A1, 4A1 and 5A1.

“I’m told that when he completed his training in 1997 at the Police Academy he became No: 420 Constable Leon Dasent-Powell, Top Recruit, winning the Baton of Honour for his overall excellent performance. Superintendent Isles, Insp. Duncan, Sgt. Sophia Henry, Sgt. Wilson, Cpl. Rennie Phipps and Royston Griffin of the Department of Civil Aviation, are some of the men and women who trained with Leon and they all attest to his incredible capability and capacity to achieve stardom in the St Christopher and Nevis Police Force. It was in 1997 that Leon, as an officer in the Special Services Unit (SSU) was transferred to the Strategic Intelligence Unit (SIU) and positioned as a member of the Prime Minister’s Detail as a VIP Protection Officer – during which time Dr. Douglas became very acquainted with him.

“All that has been said about him from family and friends and colleagues I can attest to. Impeccably dressed; dark sun-glasses; soft spoken – Leon was a peculiar police officer, exuding personal confidence and charm and powers of persuasion, which he believed were necessary tools in carrying out his job as a police officer. In fact, he was highly respected as an officer, never abusing his power,” noted Dr. Douglas.

It was recalled that there was a wanted man who was seen in Newton Ground and everyone was afraid to approach him.

Sgt. Leon Powell approached him and using his powers of persuasion was able to convince the wanted-man to accompany him to the Sandy Point Police Station. What then do you think was in his mind when he realized that his patrons were being robbed and he himself was the subject of an attack? Do you think his reaction of defiant service was instinctive as a trained police officer? Do you think he believed that his powers of persuasion rather than using his service revolver could have arrested the situation and neutralise his attackers? Leon loved life and would have never chosen death over life. Let it never be that Leon’s death was in vain, because there are so many lessons that we as civilians and police officers can learn from the circumstances of his death,” said Dr. Douglas.

“Leon “Shabba” Powell was Loyal to his family, his community, his Police Force, his country and the Movement to which he supported. It was his boundless energy, Organizational skills and Noteworthiness as an ambitious entrepreneur that drove him to build a small conglomerate of businesses including Food Crop and Livestock Farming, Real Estate, Stone Cutting and General Construction, Sports Bar and Grill (Poor Man Pocket Bar), and Public Transport – all pursued legally and not on government’s time.

L – Loyal E – Energetic O – Organized N – Noteworthy. And so, going back to the question I asked earlier, with his life outlined before us this afternoon, Leon would have chosen life because before him there were boundless opportunities, but alas his life has been snuffed out, so soon, so short, so tragic.

“We will surely miss him….especially his children Tahj, at the prime of his manhood, would now grow up without his father and more dependent upon Dahlia, his mom…My heart goes out to his 3 year-old son and 8 year-old princess who would have the misfortune of not having their dad when they would have completed primary and secondary schools. No dad to hug them, and congratulate them on their achievements in life. Let us pray for Giselle, let us pray for Judia as they all come to terms with the finality of death and permanent separation.

As you the family members – his dad and stepmother, and other siblings; friends; Commissioner of Police Queeley, the High Command and officers of the Royal St Christopher and Nevis Police Force, especially those who trained and worked with him, experience the various stages of grief may you be guided and protected by the mighty hand of God and live with the hope that this is not your final farewell.

May the soul of Sgt Leon Eric Dasent-Powell, affectionately known as “Shabba” rest in peace eternal.”

Powell was buried on the grounds of the St. Paul’s Methodist Church. As the body arrived the skies opened up and as darkness fell and his body was fully interred with full military honours, former Prime Minister Dr. Denzil L. Douglas was the only highest official present to lay the wreath of the grave of one who protected him during his service as Head of Government.

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This article was posted in its entirety as received by SKN PULSE. This media house does not correct any spelling or grammatical errors within press releases and (or) commentaries. The views contained within are not necessarily those of SKN PULSE.

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