Donated riot gears from PBSO used on anti-government protests

Since 2015 began and news of the continued delay in elections meant that parliament would be dissolved and the nation's head, President Michel Martelly, would be free to rule by presidential decree, the atmosphere has been tense and the streets peppered with coordinated demonstrations put on by the opposition. Added to that catalyst is the government's recent adjustment to the fuel prices, which saw the public incurring more cost as the government shed some of its bills accrued from subsidizing the gas prices. The unrest caused by these two events, which both lead to the public's dissatisfaction with the ruling administration, led to sometimes violent and fiery protests, which warranted the national police to better arm themselves.


With the assistance of the Palm Beach Sheriff's Office (PBSO), which has been outfitting them since 2010, the Haitian National Police has been using top-grade riot gear against the protesters. In their confrontation with the public, the police have had to launch tear gas canisters and do so outfitted with the gas masks originally donated to them by the PBSO in 2010. The crowd control gear that was also given to the country by the PBSO has, however, seen the most traction in the past two months, as the tension has escalated. The news coverage from international media houses has reported the use of rubber bullets and tear gas against stone-throwing, car and tire-burning protesters.

Neither party has admitted just how much assistance the Haitian police has received from the Palm Beach Sheriff's Office, but recently, leaders of the latter group were visited by the former as a thank you for the service being offered to them in the country's trying time.

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