Police accused of violating human rights
By Leroy Smith
Winston James, an 18-year-old of Freeman Street, East La Penitence, Georgetown, is claiming that he was detained by the police for more than 72 hours during which period he was denied a phone call, threatened by ranks that he would be shot, beaten to the head with a gun, and kicked about the body.
Speaking with the News Room this morning, (Tuesday, April 02, 2017), the young man explained that he and another young man with whom he had an old feud, had a second misunderstanding recently. He said that during that dispute, the other young man picked up a cutlass with the intention of harming him, and he wrestled the weapon from the young man and then collected a piece of wood and dealt him several lashes. The incident occurred on April 25, 2017.
The young man then made a report to the police that James had assaulted him and also forced his hands into his pocket and stole €200 during the process.
The police then went in search of James and after being unable to locate him, told a relative of James that he was needed at the Police Station.
James reportedly turned himself into the police, and he was promptly arrested and told of the allegations being made against him.
According to the teenager, on Saturday (April 29, 2017), a police unshackled him and told him to run, and he did just that, thinking that he was free.
It would turn out that while running, the police give chase behind him and also began firing shots behind him all of which missed. The teen said he sought refuge at the back of the market and the police rank who was giving chase apprehended him and began hitting him about the body with a gun.
James said that another Officer also started kicking him as he lay on the ground. When they were finished, they picked him up, took him back to the East Ruimveldt Outpost where they had detained him for five days.
He recalled that as he was being taken back to the station, another rank told him that he should not have been coming back to the police outpost alive. By that time, persons who saw what took place, informed his family and they showed up at the police outpost where they demanded that he be taken for medical attention; something the police initially hesitated to do according to the young man.
After being shackled and bleeding from the head, it was decided that he be taken to the hospital. The Family took James to the Hospital with a taxi, accompanied by the same rank who reportedly assaulted him.
The New Room was told by the teenager and another relative that it was while there that the police began begging the doctor for a moment alone away from the injured young man and the doctor reportedly refused, stating that he was busy tending to the patient.
The rank also reportedly told the doctors that the young man fell. However, the doctor informed that the injuries to the young man’s head were consistent with being struck and not a fall.
The injured young man and his relatives reportedly sought to make a report to the Police Office of Professional Responsibility, and they were not accepted as the officers there told them that their complaint would be entertained after the police involved would have submitted their statement on the matter.
The lacerations to the young’s body have been causing him headaches and other complications occasionally.