Calder youths allege police brutality
Two young men from Calder are alleging that they were abused by police officers on patrol Thursday evening while in their village at Calder.
One of the young men, D
“And the man dem just start to beat me up right so for the scissors, and trim my hair and gimme slap,” Browne alleged. “He throw breadfruit ‘pon me and all. And the man
Another person, whose surname is Shallow, said three of them were chilling on the water tank in the area one Rickie Marks property near a road junction when three police vehicles approached (two painted white and one painted grey) with police officers dressed in Black Squad (Rapid Response Unit) uniform. He said that the police officers asked them what they were doing there and if they “done throw ‘way everything.” He said they told the police they did not have anything and that “we just ah rock back an ah breeze (they were just chilling).
Shallow said the police told them they did not want any block in the area and he told them that since they didn’t want any block
Shallow said that after the police officers jumped from the vehicles, one officer approached him, struck him in his chest and told him “go back so.” He said he told the officer he was searched already and that he was going home since they said they did not want any block in the area.
“So, when me going home now the man fire a kick after me. So when the man fire the kick after me and me done move from the kick, one done fire a kick after me again you know,” Shallow said, adding that he had to throw himself into some grass nearby to avoid the onslaught.
Shallow said he managed to come out of the bushes and as he emerged he heard a commotion and what sounded like slaps. He said that as he moved away he shouted, asking the police if it is “just so all yo ah beat up people.”
He said that at the road where the incident occurred villagers could not have seen them so easily so he decided to shout to alert villagers as to what was happening.
“When me start to mek noise other people start to come out and so they (police) end up beat up me soldier (colleague) and cut out he hair,” Shallow said.
Shallow alleged that the third person who was thaere was struck in his chest.
At least two of the police officers from the patrol have been identified.
The alleged abuse of the young men came just over one week when Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves at a press conference cautioned the police to be mindful how they deal with young men on the blocks.
The Prime Minister’s comment was a result of a meeting he held with a dozen young people from Diamond – a village in the South Windward constituency. He said the young persons made complaints during the meeting, some of which he said were “plausible allegations” against the police.
“We are training the police better than ever before. The policemen and women who are entering the police are more highly qualified in terms of their formal education, there are more police officers, there’s a better-equipped police force,” Dr. Gonsalves said.
On the matter of the kind of impact such unprofessional conduct could have, Prime Minister Gonsalves stated: “I wouldn’t like to see that the efforts which the police are making legitimately, the overwhelming majority of police – the police youth clubs, the pan against crime – that those are undermined by persons from the force who may engage in gratuitous violence or who may not sufficiently respect people’s persons and their property.” J