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Complainant claims police brutality

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A Chateaubelair sailor claims that he was slapped around by a police officer at the Central Police Station when he tried to make a report about a threat that had been made on his life.{{more}}

Reuben Cunningham came to SEARCHLIGHT earlier this week to report what is indeed a shocking story, which he swears to be true.

Cunningham, who is the cook aboard the vessel, Persia II, told SEARCHLIGHT that last Friday, November 21st, at around 6pm, the vessel docked at Port Kingstown and he disembarked and went into town.

“When I reached under Courts, a guy came out of a crowd and told me that he heard I was the key witness for Mars (Palmie), and I next to die,” Cunningham said.

Palmie Mars, a Vincentian, was shot and killed aboard the Persia II, in Trinidad, when bandits boarded the vessel at around 2 on the morning of October 23rd, 2008.

Cunningham told SEARCHLIGHT that he was indeed on board the vessel during the incident and was scared when the guy told him that.

“So I went to the police to make a report and I told them that I am a witness in the matter with Mars in Trinidad and a man just told me he going to kill me.”

He said that a police officer told him that St Vincent police had nothing to do with the murder in Trinidad, to which he responded: “but the man who said he go kill me is in St Vincent.”

“So I said if you don’t want to take my report, I know how to seek my rights,” Cunningham said. He said that when he said that, another police officer came and grabbed his hands and put them behind his back.

“So, all I said was, what you going to do, lock me up?” Cunningham claims.

He said that the police officer led him away, and he thought he was being locked up, only to be carried in the vicinity to the Fire Department where he said he was slapped.

“I fell down and he pick me up and slap me up,” said the father of one. He told SEARCHLIGHT that he made a report of the alleged abuse to the Police Public Relations and Complaint Department on Saturday, November 22.

SEARCHLIGHT contacted the Police Public Relations Department several times, but at press time could not confirm whether or not a report had been made by Cunningham, and if so, whether an investigation has been launched into what he alleges to have taken place. (KJ)