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POLICE BLOWS IN CANOUAN

POLICE BLOWS IN CANOUAN

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Yet another report of police brutality has come out of the Grenadine Island of Canouan.
This time, 21-year-old Obadiah Patrick has made reports that last Monday after J’ouvert celebrations on that island, he was taken to the police station where three police officers took turns beating him with a piece of rubber and a cutlass.{{more}}Patrick told SEARCHLIGHT that while one of the officers wielded the cutlass, he received a wound on his hand causing an injury that took five stitches. When Patrick visited SEARCHLIGHT last Wednesday, his hand was wrapped in a bandage and supported by a sling placed around his neck.
According to Patrick, last Monday he and his brother Sheldon Bynoe were on their way to the beach with their girlfriends following the j’ouvert jump-up when they were approached by officers with guns asking for a cutlass.
Patrick said they were driven to the police station and taken to a room where the officers beat him.
“One was beating me and then all of a sudden I see blood fly on the ground. When I watched my hand I see it get chop,” said Patrick.
He said that he then went into the yard of the police station where he was given a black bag by one of the officers. He put the bag over his hand and was told, “don’t blood up the place”, by the officer who then fetched a bucket of water to wash away the blood.
Patrick recalls being driven to the clinic a little after 9 a.m. where a nurse dressed the wound. He was taken back to the station but was later freed by the officers without any charge being brought against him.
“I don’t feel good,” said Patrick, “I want justice.”
Patrick’s mother who described her son as a, “good son”, said that she is very disgusted by the way her son told her he was treated by the police.
When contacted, Assistant Superintendent of Police Artis Davis of the Police Public Relations and Complaints Department said that Patrick had reported the matter and the complaint was being investigated.
In another incident, Wena Roberts who works on Canouan claimed to have been beaten last week by police officers stationed on the island.
Roberts who has been a worker on Canouan for over a month, said that she was at a shop playing dominoes when the incident occurred.
She had commented that an officer was abusing his power when the blows came.
Roberts is seeking the help of Victor Cuffy, president of the Human Rights Association.
Assistant Superintendent Davis also acknowledged that his department was investigating this claim.
Over the last few months, members of the general public have complained about physical abuse by the police. In some instances, it has been alledged that members of the constabulary had beaten persons for no reason.
On May 29, Searchlight reporter Hawkins Nanton had his camera snatched by a policeman in Canouan after photographing a fracas between a dreadlocked man whom police officers were attempting to subdue.
Police officer Higharchy Mayers approached and snatched the reporter’s camera. Nanton’s camera was however returned after he went to the Canouan Police Station.

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