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South Rivers man says he was beaten by RRU officers

South Rivers man says he was beaten by RRU officers

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Family members of a man who was hospitalized over the weekend, after allegedly being beaten by members of the Rapid Response Unit (RRU) of the police are upset about how the police behaved during and after the arrest of the 31-year-old labourer.

According to reports, Duran Gerald was attending Carnival activities in South Rivers on Saturday around 9 p.m., when he was approached by members of the RRU, who were stationed in that area to keep the peace.

It is alleged that someone reported to the officers that Gerald had in his possession an unlicensed firearm. Gerald was surrounded by six policemen and searched, which is when, according to one of his family members, all hell broke loose.{{more}}

The female relative said that her cousin did not resist arrest, but was thrown on the ground after the search.

“…he was there and they come and arrest him with whatever he have. Nobody ain’t say dem not supposed to arrest him, but they beat him up, kick him in his face and burst his head,” said the angry young lady.

She said that what she witnessed happening to her cousin was horrible and criminal and she would like him to get some sort of justice.

“…They knock him out…I was wondering how he wasn’t moving, then they throw him in the vehicle and one of them sit on his head and all the others had their feet on him. Nobody couldn’t see him.

“Not because they arrest somebody you have to treat them so….That’s not the way you suppose to treat people,” said the South Rivers resident.

The young woman said that a woman from the area asked why they were dealing with Gerald that way and one of the police officers hit her in her face with his open hand.

“Just one slap in the girl face, plus when they pull out they knock down a little girl. She was there bawling for help and she said that she thought they would help her, but they didn’t,” recalled Gerald’s irate family member.

On Monday, Gerald, who was under police watch at the Male Surgical Ward of the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital (MCMH), said that he was in severe pain from the beating he received on Saturday night. He said that he was hospitalized with back, neck and head injuries that, in his thinking, could have been fatal.

“They asked to search me and I didn’t resist. I didn’t run, it didn’t make no sense run, because they did done surround me, but still one box me in my face and throw me on the ground. I try get up and they kick me up and one hold me foot and one hold me head and lift me up and throw me in the jeep,” recalled Gerald.

He added, “when I try get up, one kick me in my face and burst way my forehead and after that I black out and can’t remember nothing.”

Gerald said that when he came to, he estimated that he had been knocked out for about 20 minutes.

“…after I catch back self, they telling me them going kill me, because people been pelting bottles. They carry me where two other police dey and beat me with hose. I receive about 10 lashes with the hose and one took my shoes and beat me in my face and chest. Me side ah kill me right now, me neck and me back too,” said Gerald, who told SEARCHLIGHT that he has never been in trouble with the law before.

“Right now me feel real bad, because they threaten my life,” said Gerald, who revealed that he was told that after he leaves the hospital, he will be charged with possession of a firearm.

It is reported that villagers became upset with the manner in which the police were behaving and pelted the officers with a number of objects, including bottles. One of the officers discharged his firearm in the air in an unsuccessful effort to disperse the crowd.

“You don’t normally hear people pelting bottle after police like that, so how that happen you could know people who been dey been vex,” said someone who witnessed the incident.

A police officer PC588 Francois, stationed at the Male Surgical Ward, blocked Gerald from taking a photo with family members.

“Everybody move from here; this is my patient and as a matter of fact only two visitors at a time,” said the police officer.

When a family member asked him how come they were told by another officer that Gerald could have any number of visitors, he replied, “everybody do their work different and if you all don’t move I would charge alyo.”

The officer had approached from a sitting position some 30 feet away and was asked by a family member if he was guarding Gerald how come he was sitting so far away. (LC)

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