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Residents block road to protest police brutality

Residents block road to protest police brutality

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While residents of Kingstown and surrounding were on their way to the Victoria Park to attend the annual Independence military parade on October 27th, residents of the North Leeward village of Troumaca awoke to find that access to and from their village had been blocked.{{more}}

Old appliances, tree trunks and garbage were strewn across the road, causing traffic to back up on either side of the village towards Rose Bank and Couls Hill.

A source, who did not wish to be identified, told SEARCHLIGHT that the road was blocked to protest police brutality, which according to the source has been taking place in the area.

The source said that the night before the road was blocked, four men were taken off the block by members of the Rapid Response Unit (RRU) and allegedly beaten.

The road was cleared around 9:00 a.m. on Independence Day, when a truck with police officers from Kingstown, along with members of the RRU stationed at Chateaubelair carted away the old appliances and garbage that had been blocking the road. No arrests were made at the time.

According to information reaching Searchlight, some residents of the area have claimed that they are victims of brutality at the hands of members of the RRU stationed in Chateaubelair.

In mid-October, a third form student of the Petit Bordel Secondary School reported to Searchlight that he was picked up by a squad of RRU officers in front of Patel Matthews’ shop in Petit Bordel after he got into an altercation with a young woman. He said he was taken to Barrouallie, but was brought back only after Matthews, who is his uncle, called his mobile phone and asked to speak with the officers.

The youngster told SEARCHLIGHT that when they got to the Petit Bordel Bridge (about 200 yards from where he was picked up), one of the officers slapped him on the left side of his face. When they got to Barrouallie, he said the policemen asked him if he could walk home from there. It was a little while after that his uncle called. The youngster was taken to the doctor and a complaint was made to Police Public Relations Office.

A Petit Bordel man who resides in England said that after he used obscene language in Petit Bordel while he was intoxicated, he was taken to Dark View by the police and pistol-whipped. He said that after the beating, he bled out of both ears. A resident of Chateaubelair coming from Kingstown in a taxi is alleging that he was slapped several times by members of the RRU at Spring Village also in October.

When contacted, Deputy Commissioner Pompey said that he had no knowledge of these incidents of abuse and that if anyone has been abused by the police they should report the matter.

A meeting was to have taken place yesterday, Thursday November 6th at the Golden Grove Learning Resource Centre in Chateaubelair between top brass of the police force and members of the community to discuss police/community relations among other issues.