Aug 15, 2008 News
Some residents in the community of the Jetty Squatting Area, Vreed-en-Hoop, West Coast Demerara, have bitterly complained about the treatment they have received at the hands of some police officers from the Brickdam Police Station.
A member of the Community Policing Group on the West Coast of Demerara, and also a resident of the area, told Kaieteur News that in the wee hours of August 9, 2008 (at approximately 3:30 am) close to 15 police officers visited Jetty Squatting Area and proceeded to ‘kick’ down the doors of the residents, searching their houses for guns and ammunition.
The speaker, who preferred to remain anonymous, explained that close to 18 persons were arrested from the village, including a 13-year-old girl, a 79-year-old woman and a 60-year-old man. On Wednesday, some of those arrested came to Kaieteur News and related their ordeal.
According to some of the women, when the officers came into their homes, they were asleep. The girls noted that the police officers made them change their clothing in their presence; there was no privacy.
The Community Policing Group member said that the officers acted without any professionalism and proceeded to do their job in a most haphazard manner.
“My grandchildren dem sleeping and if you see how they hold the guns over dem head,” a woman noted.
Those arrested have since been placed on $5,000 bail each and were told that they were arrested for robbery under arms.
According to the residents, to date they have not been told which robbery the y either committed or were allegedly involved in. Kaieteur News understands that the police officers are all stationed at the Brickdam Police Station.
Meanwhile, this newspaper was also informed by the residents that before this incident took place, some of the same police officers had visited the area on July 27, last, in search of a male, who the police officers said was wanted by the police in connection with a robbery.
However, according to the residents, three officers arrived in the area in a white car along with a female.
They then proceeded to the Jetty Squatting Area where they asked for the individual.
It was noted that the police did not show any identification to indicate that they were police officers and they were not sporting any police clothing.
When they tried to arrest the individual, they were stopped by the residents in the area. Kaieteur News was told that the officers then received a sound trashing from the residents there, simply because they did not believe that the visitors were police officers.
During the fight between the police officers and the residents, it was explained that one Jeanetta Glenn, who is five months pregnant, received a blow to the head from one of the police officers. According to Glenn, she had to receive five stitches.
When the situation was brought under control, it was confirmed at the Vreed-en-Hoop Police Station that the men were indeed police officers, who are all attached at the Brickdam Police Station.
The next day after that incident, several residents, including a member of the Community Policing Group on the West Coast of Demerara, were arrested and placed on $10,000 bail each. The residents are calling on the authorities to seriously look into the matter.
They said that they have been charged for something that they have no knowledge of. “We want justice. The police must stop harassing the people in Jetty area,” the residents pleaded.
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