A father and son of Number Nought (#54) Village, Corentyne, are alleging brutality and wrongful arrest by members of the Guyana Police Force stationed at the Number 51 Police Station.
According to Gurdat Ernest, while coming from work on the rice field in the backlands last Monday morning, he was stopped by a traffic rank, who demanded that Ernest present his vehicle documents. At the time he was riding a motorcycle.
Ernest, who was not wearing a helmet at the time, could not have produced the documents but vouched to do so and to report to the Number 51 Police Station shortly after he could have gone home and had breakfast.
The officer then left the scene and Ernest went home.
The following evening about 19:30hrs, a police rank (name given) approached him at his home and allegedly demanded his arrest. “He say ‘I come arrest you’. The man run and snatch me by me neck so and start dash cuff on me,” Ernest said.
He alleged that the rank pulled off his 14-carat gold chain. Ernest’s father, Chatram Ernest, said that he arrived home while the police rank was punching his son. The father then tried to reprimand the officer by telling him that he could not be abusing his son in that manner, especially if the boy had promised to visit the police station.
They said that after the officer left the scene, he apparently made a report at the station that the Ernest men beat him up that evening.
Shortly after, four Tactical Services Unit (TSU) ranks pounced on the scene. Neighbours then ran to Ernest’s assistance.
The man’s father has accused the TSU ranks of hitting him on his face. The TSU ranks were also accused of accosting three of Gurdat’s neighbours who had turned up to helop he family. They put the three, along with father and his son in the police vehicle.
All were incarcerated that evening at the Number 51 Police lock- ups.
“Them pick them up just like this. The next black clothes come and ‘chuck’ them up and carried them in the jeep,” the father stated.
At the station, they were made to sign their names after which they were put into a cell. Ernest’s father had requested a medical since he was in pain from the blows he received. The victims said that this request along with a request for painkillers was allegedly refused.
He has since been seen at the Port Mourant Hospital and had an x-ray done on the eyes. The results will be known on Monday.
All of the men were put on a combined $100,000 bail and subsequently released on Thursday. They have to appear in court on Wednesday, March 30.
The neighbours who were arrested shortly after they went across to see what was happening in the Ernests’ yard, have called their arrest unfair. “We ain’t do nothing. The three of us gotta go in there and spend time in lock up for nothing. We just walk out from the road.
“The next boy just hear the noise and come out and asked what happened. As soon as he asked what happened, the man tore his shirt off and pushed him in the jeep,” said Youvraj Seelall.
Gurdat’s father said that he was deprived of medical attention, especially for his eyes which were hit, causing him to lose sight in the left eye. The men refuted allegations that they were involved in a scuffle with the police rank who visited the home on Monday evening and are calling for an investigation into alleged police brutality.
Efforts to contact the Station Sergeant and the officer in question in this matter on Friday proved futile.
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