Although the Executive of the Police Association had expressed concern over the plethora of incidents and infractions that have been allegedly committed by members of the Guyana Police Force, police brutality remains a main concern of society.
Another incident of police brutality transpired yesterday, and on this occasion at Thomas Street, Kitty.
According to residents of Thomas Street, Kitty, 58-year-old Claude Bristol, the driver of HB 6105 which is registered to ‘Kitty Cabs’ was assaulted by policemen who had trailed him on motorcycles.
According to the owner of the taxi, Zora Marques, the taxi left yesterday to carry her husband to the Stabroek Market Park. While the driver of the taxi (Claude Bristol) was returning to the base he was stopped in the vicinity of Avenue of the Republic.
Ms Marques explained that she learnt that “in the vicinity of Avenue of the Republic, I don’t know if he jumped the major road or what he did I was not there, but what I do know is that when he (the driver) was coming through the street (Thomas Street, Kitty) I saw the car coming and three police officers coming on motorcycle behind the car, one was a traffic police and two black clothes.”
She further said that when the driver parked the car a few feet away from her home, she peer through the window and “saw the car stopped and the next thing I knew is they (police) pulled the man out of the car and telling him don’t move and one of them was pointing to him with a gun, then another office started to chuck him up and slap him up, and pull him out, and throw him on the car and put his hands in his pocket.”
Adding that residents started to gather outside their houses and voicing their disapproval, Marques said residents then enquired why the police were assaulting the man.
“I then run out on the road and ask what ya’ll beating the man for? They (police) said I must shut my mouth and go back inside. They ask who I am and I told them that I own the car and the man is my driver and I want to know what he did,” Ms Marques said.
She said that the police then started assaulting the driver and forced him to the car trunk where they (police) proceeded to search.
The distressed woman then explained that the driver of her vehicle is hypertensive and was in a state of shock and could not have even spoken after the policemen had traumatized him from the confrontational arrest.
After the arrest Ms Marques said that she enquired from the policemen where they would be taking the driver. She said the police then told her the driver would be taken to Kitty Police Station. However, this was not the case when checks were made. She then found the driver at the Brickdam Police Station.
Upon arrival at the station, Ms Marques noted that the driver was so terrified and nervous that he could not have explained the events that had transpired.
“He was so nervous and weak that he was trembling, and they place him in the lock-ups.” Marques said.
After enquires were made to the police on what was the reason for Claude Bristol’s arrested, Ms Marques said that she was told by the police that the driver drove away from the police.
“Now, the car the man is driving has a logo sign and a big number plate and he is an elderly man that don’t drive fast. If they knew he had driven away from them they (police) should have taken the number plate and logo and go to the service (Kitty Cabs). Why is it they have to come and beat the man up here?” Ms Marques questioned.
Other residents in the area collectively agreed that the treatment meted out by the police to the driver was senseless and uncalled for, and the police should receive training in professional responsibility since citizens would in turn have little respect for policemen if any.
“When I come out I see one of the policemen pointing a gun at the man face, and another one slapping the man up. So I start holler and ask why ya’ll slapping the man up for? I tell them is a big man and the man could be ya’ll father. And I ask ‘why ya’ll harassing the big man so’ and if the man do something wrong he should go to the station,” one female resident said.
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