Latest update June 2nd, 2023 12:49 AM
Mar 15, 2017 News
…further inquiries needed to determine whether it was a hate crime
The Office of Professional Responsibility is the department being tasked with conducting investigations into the wrongful beating of Dameion Gordon and Vernon Beckles at Canal #1 Polder, West Bank Demerara on Sunday night.
The two men, who were brutally beaten and accused of being thieves, based on their ethnicity, today met with Divisional Commander, Leslie James. Gordon, who is currently pursuing a degree in Business, and Beckles, a construction worker, were promised that a thorough investigation would be carried out.
James said that the police are currently conducting interviews to sniff out the suspects. The two victims had told Kaieteur News that after several minutes of severe beating, they were handcuffed by members of the Community Policing Group, who allowed the residents to continue their assault on them.
Commander James said last evening that investigations have so far revealed that the vehicle that was believed to have been that of the policing group was actually not.
Gordon and Beckles told Kaieteur News on Monday, that the journey to Canal No. 1 Polder, West Bank Demerara was based on an invitation from a friend.
“We did drinking in Alberttown, and then one ah we partner, who is a soldier, come and seh how he got a li’l session on the 17th (of April), and that we should come…We ain’t too familiar with the place, so he seh lew we mek a quick dash over and he gon show we is where, so that when the time come, we gon know how to find the place,” Beckles told Kaieteur News.
He explained that after they had seen the location for the “session,” the group of friends decided to
continue their enjoyment by having a drink at a “bottom house rum shop” further down Canal No. 1 road. This was sometime around 21:00hrs.
“We come out of the car, and the friend who live in the area, start leading the way with his wife, he brother-in-law and another friend. Me, and Dameion went following them from behind. Next thing I know, some guys rushing up to we saying that me and Dameion thief their car mirrors.”
The car they were referring to, Beckles recalled, was parked a short distance away from the drinking spot where he and his friends were headed.
“Somebody said how they see we trying fuh take off the mirrors…Then somebody else seh how they find the mirror in the car we were in, which is the soldier boy’s car. Then another person seh how the mirror was found next to the car that they said it get thief from, so I really don’t know wha is the truth, and wha really they trying fuh seh,” Beckles said.
He explained that after being aggressively accused of being thieves, he and his friend, Gordon instinctively put up a defence, which subsequently resulted in a scuffle. The men were then pounced on by a group of residents, who began hurling racial insults at them.
“They telling we that we had to be thieves because we were black and so. Them things just ain’t right man,” Gordon said.
Commander James said that further inquiries would be able to determine whether the case is a hate crime.
The men, nonetheless, recalled being thrown into the canal, handcuffed and beaten even more savagely. All the while, the men said that the friends they were with began attempting to reason with the angry attackers.
“The military friend and the other boy just keep telling them to leave we alone, that we don’t thief and that we’re their friends and so, but they didn’t listen…Them men just kept hitting at we,” Gordon said.
The men believe that they were made to suffer racism at its highest, and are appealing for justice.
The two men also complained of being treated like hardcore criminals by police officers who didn’t know who they were, and more importantly, had no evidence of the claims made by the Canal No. 1 Polder residents.
Commander James assured that this too is being investigated to determine whether protocol was followed when the arrests were made.
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