Last update: 24-Apr-2014 12:29 am
Thursday, April 24, 2014
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Law student claims police abuse
Law student Patricia Ramsawak wants acting Police Commissioner Stephen Williams to investigate three officers from the Oropouche Police Station. She claims she and and her brothers were abused by the officers. Ramsawak, of St John’s Trace, South Oropouche, said she plans to file a complaint with Police Complaints Authority chairman Gillian Lucky and take legal action against the officers. This follows an incident on August 25, when a group of men attacked her brother Adesh while he sat in his Mitsubishi van at around 7 pm at St John’s.
Adesh said he was eating a burger when a young man started to heckle him. An argument ensued and the youth returned with a gang of men, all armed with cutlasses. The gang chopped up the front and back windscreens of Adesh’s van, as well as the bumper.
Adesh said he became fearful for his life and sped off. He drove to the Oropouche Police Station to make a complaint but the officers on duty told him they did not have a vehicle to go to the scene. They advised Adesh to return home and promised to take a statement. Hours later, Adesh and Ramsawak went to the station. However, the officers refused to leave to investigate the crime, saying they were busy and Ramsawak had to wait for a few days.
“My brother started to complain about how unhelpful the police were behaving. One officer (name called) told Adesh that he looking for lock-up. They said they will carry him in the back and give him a good licking,” Ramsawak said. After the threat, they left but returned the next day, only to be told that the investigator was not on duty so they had to come back in two days. For the next three weeks Adesh went to the station but none of the officers bothered with him.
“Whenever he went to the station they would say the investigator taking a rest, or he was out or that he was off duty. Nobody else wanted to take the report or arrest the assailants,” Ramsawak said. She said the men continued to issue death threats against her family. “They said they will burn down our house and our cars...They know they could get away with it because the police are unwilling to charge them,” she said.
She claimed that on Saturday when Adesh went to the station, one of the officers shoved him out of the building and told him not to come back. When she spoke on his behalf, Ramsawak said one of the officers made sexual advances to her. Contacted yesterday, the investigator said he could not lay charges unless Adesh brought in an estimate of the damage to the station. He said it was “highly unlikely” that the police shoved Adesh out of the station or was verbally abusive.
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