Last update: 05-Dec-2013 3:57 pm
Thursday, December 05, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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PCA probes cop for wrongful arrest
A Barataria police constable is being investigated by the Police Complaints Authority (PCA) for the alleged wrongful arrest and malicious prosecution of five men last year. The PCA wrote to the complainant, Kareem Henry, saying the matter was currently being investigated, as it fell within the PCA’s remit under Chapter 15:05 of the PCA Act. On July 18, 2012, Henry, his brother Felix Alexis, colleagues Fedel Benjamin and Dexter Williams were arrested by Barataria police for larceny and malicious damage. The complaint was filed yesterday at the PCA’s headquarters at the International Waterfront Centre, Port-of-Spain, after the case against Henry and the others was dismissed at the Port-of-Spain Magistrates Court.
The evidence claimed that around 2.45 am on July 18, 2012, the accused policeman was on inquiries when he went to the corner of Sixth Street and Jogie Road, Barataria, and saw five men emerging from a parked a black Nissan Frontier. He became suspicious and approached the men, who ran away. They were caught a short distance away and an assortment of car keys was found on them. Police then took the arrested men to Ambrose Guevarro, who had reported that his vehicle had been broken into and more than $19,000 in tools and musical equipment stolen.
However, this statement differs from an extract of the station diary, which says the accused officer saw the suspects removing musical equipment from the van. It also said after capturing one of the suspects on the Priority Bus Route, the police then found the others on Boundary Road, San Juan. Speaking to the Guardian yesterday, Henry said the evidence presented before the court was false.
He said the men were arrested and kept in jail for seven days before being charged and were not allowed to make a phone call. He explained that he, Alexis, Benjamin and Williams were working at a construction site at Don Miguel Road, Barataria, with Raydaz Construction when, around 11.30 pm, they decided to get a meal at KFC. Henry said he left four minutes later than his colleagues and when he caught up, he saw them lying on the ground with two policemen standing over them. He said when his brother called out to him, one of the police asked if he knew the men and he replied that they were all working at the construction site. “I was told to keep walking by the officer. I walked off but returned to them shortly after because I was concerned for my brother. When I returned I was also told to lie on the ground and then we were all beaten. “Felix got the worst beating as he was hit multiple times on his head and face with the butt of a gun. We were arrested and taken the Barataria Police Station in separate police vehicles. “We were not given a phone call and when the contractor came to the police station, he was told that we were not there. Five of us were kept for seven days without medical attention before we were taken to court,” Henry said. He added that they were going to file a malicious prosecution lawsuit against the officer at the Hall of Justice.
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