Almost three years after he was allegedly beaten, robbed and falsely imprisoned by police in 2013, a Siparia groundsman is calling on the hierarchy of the T&T Police Service to take action against four South Western Division officers.
Andrew Edmond filed a statement with the Police Complaints Division (PCD) of the Police Service on December 30, last year, and plans to make a complaint to the Police Complaints Authority (PCA) soon, saying that he must get back the $50,800 that was allegedly stolen from him when he was arrested in 2008.
Edmond, 31, of Siparia believes it was a case of victimisation as his family won a High Court matter against the State in 2008 after police assaulted them while playing cricket near their home on April 5, 2001.
In the report to the Police Service, Edmond, who works with the Ministry of Education, said he hired a PH taxi in Palo Seco to take him to Point Fortin Licensing Office to sit his driver's licence examination.
Confident that he would succeed, he said he withdrew $50,000 from the bank, which he earned through compensation from the 2008 matter. He said that money was to buy a used car he had already checked out.
While returning home, he said the driver passed through Petrotrin's field road and tried to rob him. He said he defended himself, and the driver fled. He said he drove towards Santa Flora with the intention of making a police report but on nearing the main road, police apprehended him and assaulted him.
He said blood was dripping from his forehead, and it was only when the officers recognised who he was that they began to question him. He said he was taken to the Santa Flora Police Station where he was kept in a room. After a while, an officer came in with his bag, opened it and counted his money. He said it contained the $50,000, $800 in his wallet, a pair of shoes, birth paper and two cellphones.
After that, he was taken to the Point Fortin Police Station where he was locked up for six days before appearing in the Point Fortin Magistrates Court.
"The matter went before the court and I got bail. On the first and second hearing, the policeman who carried me to Point Fortin did not show up.
The case was dismissed and the driver who tried to rob me never appeared in court. They realised it was not me to charge, it was the driver they were supposed to lock up. He tried to rob me, but it came like the police robbed me too because up to now I have not got back my money," Edmond said.
He said he used to train to be a boxer but the injuries from the 2001 assault ruined his chances. He said the 2013 beating has left him dependent on medication.
?In the 2008 lawsuit brought by Edmond's father, Owen Edmond and brother Marvin Marino Edmond, acting High court Judge David Alexander found the State liable for assault and battery. However, he dismissed the Edmonds' claim of false imprisonment, saying that the officer were acting under law to apprehend him on the suspicion or prevention of a crime being committed.
On April 5, 2001, Edmond and his brother left home to play cricket on a side road off the Siparia Railway Road. During the game, a fight broke out among some school children who were looking at the game. A short time after, four officers arrived at the scene and the boys playing cricket ran away, they were chased and held by the police.
They said a police officer chased them with a gun in his hand and as they ran into some bushes, the officer told them to lie on the ground and they laid in a line. The officer then put away his gun, withdrew a baton and assaulted the boys, beating and kicking Edmond severely.