A police officer who reportedly beat a youth whom he met in his (the youth’s) sister’s yard in Rillan Hill last week Sunday, June 3 has come to realise that the student is a police officer’s son.
iWitness News understands that the Questelles Police Station is looking into the report that a police officer took the 16-year-old Form 4 student from his sister’s property at Rillan Hill and whipped him at the station.
The youth told iWitness News on Sunday that he was in the yard of his sister’s property sometime after 5 p.m., having gone to visit her because she had had a major seizure earlier that day.
The youth, who asked not to be identified because of the embarrassing experience, said he was about to return to his mother’s house to report on his older sister’s situation when a vehicle stopped at the side of the road.
He said there were three adult males in the vehicle, a pick-up truck, but none of them were dressed in police uniform nor did they identify themselves as police officers.
The youth said that the men in the vehicle asked him what he was doing at the property.
He said he told them that the property was his sister’s.
The young man who spoke to iWitness News in the Vincentian vernacular, said that during the conversation, he told the men, “Boy, tha’ is me sister place.”
In Vincentian dialect, the expression “boy” or “man” is sometimes used at the beginning of a sentence when one is addressing a male.
However, depending on the tone of the speaker and the age of the male to whom the expression is used, some persons might consider its use as disrespectful.
The youth told iWitness News that he might have used the expression more than once in the conversation with the men.
He said one of them grabbed him by the vest he was wearing and repeatedly banged his head against the vehicle.
“So when I call him boy, he must be [(apparently)] think that I’m rude,” the youth said, adding the police officer did not complain about his use of the expression.
He further said that the same police officer clouted him in the head and slapped him in the face then took him to the police station.
He said that by the time he got to the police station, dusk was approaching. .
“Then after, when he done beat me up, he say he would box me in me belly and all kind of things,” the youth told iWitness News.
He said that the other police officers referred to the man who had beaten him as “Peters”.
He said that at the police station, the officer threatened to throw him in the cell.
The youth said that after being at the station for some time, the officer called him outside and told him to apologise for calling him (the officer) “boy”.
He said that when he was about to leave the station, the officer who had abused him was saying something to him about going home.
The youth said a female police officer asked him if he had heard what the male office had said.
The youth said he did not answer twice, because he was displeased with the treatment meted out to him.
He said he later turned around and said, “I heard you.”
At that point, “Peters”, the male officer, took off his belt.
“He look up and said he ain’t care who watching. We been outside that time there. I been outside to apologise to him,” the youth told iWitness News, adding that the office then proceed to strike him with the belt twice each on his left and right side.
He said the officer again accused him of being rude.
The young man told iWitness News that he did not think what the police did to him was right, but was not sure what redress was available to him.
He said that when the police officers met him at his sister’s house, they did not try to verify that what he was telling them was true.
The young man said that his sister was so affected by the seizure that she was not aware of what the police were doing to him mere yards away.
Don’t think what the police did to him was right.
He said the police claim that they had visited the ill woman earlier.
The situation was brought to the attention of iWitness News by a resident of Rillan Hill and his wife whose house the youth often visits on evenings.
They said they found it strange that he had not visited until almost 9 p.m. that night.
However, the family also had another visitor, who did not leave until after 9 p.m.
After that visitor left, the youth then told the family what the police had done to him.
He further told them that a neighbour had met him crying in the street and advised him to tell the family what had happened.
The villager told iWitness News that he accompanied the youth back to the police station just before 10 p.m. the same night, where the officer in charge said that the junior against whom the allegation was made was not in.
The man visited the station again this past Sunday, where a senior rank promised to look into the allegation.
The allegation is a blot on the name of the Questelles Police Station, which won last year’s police award for best customer service.
Further, it runs contrary to the efforts of other officers at the station involved in the Police Youth Club, that has been doing a lot of positive work with young people in Questelles and its environs.