After last Wednesday’s chaotic scene in Wilkinson Road, Richmond Gap, St Michael, residents are once again claiming that they are being unfairly targeted by police.
This, after three persons were formally arrested and charged last weekend in connection with the July 9 dusturbance, in which two police officers were
Amid conflicting accounts from police and residents over what actually occurred, Barbados TODAY returned to Richmond Gap earlier today to be met by fresh complaints from residents who reported that lawmen had returned to the area twice since the incident to carry out raids.
Complaining about one specific officer, who he referred to by name, one resident, Jermaine Capone Harper said it appeared that the officer had a personal dislike for them.
“He unfairing we all the time because he don’t like we – just so. What happen is he does judge we for we past so when he see we, he just looking to harass we; slap yuh in yuh face, do a lot a lot of junk to you – unfair people,” he said.
He also said that last week’s disturbance came about as a result of a fire that destroyed five houses and damaged three others in the area. He explained that some men from the district had gone to the assistance of the fire victims. However, he alleged that the officer saw this and began to assault one of the “good samaritans”.
Twenty–two–year–old Shanniel Gunz Out Marshall said that villagers were so fearful of the officer that many have now become prisoners in their own homes. The young St Michael resident said they had repeatedly made complaints to the Police Complaints Department but in his opinion, those complaints have been met with contempt.
“There wasn’t always tension but there is a one man in the Black Rock [Police] station that always like he got something for somebody out here. We come out here and this man was smoking a cigerette, it ain’t no marijuana or nothing so, and just so he run down the little man. We complain for him. . . but nothing ain’t happen,” he said while appealing for assistance with the matter.
“We want assistance. We want he to see we and don’t see we. We don’t give trouble, but we feel threatened. We can’t walk ‘bout at night. He is a man who [sending threatening messages]; take out two bullets out he gun and he say, ‘when we search you, we gine find these on you’. A dem types of things he telling the man.
“He [ the officer] driving through looking for trouble. My aunt got real complaints for he [but] you can’t win nothing with the police out here because they class we up as criminals.
“We ain’t no criminals, we is hard working people. I is a assistant mason. We want to do better, but can’t because of this. We ain’t doing no crime. If we doing crime, well charge we, but we ain’t doing nothing we just out here living,” Marshall added.
However, Police Public Relations Officer Inspector David Welch told Barbados TODAY he was unaware of any such complaints of police brutality by residents in Wilkinson Road, Richmond Gap, therefore he said he could not speak to the allegations.
Welch assured, however, that once citizens made official complaints against police officers they were seriously investigated. He said persons could lodge their complaints to the Office of Professional Responsibility or the Police Complaints Authority, which is independent of the police.