The mother of an accused man is threatening to take legal action against the Royal Barbados Police Force for mistreating her son.
An emotional Suzanne Gaskin, whose 23-year-old son Rico Coco Gaskin is accused of assaulting two lawmen last week during a police chase at Farnums Land, Chapman Lane, St Michael, told Barbados TODAY she has the video evidence to support her case.
Her son –– a former Junior Calypso Monarch –– was charged over the weekend with two counts of endangering life, two counts of assault and one count of criminal damage.
When the Lowthers Hill, St Patricks resident appeared in the District “A” Magistrates’ Court today, he was remanded to prison until February 9.
“It is hurting like it never hurt before,” Gaskin said of the treatment she said was meted out to her son by lawmen.
“If I, Suzanne Gaskin, have to spend my last cent, I have to get something called justice in Barbados, I have to. If it takes me until I’m grey and bending I am going to the end. He is a human being. Rico was not dragged up, Rico was brought up and [they] cannot expect to treat human beings like them treat Rico. No, it would not end here!”
A distraught Gaskin said she also feared that her son could die in prison from a gunshot wound to his shoulder which he sustained during the incident with police – a fear echoed by other Chapman Lane residents.
“What I am [fearful] about for Rico is going to prison with that bullet still in his shoulder and Rico still gets severe pain. There was a guy that went to prison a couple months ago with a bullet in his foot and he is dead. I do not want that to happen to my son,” she said.
Gaskin was referring to 21-year-old murder accused Renaco Callender, who died at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital on February 8, 2014.
Officials said Callender, who was accused of killing entertainer Irvin Fatman Weekes, died as a result of complications from colorectal cancer, but the family insisted it was caused by an untreated bullet wound to his left leg.
Yesterday, residents of Chapman Lane showed Barbados TODAY various areas that had been damaged by bullets during last week’s police chase in which Gaskin was shot. They have complained that police officers endangered the lives of their children who were playing in the neighbourhood when they discharged their firearms.
The residents continued to demand justice and accused police of targeting young men in their community.
When asked to respond to the allegations, police public relations officer Acting Assistant Superintendent David Welch would only say: “There’s an ongoing internal investigation into the sentiments expressed by persons into the matter so I cannot, at this time, comment anymore on the situation.”