Eight police officers are to face prosecution for allegedly beating, spitting upon and electrocuting a man in their custody late last month.
Sergeants Darby Griffith and Feliston Gilkes, as well as police constables Dave Griffith, Jason Leacock, Neal Grogan, Christopher Alleyne, Dave Rock and Sherry-Ann Watkins, are due to appear in the Holetown Magistrate’s Court on Monday, October 2, 2017 to answer the charge of assaulting and occasioning actual bodily harm to Rasheed King of 17 Husbands Crescent, St James, on July 1, 2017.
Queens Counsel Andrew Pilgrim and his associate Kamisha Benjamin filed private prosecution against the officers at Holetown Court on Monday.
King, who was taken into custody on June 30, 2017 and charged with handling a stolen motorcar belonging to Allison Benny-Lodge, was brought before Magistrate Wanda Blair in the Holetown Court on July 3, 2017 and released on $7,000 bail. However, it was during his short stay in police custody that King is claiming he suffered unimaginable torture.
Benjamin told Barbados TODAY her client’s alleged abuse came about as a result of a refusal to speak without his attorney present. She also revealed that a letter outlining the complaint had been sent to Acting Police Commissioner Tyrone Griffith, but said to date no response had been received.
The allegations range from verbal to physical abuse, with King alleging that at one point a plastic bag was placed over his head and a finger forced into his right eye.
His attorneys have also released pictures of the injuries their client allegedly suffered during the episode in which King further claimed that water was poured about his body and he was shocked with an extension cord that was plugged into an outlet with the naked wires.
Benjamin also told Barbados TODAY her client’s doctor had confirmed that he suffered nerve damage as a result of electrocution.
Just last week, three other members of the Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF), one of whom was allegedly caught on camera kicking a civilian who was lying on ground during an event at Pirate’s Cove, were slapped with charges in connection with a separate incident.
Police Constable 1958 Bradley Cutting, Police Constable 1890 Justin Phillips and Police Constable 2099 Akeel Grant will appear in court on September 14, 2017 to answer charges of assault occasioning actual bodily harm in connection with the June 18 incident.
Pilgrim also filed the charges in that case in which 26-year-old Dario Rico Stanton of Hart’s Gap, Christ Church and 22-year-old Romario Mitchell Quintyne of 122 Cordia Drive, Warners Park, Christ Church are alleging that they were the victims of police brutality with a video making the rounds on social media showing what appeared to be a police officer brandishing a weapon and literally kicking a man while he was down.
The two recent incidents have reawakened concerns about the treatment of civilians in lawful custody. However, all that the Acting Police Commissioner would say at this stage is that the reported matters are under investigation.