Antigua – Duo allege police brutality
ST JOHN’S –– Two men have accused members of the Royal Police Force of Antigua & Barbuda of committing acts of physical abuse and brutality against them in recent days.
The alleged victims are 21-year-old Akeem Henry and Brent Simon, 38.
Henry told the Observer that police picked him around midday of Monday, last week, while he was on his way to purchase lunch for his younger brother who attends Greenbay Primary School.
He said he was travelling in a friend’s white Toyota Vista motorcar when three officers stopped them and took them into custody. Henry said the police then picked up a third youth in the Donovans area.
Then, according to Henry, the officers, two of whom he identified by their names, took them to an abandoned property in Donovans where the alleged brutality started.
“They started beating us, shocking us with the taser. They pulled down one guy’s pants and beat him on his bottom . . . ; they questioned us about why we’re hiding the guy [former wanted man Anson Farrell], and they started slapping us and beating us with a big stick,” Henry recounted.
The young man said the police officers had them handcuffed and blindfolded throughout the incident. He showed the Observer injuries to his hands and other parts of his body, which he said he sustained during the attack.
In addition to being beaten with a piece of wood, the youth said he was also struck with a pipe and the officers threatened to dump them in a barrel that was in the abandoned house, and roll it down the hill.
The Observer was shown the abandoned house where the incident allegedly occurred. A piece of PVC pipe and pieces of wood, as well as a barrel were inside.
Henry said he had never been in trouble with the law before and was unaware why he was being treated in that manner. He said the police took him to the St John’s Police Station around 4 p.m. and kept him there overnight.