(CMC) – Three policemen in St Vincent who were allegedly involved in the beating of a 10-year-old boy at a police station last Sunday have been suspended from duty.
A statement from the Police Public Relations and Complaint Department said the corporal and two constables have been suspended on half pay pending the outcome of the investigation into the allegation.
It said that the policemen were suspended by acting Commissioner of Police, Enville Williams, as the authorities urged witnesses to come forward and assist the probe.
On Sunday, a woman, who identified herself as Rosita Phillips, appeared in a Facebook live video saying she was outside the Stubbs Police Station and that her 10-year-old son was locked up after it was alleged that he had gone into someone’s yard and taken their bike.
She said she went to the police station to find out what was going on and the policemen released the child to her and told her they would investigate the matter.
Phillips said that when she was in the yard of the police station, the child told her that his back was hurting.
“Two police officers beat my child. If you see the bruise and dem in ye back and all thing,” she said, speaking in the Vincentian vernacular, adding “I calling on authority who listening to me now and who seeing this. I don’t satisfy. If you see the condition of my child’s back”.
The child’s back, which was later shown in the video, appeared to have marks on it and he appeared to be bleeding slightly in one area.
“I want to know if they lock up my child,” she said, questioning also why as the guardian, she was not informed of the situation by the police.
She also said the child should have been questioned in her presence.
In an earlier statement, the police said the allegations of abuse and misbehaviour by police officers towards a minor had been drawn to the attention of the acting Commissioner of Police and other senior-ranking police officers.
“While the allegations are painful to listen to, we must strive to be fair to all parties involved. We, however, wish to reiterate that the police force is an organisation that does not operate outside of the laws of St Vincent and the Grenadines and no officer will be tolerated if he or she chooses to do so,” the statement said.
“Police abuse and allegations of police abuse are not policies of the RSVGPF. Any police officer who is found culpable for such allegations will be dealt with in accordance with the law,” the statement said.