Naked in the lockups: Frustrated mother of five bemoans police brutality
good? He use to beat me bad. He chop me up all in me head; it was bear licks. Me couldn’t tek it no mo and me went back by me mother with me children and he never use to mine dem children. When I summons he you know what he do? He went away to Suriname and me never hear back from he,” she shared.
“Right now is me alone. Me nah get no brother, nothing. Me mother live in de island but she can’t really help me because me sister, me only sister, sick and me mother does have nuff, nuff bills. I live in me mother house, but a still gaffo pay light bill and water bill and it hard pun me. I use to get public assistance but since me get dem two last children dem say how me gat man now so me can’t get no help. He don’t live with me. He does just visit, because he and dem big girls don’t get a long and me children dem come first,” she continued.
“Mom, leh me tell you something sometimes I does feel so frustrated that I could just drink poison. Mom you must call me back and talk to me. Right now me just want people to call me and talk to me. And mom, if anything wrong with me you must come and mek sure me children dem get put in a orphanage because me nah want dem live on the street,” she said, breaking down at this point into uncontrollable sobs.
I felt helpless, but I promised to call her; a promise I intend to keep.
I got the impression that she wanted the conversation to continue but I was so overwhelmed at that point I wanted it to end.
“Okay mom, I know you have to go but call me back right? You must call me…,” she pleaded through sobs.
Like the many women I encounter frequently I could not help but wonder what will become of Harry and her children as her situation sounded so desperate. There must be some system in place to assist struggling families like hers.
I have been informed that the police have since launched an investigation into this incident. Harry said two officers, who said they were from New Amsterdam, visited her home and took a statement from her, informing that they are investigating.
I was also informed that the police’s Standard Operation Procedure as it relates to persons in custody with suicidal tendencies is for ranks to remove all of their clothing. This should not be. How can the police remove the clothing of a woman (or man) and leave that person in a germ-infested cell? This is just not right. What about (as suggested by Chandra Sohan who had attempted to intervene on the woman’s behalf) handcuffing her hands together or to a chair or any other object?
The answer cannot lie in what transpired during last Monday at the Rose Hall Police Outpost.
Police ranks’ treatment of women over the last few days leaves much to be desired, to say the least.
Sandy Akra of Westminster, West Bank Demerara, last week complained of police continued harassment and shared how she was strip searched in the presence of male officers and her two sons at her home. Another woman in Alboystown recently reported being strip searched even though she had informed the police that she was in the middle of her menstrual cycle.
And these acts certainly do not mesh with the touted police reform by the Citizens’ Security Strengthening Programme (CSSP).
Such acts cannot be condoned by any right thinking society and the ranks who perpetrated them must be held accountable.