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January 6, 2017
Kingstown resident asks police not to detain him for ‘safe keeping’

A Paul’s Avenue man wants the police to desist from the practice of locking up persons overnight for “safe keeping”, at least as it relates to him.

The irate man was part of a group of eight men, some from Paul’s Avenue and some who frequent the area, who were detained for about 19 hours from around 7 p.m. on Friday, December 23.

According to the man, who asked not to be identified, he and a group of friends were “liming” in Paul’s Avenue, when two police pick-up trucks pulled up and officers decked in black jumped out and began searching them.

No one resisted and according to the man, they were all surprised when an officer, whom he knows as “Bailey”, shouted for all of them to be placed in the back of the pick-ups.

“It was like, ‘throw all ah them in the …jeep’ and then after they did that, they drive we round barracks (Central Police Station) and when we reach, tell we we lock up for safe keeping,” said the angry man.

“Them ain’t tell we nothing at all, just say we there for safe keeping and just throw we in a cell. To me come like them kidnap me”.

The man said that four of his friends were placed upstairs the Central Police Station and four were placed downstairs in a cell where they were kept for about 19 hours and released on Christmas Eve.

“Up to now nobody tell us nothing about the threat they say was against us. …basically if you locking up a man for safe keeping he supposed to be willing to go,” said the confused man.

He added, “if you tell a man about safe keeping, a man supposed to willing to go in the barracks and sit down and if he ain’t willing to go, then leave him. It was Christmas and everybody have family and they just pick we up so and carry we round barracks.

“I don’t think that they had any intelligence about people coming after we, it look as if they just want to harass us,” said the Paul’s Avenue man.

“He said that this is the first time that he has been locked up for safe keeping, but he knows that it has happened to other persons before.

“I don’t want to go anywhere and I also don’t want to go to the Police Public Relations Department, because is police policing the police and when you make a report nothing happens.

“I think the police them real harassing we and it look like them only harassing we alone because we is Paul’s Lot people. They come in here a lot, sometimes eight times per day and search we up and they never find nobody with nothing illegal. I don’t know the reason them doing it and we would like it to stop, them man real harassing me.

“Safe keeping is stupidness, because if they lock you up for safe keeping from whatever they thinking going happen is not like humans have a delete button in their brain where the persons who want to do you something say, ‘he get lock up for safe keeping, so let me press this delete button and forget about he.’

“The persons going to still be there waiting to do me something so I think that is stupidness,” said the outspoken man.

He noted that he is shying away from the reporting the incident to the Police Public Relations Department because he was threatened by a police officer a few months ago and when he reported the matter to Public Relations, he was sent to carry out his own investigations.

“I went there and made a complaint about a police telling me he want to shoot me in my head. I went and relate to them and nothing never happen the only thing, the woman send me to was that I should investigate the scene myself, like I train for that.

“She send me to investigate after I tell them it happen in front Hinds building and Hinds building have cameras; the woman send me to see if I get the camera footage, then send me to gather witness, so I never went.”

He said that what was more alarming, is that a few weeks later, the officer who had threatened to shoot him was charged criminally for shooting a man.

The man is of the opinion that the police have a bad relationship with persons who reside in the Paul’s Avenue area.

“I want the police to have some respect for civilians and I wish them could get lock up… You take up people off the road without them willing to go and you have no charge or you not investigating them for nothing and then them spend a whole day of life that they can’t replace inside a cell behind some big lock and big gate for nothing at all. That is stupidness,” said the man.

In an interview with SEARCHLIGHT on November 30, 2016, head of crime and Assistant Commissioner (ACP) of Police Frankie Joseph revealed that on numerous occasions, police officers would have to “take up” certain persons for safe keeping when information reaches the constabulary that these individuals are marked for death.

He explained that although it is for their own safety, the police cannot keep these persons locked away forever and in a few cases, players have died shortly after police released them.

In this latest incident, reports are that the police received intelligence that two foreign hitmen were planning an attack on individuals in Paul’s Avenue.