Woman says she was beaten by police
July 30, 2004
Woman says she was beaten by police

For the second time in two months, police on the Grenadine island of Canouan have come under the scrutiny of the general public for their alleged manhandling of civilians.
“I felt like I was in the Twilight Zone,” said Wena Roberts, while speaking of blows allegedly meted out to her last Monday night by a senior police officer stationed on the island. “I could not believe this was happening to me,” she said.{{more}}
Roberts, who has been a worker on Canouan for over a month, said that she was at a shop playing dominoes when three police officers arrived and spoke to someone in the shop.
“While they were leaving,” recalled Roberts, “one of them said, “you can count your lucky stars tonight”.
Roberts said that someone said something to the officers at which time they came back into the shop and one of them began throwing the dominoes on the ground.
“ I put my hand to block the dominoes from falling on the ground and told the officer that he was abusing his power at which time he struck me and I hit him back.”
Roberts reported that the officer then pulled the plastic chair on which she was sitting from under her and beat her with it causing the chair to break into pieces.
“After the chair mash up he pick up a piece of board and beat me with it,” said Roberts. She went to the clinic to get her wounds tended to but was arrested and charged for assaulting the officer.
Roberts, who is originally from Barrouallie and on bail, said that she is completely dumbfounded by the incident. Wounds were visible on the back and buttocks of Roberts who told SEARCHLIGHT that the incident caused her menstrual cycle to repeat itself.
She is seeking the help of Victor Cuffy, president of the Human Rights Association to address the matter. She said when she attempted to get a medical certificate filled out at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital, she was told that she would have to go to her home town of Barrouallie.
Over the last few months, members of the general public have been complaining about physical abuse by the police. In some instances, it has been alleged that members of the constabulary have beaten persons for no apparent reason.
On May 29, Searchlight reporter Hawkins Nanton had his camera snatched by a policeman in Canouan after photographing a fracas between a dreadlocked man and police officers. Police officer Higharchy Mayers approached and snatched the reporter’s camera away from him. Nanton’s camera was however returned after he went to the Canouan Police Station and reported the incident.