Family members  battle police outside  Magistrate’s Court
September 24, 2013

Family members battle police outside Magistrate’s Court

Tempers flared outside the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court yesterday afternoon, resulting in a brawl between police and the relatives of a young man convicted of burglary.{{more}}

When Susan Samuel and other family members turned up at Court on Monday morning, they were expecting to be present for a bail hearing for 20-year-old Clifford Samuel, who, was charged with stealing a laptop, an X-Box console, alcohol and food from a house in Redemption Sharpes on Friday, September 13.

The young men were arrested and charged with burglary of items valued at EC$2,638 on September 16.

When the Samuel family turned up yesterday, they were told that Clifford had been convicted of the crime, and would be remanded for sentencing on September 30.

Visibly upset by the turn of events, members of the Samuel family argued, outside the court, with other persons who were involved in the case. When police approached the crowd to take one of the Samuel brothers into custody, a fight, which included punches being thrown by both sides, ensued.

When the fists stopped flying, two of Samuel’s brothers, Raffique and O’Keefe, were arrested.

Shortly after the fracas, Susan told SEARCHLIGHT that she and her sons were assaulted by police for no reason.

“He (Raffique) was telling the boy (a witness in the case) ‘yo go in there and tell lie pon me brother; now me brother going jail for something he didn’t do’ and the police just walk over and cuff me child in he face just so.

“I tell he let go my child and he play he pelting cuff and hit me in my neck.

“When my child reach in front the door, again he cuff my child in front he face.”

Concerning her son Clifford, Susan said that she believes he is innocent of the crime, and that he has no reason to steal.

She said that on the day of the burglary, her son was in her presence, and that the items which he was found guilty of stealing were not the same items identified by the burglary victim.

”Whole day we dey home playing music and frying bakes,” she said.

“They convict him for something they don’t even have evidence for; not even a charge sheet them give me son,” Samuel told SEARCHLIGHT shortly the after brawl.

“If dem say dem meet me children with 10 bucket of weed, if they say they fight somebody, if they say they cuss somebody and police lock them up, I will sit down home, because I know they do it, but thief?….

“Twice a year I go to England and everything they want I bring for them; what they going and thief for?”

The mother also said she believes that some police officers hold a personal vendetta against her, based on past experiences.

“O’Keefe was shot three years ago, and up to now, nothing they do about it; every time you ask about the case they tell you it under investigation and he tell them who shoot him.” (JJ)