Green Hill man claims RRU unlawfully apprehended him
January 6, 2017

Green Hill man claims RRU unlawfully apprehended him

A Green Hill man is accusing police officers attached to the Rapid Response Unit (RRU) of unlawfully removing him from Kingstown and leaving his six-year-old son standing on the side of the road unsupervised.

Alvin Antrobus of Green Hill told SEARCHLIGHT that on Christmas Eve 2016, he was walking in Paul’s Avenue in the area of the Gaymes Book Store around 7:30 p.m. when he saw the RRU contingent, known locally as the “Black Squad”, approaching on a pick-up truck.

According to Antrobus, he had just come from Christmas shopping with his six-year-old son and was in Paul’s Lot to collect some money for farming work he did for someone who resides in that community.

“…One of the officers approach me, … and tell me take off my hooded shirt. It have a part was camouflage, but he ain’t give me no chance to take it off. He start rough me up one time and choke me and tell me if I ain’t hear he say take it off and push me on the jeep,” recalled Antrobus.

It is illegal for anyone other than police officers to wear clothing made from camouflage fabric in St Vincent and the Grenadines.

The farmer said that after he was roughed up by the officer, his phone fell and he was not allowed to retrieve it, but instead was thrown into the back of the pick-up truck and driven to a quiet and lonely part of McKies Hill; his son left standing at the side of the road with the shopping bags.

“Them carry me McKies Hill and beat me up, accusing me and telling me I is a criminal, a murderer and how I killing people unknown, for them man in Paul’s Lot dey,” Antrobus related to SEARCHLIGHT on Thursday, December 29.

Antrobus said that he told the police officers that he was not a murderer and he only plants ginger for someone who lives in Paul’s Lot and has a farm.

He said despite his pleas, he was still beaten repeatedly and at one point, one of the police officers told the others to kill him.

Antrobus alleges that after the officer shouted “kill him”, no one reacted, so that officer held on to his hair, charged his handgun and put it in front of his face.

“…And telling me he go kill me, so I had to tell he doh do that, I have three kids and he say I bawling I have three kids and I killing people,” said Antrobus.

The scared and angry man said that at that point, another police officer told the one who had put the gun to his head to stop.

According to Antrobus, after that, the police officer who had threatened him told him if he was not wearing the hoody, he would not have beaten him and he should not tell anyone what had happened.

Antrobus said that he then told the officers to take him back to his son who was left standing at the side of the road.

“…So after they drive me back there and the youth man was there with the bags, so they tell he come in the jeep and took up the bags and ask me where I wait for van. I tell them KFC side, but they say I lie and they carry me Green Hill and throw me off and left me there on the block,” said Antrobus.

“I ain’t feel good because I know I don’t do them things that they accuse me of; is a farmer I be. Is work I does work, is ginger I does plant. I tell the man them … I will carry them where I farm and they telling me I lie, I don’t farm no ginger. Is real licks the man them give me,” complained Antrobus.

The father of three said that while he has been locked up in the past, he has turned his life around as he is now living for his children.

“I don’t involve myself in them things, is work I does work. Right now they making me feel not to be in my place (house) because I feel the police will try do me something”, said Antrobus, who revealed that during the ordeal, he received bruises on his stomach and foot and was struck by a police officer with a gun in his head.

Antrobus’ lawyer Michaela Ambrose said that the matter has been reported to the police Public Relations Department and Antrobus was given injury report forms to take to a doctor.

“This is an extremely appalling situation. It is not the first that I have heard of these occurrences. It is unfortunate that as small as St Vincent is, people are not allowed to rehabilitate themselves, they always have to be put in positions to relive stigmas that have been attached to them by society,” said Ambrose, who opined that the police do not allow persons to rehabilitate themselves.

“How can you see a man, a man who has gone to prison before for something, peacefully walking through the streets with his minor child and you are to pick him up off the road take him to an isolated area and abuse him?

“As far as we have heard, he has not retaliated physically or resisted in getting into the transport at all. He answered all the questions, cooperated with them fully.

“What if something had happened to the six-year-old child at the side of the road? Who would have been responsible? Then they would say he is a bad father and ex-convict and he keeps certain company,” said Ambrose, who added, “sometimes the end does not justify the means.”

Ambrose said that if Antrobus was wanted for questioning or he was being taken into police custody under caution or to be interviewed, that is a completely different situation.

“…but ultimately it is irresponsible for the police to have allowed his child to be left at the side of the road. It is unacceptable and the unfortunate part about it is that we will make written complaints to the Public Relations Department and to the Commissioner of Police and I am sure that none of it will be fruitful and no apology will be given, but if so, we are ready to hear it,” said Ambrose.

The matter was reported to the Police Public Relations Department and they say they are investigating.