UNDR CLOSE ARREST: Police Constable 23107 Elliot
The Guyana Police Force has placed a policeman under close arrest after a video circulated with him assaulting a prisoner who was at the time in his care at the Wales Police Station. The incident reportedly took place on Friday evening in Regional Police Division #3 headed by Senior Superintendent Errol Watts.
In the video, the policeman could be seen placing a shackle on the man’s foot, then holding the shackle and pulling the same, resulting in the man falling to the ground on his back, unsupported. The policeman then dragged the prisoner on his back into a cell at the station and locked him up.
All of this took place while relatives of the man were present at the police station and were videoing the ordeal.
It was reported that the prisoner at the time was under the influence and that he had earlier drove a vehicle into a nearby trench, resulting in him being placed into custody at the station.
The incident exposed to the public the regular treatment that civilians would usually complain about when encountering the police. In this case, although the policeman knew that he was being recorded, he seemed to care less about his actions which he carried out nevertheless.
The video also brings to light, the questions of why some prisoners who are taken into police custody usually end up dead in jail cells. The mistreatment of civilians and prisoners at in police custody has long been a matter of concern for relatives who have oftentimes claimed that their relatives were beaten and ill-treated by police ranks while in custody.
According to the Guyana Police Force on Sunday evening, it does condone such actions coming from members of the force even as they indicated that the matter is now engaging the Police Office of Professional Responsibility.
Earlier in the day, one section of the press quoted the Regional Divisional Commander Errol Watts as saying that the rank would be dealt with condignly.
From all indications, it appears that the policeman at the time of the incident was the only one present in the enquires room. Over time, many police ranks have complained that they are forced to pull shifts solo at stations due to other ranks not showing up for duty or as a result of an oversight on the part of their immediate supervisors. The police force in its statement on Sunday did not say if this was the case on Friday.