Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Mother seeks justice for son

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A ST MICHAEL MOTHER is crying out for due process for her son who she said was assaulted by police.
It has been nearly three years since Esther Husbands, of Beckles Road, St Michael,  first complained  to the Department  of Professional Responsibility about alleged police mistreatment of her  then 14-year-old son Akeam Warner, but to this day, she said she  has not received  a satisfactory response.
She recounted her story on Monday during  a visit to the  NATION’s Fontabelle,  St Michael office. On November 11, 2007, he came home from school at the Garrison Secondary around 5 p.m. and said  he was going by a friend, but he didn’t come back until 8:15 p.m. when police brought him back,”  she said.
Husbands then recounted what her son told her happened. She said the full story did not come out until after  the police had left. “He said he went  to watch a football game at the Garrison [Savannah] but when he got there the match was over. He said a friend told him the [Physical Education] games teacher’s camera had been stolen but he said  it had nothing to do with him and he was going back home as the match was over.
“The teacher had called the police, so when my son was on his way home among a group  of boys, the police pulled up in front of them and he was the only one who didn’t run,” she said.Husbands said her son then told her the police threw him in their van and asked him who his friends were but he only knew the nicknames  of two of them. It was then he was punched  in the chest.
“He told me they drove him ‘all around the place’ before bringing him home around 8:15 p.m. when he told me  the police was out there  to see me,” she said.
Husbands said it was only after the police left that she noticed her son holding his chest and her daughter told her he said he had been hit.
She then went  to Central Police Station the same evening  and received paperwork to take to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.  Injury to child Husbands produced  a police medical report dated November 11 that stated Warner had sustained soft tissue damage to the chest from a fist. She also produced documentation dated November 12  from Inspector Trevor Harewood that acknowledged her complaint and stated  the matter would  be investigated and she would be informed.
However, she said her quest for answers had met with opposition  and procrastination. She produced a piece of paper on which she said she had documented every phone call she had made  over the past three years  and the responses.
She said she was either told the investigating  officer, an assistant superintendent Lashley, was on vacation or was told by Lashley he still had to get the officers  in question together  for a line-up.
The final straw came yesterday when she was informed that assistant superintendent Colvin Greaves from  the Department  of Professional Responsibility was  in charge of the case. When she contacted him, he told her he still had  to gather the files pertinent to the case.
“I feel real upset because my son knew nothing, but he was still injured and I am getting the run-around. I want my son to get the line-up they said he would get and I want legal action against the guilty officer,” she said.
When contacted, Greaves would only say he had spoken  to Husbands and he was looking into the matter. (CA)

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