Thursday, April 18, 2024

FULL STORY: Police ‘error’ upsets family


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The “damage” left by lawmen when they executed a search warrant at the wrong home and took away the wrong person, has left a Pinelands family shaken and upset.
Elsie Lashley, of Edge Cliff, Princess Royal Avenue, Pinelands, St Michael, recounted how members of the Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF) entered her home around 5:30 a.m. yesterday, upturned funiture and broke a computer before arresting her son Shane and taking him to the Holetown Police Station, only to discover he was not who they had been seeking.
Without so much as an apology, Lashley recounted, they just dropped him off outside his home hours later and went on their way.
Recalling how the events unfolded, Lashley said she had just moved from sitting at her window just before 5:30 a.m. when she heard a noise and saw a man with the upper portion of his body through her window. She said when she tried to close it, he pushed it back up and was forcing his way in to unlock the door.
She said she told the men that if they were police officers to show her a search warrant or an identification card, but they refused. However, Shane told her to open the door before they mashed it up because he knew he had done nothing wrong.
Lashley said the police asked for Shane’s bedroom and proceeded to her younger son’s bedroom and “started digging up”. She said they took the tank off the toilet bowl, upturned the bed, threw the laptop to the floor, and left all the clothes strewn around the floor.
She charged too that they only saw a copy of the warrant when it dropped from one of the officers doing the search and her younger son picked it up. What had Lashley even more disturbed, she explained, was that the warrant bore the name Shane King while her son’s name was Shane Lashley.
Elsie Lashley, who suffers from hypertension, said when they had finished searching they pushed her aside and proceeded to take her son to one of the three waiting jeeps, at which time she passed out.
“They took him to Holetown Station and when them get down there and look at pictures, then they realise they have the wrong body. They ain’t apologise, just bring he and let he go back outside,” Lashley said.
Shane, 23, said he never had any run-ins with the police and even though he showed them his ID to prove his surname was Lashley, not King, they still took him away. He said he heard one police officer tell the other they did not find a gun, but they never told him directly the reason for the search. Shane said he knew a Shane King who lived in the area, but that was when they were growing up.
When contacted, police public relations officer Inspector David Welch said the information he obtained regarding the matter differed from the account given by Lashley. He said the warrant was executed within the policy of the RBPF and the officers acted with professionalism.
Welch said the warrant was given to Lashley’s son and he went with the police voluntarily and was returned home without complaint. He said if Lashley was aggrieved by the actions of the officers, she could lay a formal complaint with the Police Complaints Authority and/or the Office of Professional Responsibility.
?• lisaking@nationnews.


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