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Nov 28, 2000

Orange Walk youth alleges police brutality

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Charges of brutality against the police department are not unusual. In fact, in August two police officers were relieved of duty following accusations of inappropriate behaviour in Orange Walk. Today we received a visit from a young man who also claims to have been victimized at the hands of Orange Walk police. Derick Arnold says that on Saturday police came to his home and picked him up on suspicion of stealing a bicycle. When he got to the station, Arnold says he was beaten by police officers and also by his cellmates on the specific order of the police.

Derick Arnold

“When I reached the police station the police officer, corporal Noble, pulled me in my hair and said he wanted to beat me up. I said I do not want to disrespect him, but I don’t want him to treat me like a criminal. They asked me about a bike they said was reported stolen and said I thief it. I said I don’t know anything about a bike and they said they are going to lock me down. They took me to cell seven… The officer was going to take me to cell seven then, Noble called him back and said let him put me in cell five and let the boys put in a work on me (beat him up).”

Jacqueline Woods

“You heard when corporal Noble mentioned this?”

Derick Arnold

“I heard when the officer said that and told the next officer to bring him and put in a work on him right here.”

Jacqueline Woods

“What happened when you got inside cell number five?”

Derick Arnold

“Well one of the dude come and approached me and said I know you. He punched me in my mouth and the next dude come and they start to beat me up and I try to defend myself. The other dude that was in the cell got up and said I can’t beat his friend and the three of them beat me.”

Rita Arnold, Mother

“And I heard my son the holler to the police saying, P.C., P.C. I am bleeding and I want to go to the hospital. I tell the officer that sound like my son, you beat him or what? The officer said ?We no beat nobody.? But I tell him why he is saying that he is bleeding? I tell him go see what happened to him. He said ?We no have time to waste.”

Arnold was not hospitalized until Monday, when he was charged in court for the bicycle theft. He has filed a complaint with the police and intends to also make a report to the Ombudsman. When News 5 contacted the police station in Orange Walk, Sergeant Martinez, the deputy officer in charge, acknowledged that Arnold has filed a report and the incident is being investigated.

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