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Jun 29, 1999

Bike cart owner alleges police brutality

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But Simeon Sampson was not the only man angry at the Criminal Investigations Branch today. Lindsford McKenzie who drives a bicycle cart told News Five that last week he was paid to move some items for a man he knows but found himself in police custody after the goods were reported stolen. McKenzie says following a police report by a B.D.F. soldier who had a gas tank and other items stolen from him, on Thursday night police came to his home on Hibiscus Street and removed his gas tank, two television sets and a VCR. He says the police had no search warrant and he was absent at the time. McKenzie says he went to the Raccoon Street Station around 11 p.m. to claim his household items, but was told he was being arrested. He alleges that he wasn’t locked up immediately but taken to Faber’s Road extension and beaten.

Lindsford McKenzie

“Thursday night I went to the police and I told them that I came to claim my TV, VCR and my gas tank. So the police said he didn’t want to hear anything from me. He handcuffed me and they took me into Faber’s Road and they beat me. One hold my hand, one kick me in my stomach and asked where the gas tank was that I carried in the cart. I told them that I did a job and I got paid for the job. They said that the young boy said that I helped him thief the things but I did not do that because I have been running cart for seven years. They did not believe me and they still beat me and they handcuffed me behind my back and they kick me in my stomach, punch me in my chest and put me on the ground and put a gun on me and said they were going to kill me and throw me in a pan behind the bush.

I would like the public to know that the police are abusing the people and they don’t want to give justice. If you go and talk the truth they don’t want to believe you; I don’t know what’s wrong. The public should make (Jorge) Espat know that the police are beating up the people for no reason and things like that.”

McKenzie says he was held in police custody until Monday. He does not know the names of the three C.I.B. officers he alleges beat him up. He has been charged with handling stolen goods. C.I.B.’s Simeon Alvarez told News Five that he saw McKenzie on Monday but that he never reported any abuse at the hands of C.I.B. officers.

In other, more positive police news, a refurbished police station was opened in San Ignacio this afternoon. The renovations were carried out through government funding and private sector donations. The improvements are part of a countrywide rehabilitation program of head police stations, substations and living quarters being carried out by the Ministry of National Security.

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