Brother of wanted man alleges police brutality
Stabroek News
August 4, 2002

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Kenton McAulay, 20, whose brother is a fugitive from justice, and who was arrested by the police is alleging police brutality while in custody.

McAulay and a friend were arrested a week ago last Thursday after a shootout on the University of Guyana access road which resulted in the deaths of two men, one of whom was wanted man Kwame Pindleton. The police said two other men escaped, one of them suspected to be McAulay's brother, Shawn Marco Gittens, for whom several arrest warrants have been issued. There was speculation too, that one of the escapees might have been injured.

At around 5:00 pm that day, McAulay and a friend were arrested on the dirt road, parallel to the Turkeyen Campus. They had a quantity of bandages in their possession and some methylated spirits. What followed, McAulay said, was a sound beating from members of the force and six days in the lockups.

The police released him on Wednesday and he was immediately hospitalised. Walking slowly and hiding bruised and bloodshot eyes behind a pair of sunglasses, the young man told Stabroek News on Friday that the articles found in his possession last week Thursday were to tend injured dogs from a competition in `C' Field Sophia.

Keyon McAulay displaying his bloodshot eyes. (An Aubrey Crawford photo)

"We were going to watch a dog fight in `C' Field Sophia. Why we walk with methylated spirits and bandage is because sometimes people fight they dogs and don't want it no more because it lose. It might be so badly wounded and you just pay a li'l thing on it and you get the dog [to] use for mating purposes," McAulay stated.

He claimed to have just travelled from Plaisance, East Coast Demerara, where he keeps his dogs at his stepfather, Henry Charles, and was walking along the dirt road when several policemen pulled up alongside him in a utility vehicle.

"When they approached me, they started talking hard. I tell them I does work [and] showed them my ID card. They start making comments ... They even try to convince my friend to go away and lef me."

According to McAulay, he was relieved of several articles and some expensive footwear.

"They started beating me up. They even take away my money, my boots and jewellery. I had about $7,500, a [gold] chain round meh neck with 20 pwt and a ring with 15 [pwt]. My friend had on a `Citizens' watch which he had to take off to give them because they couldna get it off. I had a People's pawn ticket with a chain and a ring on it. I had my cell phone worth $72,000 - a Panasonic 310. These are things I worked very hard for. They even took my boots, my Timberlands, off my foot," McAulay alleged.

The young man said more policemen later arrived and he suffered further indecencies.

He said several times he lost consciousness and later at Criminal Investigations Department (CID) headquarters, Eve Leary, his friend's locks were chopped off with a `Rambo' knife. He claimed that a heavy man jumped on his chest. According to McAulay, throughout the week of incarceration, he had to endure the pain of sprained ribs without any medical treatment.

"They even hold me down and beat me with a piece of wood - a round piece of wood on meh back straight down... kick me all on meh ribs. About eight to nine ribs sprain.

Thursday night was when all the beating went on... I couldna walk, I couldna eat. Even now, I have to eat light stuff. I have to get help to lie down now because meh back is still paining me [and] I can't get up back myself. The same Thursday night, when they take me back to Brickdam, they beat me with a "cat pestle" all round meh skin."

Charles, who accompanied McAulay to Stabroek News, said that it was not until he sought a High Court order on Wednesday to compel the police to produce McAulay in a court of law, that the young man was released.

Asked what reason the police gave for arresting him, McAulay said: "They said they looking for someone who carrying medical supplies for someone who got away from the shooting... They were looking for somebody in a white jersey. I had on a black jersey."

He maintained also, that contrary to reports, he never called Leroy Lowe's cell phone on Thursday. Lowe was the other man killed that day. While the police were on the scene, the dead man's cellular phone rang three times.

McAulay claimed he has not been in contact with his brother and had not spoken to him since some time last year.

Meanwhile, Police Public Relations Officer, Assistant Superintendent David Ramnarine, responding to Stabroek News' queries, said "based on McAulay's allegations, there is a private recourse open to him." Ramnarine further stated that the young man could also approach the Assistant Commissioner, who is in charge of the Office of Professional Responsibility, lodge a complaint and an investigation would be launched.

"If he is not satisfied with that, he can go to the Police Complaints Authority," Ramnarine stated.