Two policemen have been transferred from the Wismar Police Station following complaints about the manner in which they initially responded to reports that Rawle Samuels was about to harm his stepson and also for later verbally abusing a Member of Parliament.
Chairman of Region 10 Sharma Solomon yesterday told Stabroek News that Divisional Commander Owen Trotz has indicated that one of the ranks was transferred out of the mining town while the other has been shifted to the MacKenzie Police Station.
Following the horrific murder of four-year-old Jamal Nedd last Wednesday in Linden, residents had complained about the manner in which the lawmen responded as they felt that the child’s life could have been saved had the police responded immediately. A neighbour had related that the police initially chased her out of the station calling her a “strife-maker” and it was only after the act was committed that they sprang into action. This has since seen a group of women protesting outside the police station.
Yesterday, Solomon said that on the evening of the incident when he and parliamentarian Vanessa Kissoon met with the family of Nedd, they complained about the way Nedd’s aunt was treated by the lawmen. He said the young woman told them that she was not encouraged by the reception she got from the lawmen and with the exception of a female corporal, the policemen were “not very helpful in terms of the way they accepted what happened.”
He said that the neighbour who was chased out of the station also expressed concern about being sent away and being called a troublemaker. She told them that it was only after she returned the second time- by which time the child was already mortally injured – that one of the policemen attempted to scale the back fence of the station, which is almost adjacent to the house where the incident happened. However, he fell down and later decided to drive around which would have taken about five minutes.
Solomon said he became very concerned following the complaints and immediately contacted Trotz and briefed him on the situation and he agreed to meet with him the following day. Later the regional chairman said he spoke to another Member of Parliament, Renis Morian who related that because the family members are members of his church he had also visited the station to express his concerns over the manner in which the policemen responded.
He said that a reporter was with him and she attempted to take a photograph to show how close the station was to the house where the incident happened and the lawmen objected. Morian responded and this saw the policemen verbally abusing him.
The regional chairman said when he met with Commander Trotz the following day, Morian and Kissoon accompanied him and the verbal abuse of the pastor was also an issue that was discussed. Following these discussions, he said, the commander later indicated that the offending ranks – the one who chased the woman out of the station and the other who verbally abused Morian – were transferred.
Meantime, Solomon expressed great concern over the killing of the child and said the region is prepared to stand with the family. He said the family members have also indicated the areas in which they need assistance and the region will be helping. He expressed the opinion that the chilling incident is a reflection of what the situation on domestic violence is in the wider society.
As a member of the Domestic Violence Committee in the region, Solomon said he has always been concerned about the troubling effects that gender-based violence and violence against children have on society. The region for a while has been calling for a shelter for abused women and children and they are now in the process of identifying one to serve this purpose. The regional chairman said they have already gotten a commitment from Minister of Human Services and Social Security Jennifer Webster that her ministry will provide all the necessary furnishings once the building is identified. (Oluatoyin Alleyne)